A few years ago I picked up the first book in a new series, called Sloppy Firsts: A Novel. Within the first few pages I had completely fallen in love with Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. And the fact that the story was set only a few minutes from my house on the Jersey Shore only made it better! I immediately devoured the rest of the books and waited impatiently for the remaining books in the series. When I came home a few days ago and found the final book in the series, Perfect Fifths: A Novel, on my doorstep, I was ecstatic! At first, I couldn’t bring myself to read it; the sooner I read it, the sooner it would be over. But I finally started it on my train ride home on Saturday, between Penn Station and my hometown station in the suburbs of Jersey (I thought it was appropriate, given the NYC and NJ settings of the books).
In a marathon reading session, I finished it. And loved it.
Fans of McCafferty’s series will love this concluding chapter in the lives of Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. Without spoiling it for anyone, I will say that the ending will leave fans very satisfied. Taking place over only a few hours and told through both Jessica and Marcus’s eyes, this is a phenomenal story of love, friendship, and Barry Manilow. Yes, I said Barry Manilow. (I’ve had a playlist of his greatest hits on shuffle in my head since finishing the book!)
I will admit that I was at first unsure- really, hearing the story in Marcus’s voice? I love Jessica and her voice rings so true. That’s probably because I sometimes think Jessica is me! But my fears were immediately assuaged when I read the first part from Marcus. Actually, I believe my immediate reaction was, “Why has he not gotten his say this whole time? I love him!” The man is just dreamy. I can’t say any more than that.
Like I said before, the story takes place over a few short hours, but boy does McCafferty make use of those hours! We get to see both sides of the conversations between Jessica and Marcus, which is awesome. I was cringing with embarrassment for them at some points while cheering them on at other points. And the senryu’s written between them are just amazing. My heart was pitter-pattering as I read them. I still have goosebumps, which were only exacerbated by the ending.
Perfect Fifths: A Novel will be out on April 14th and you need to preorder it now. It’s that good! And on April 14th I will definitely be at the Princeton Barnes and Noble to see Megan McCafferty at her signing!
*this is a YA novel, and usually marketed as adult. Not for middle grade readers!