Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

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!

Slice of Life #20

When I pulled up to my house today, I could see the edge of a yellow mailing up sticking up between the glass door and my front door.  Yes!  That meant I had a book!  Gathering my purse, lunch bag, school bag, and the Irish Soda Bread a student gave me this morning, I mentally ticked off the possibilities.  Could it be a review copy of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls? Or maybe something I don’t even know about yet?

When I opened the glass door, struggling to hit the remote control button on my keys that unlocks the house, the mailing envelope fell to the concrete of the porch.  I teetered on the edge of the porch as I juggled my school bags and tried to kick the package into the house.  I saw the return address, Random House, and couldn’t figure out what book it could be.  

Once I was in the house, I dropped my bags in the kitchen and went to retrieve the package from the front hall.  Hmm, a light package, so definitely a paperback, and maybe an ARC.  Tearing open the flap, I let out a little yelp of joy. Perfect Fifths: A Novel by Megan McCafferty! I love, love, love this series and have been waiting impatiently for the final novel in the series to come out. It’s not due out until April 14th, but I was holding a review copy in my hands.

It’s been about 6 hours since I came home and opened the package. I can’t bring myself to begin the book. The final book in a series is such a bittersweet moment- I can’t wait to find out what happens with Jessica and Marcus, but I also don’t want it to be over yet!