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Second Helpings: A Jessica Darling Novel [Kindle Edition]

Megan Mccafferty
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.00 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“Knowing that I’ve just done something that will take decades off my parents’ lives with worry, you’ll excuse me for not getting into the fa-la-la-la-la Yuletide spirit this year. . . . The only difference between Christmas 2001 and Christmas 2000 is that I don’t have a visit from Hope to look forward to. And Bethany has already packed on some major fetal flab. Oh, and now Gladdie doesn’t need to ask a bizillion questions about my boyfriend, because she’s already gotten the dirt from you know who.”

Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.

With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Every day, I wait for that doomsday shoe to drop on my head and crush my spirit," laments New Jersey high schooler Jessica Darling. This hilarious, candid sequel to Sloppy Firsts opens the summer before Jessica's senior year of high school, when the precocious misfit is at a New Jersey academic enrichment camp whose competitive enrollment is belied by its acronym-SPECIAL. There, she meets Prof. Samuel MacDougall, a handsome writing teacher with "three novels, two works of nonfiction and one hot piece of ass to his name," who challenges Jessica to imagine the world outside of her native suburbia. She also runs into her former "crush-to-end-all-crushes" Paul Parlipiano (he's gay, of course), who introduces her to Columbia University-which she decides she must attend. Come September, Jessica works on her college applications, dearly misses her best friend, Hope, who has moved to Tennessee, and spends much of her time trying not to think about bad boy Marcus Flutie, who broke her heart last winter when he confessed that he only asked her out as an experiment. As her senior year progresses, Jessica starts dating Len Levy, her rival for class valedictorian, and becomes the subject of the school's new anonymous gossip rag. The material is typical teen fare, but Jessica is a captivating, intelligent, acidly funny-but always believably adolescent-narrator who is unsparing in her sketches of Pineville High "society" yet touchingly alive to her own vulnerabilities. Though the happy ending seems targeted to a YA crowd, adults will also enjoy Jessica's winning observations.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Jessica Darling, the lovably cynical heroine of Sloppy Firsts (2001), is about to begin her final year of high school. She is not looking forward to it. Her best friend, Hope, has moved away, leaving her with only budding-movie-star Bridget to confide in. She also is doing her best to forget Marcus Flutie, the oh-so-sexy guy who captured her heart the year before, only to break it. Jessica has resolved to apply to Columbia University, but after the 9/11 attack, she's doubly certain her parents won't hear of her going to school in New York City. She's flattered by the attentions of Len Levy, a hot brainiac, who just might be the one to drive Marcus from her mind, not to mention relieve her of her virginity. As the time to graduation ticks down, Jessica discovers she knows less about Bridget, Marcus, and the other people who surround her than she thought she did. Smart, tentative, and funny, Jessica is a likable and wry observer of the competitive, gossipy high-school world. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 589 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0609807919
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001329QAE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific May 23, 2003
I loved Second Helpings, and it's been years since I was in high school. It's a great story, very funny. The action in the novel takes place from July 2001-June 2002 in New Jersey high school student Jessica Darling's life. She spends part of her summer at writing camp, and then comes home to deal with the trials and tribulations of modern high school life and her senior year--college selection, boyfriends, mad crushes, friends, enemies. The novel takes the form of Jessica's diary, so we are privy to her innermost thoughts--many of which concern Marcus--an obsession that has followed her around since we last saw Jessica in Sloppy Firsts. Jessica is a great narrator--funny, sarcastic, poignant, heartbreaking, and even at times infuriating. This is a terrific novel and you certainly don't have to read Sloppy Firsts to enjoy it, but read Sloppy Firsts first--it is an excellent novel, just as strong as this one. I think anyone would enjoy this novel--it certainly does not need to be limited to the young adult crowd. Enjoy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as the first November 3, 2003
In the sequel to Sloppy Firsts we find Jessica Darling agonizing over both her future and her love life. Jessica finally decides to move on from what happened with Marcus and begins dating her academic rival, Len Levy. But Jessica's feelings for Marcus aren't as buried as she'd like them to be, which doesn't bode well for her and Lens' relationship. Meanwhile, Jessica is determined to make the right choice for college so she isn't miserable for the next four years as well. She has her heart set on Columbia but after the 9/11 attacks she has second thoughts about attending a school in New York.
I liked this book almost as much as the first one which is to say I liked it a whole darn lot. I was happy that the book continued to be realistic instead of descending into teen romance mush. I was satisfied with the ending and it seemed pretty final but I still can't help but want to read about Jessica's college exploits. Anyway, fans of the first book will be happy with this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even more biting and real then the first... June 8, 2003
In Megan McCafferty's Second Offering in the Jessica Darling sagas, we get introduced to her life as a Senior. With even more pessimistic yet realistic views of life as a suburban teenager, get ready for the rollercoaster ride of Jessica's life as she goes through new steps in boyfriends, sex-type-stuff, friends, dealing with the past, her family, and altogether your typical teenager life.
The thing I love about this book is that its SO real. The average teen book out there puts the main character in some weird crazy situation that only a small majority can relate to: ex, death of a parent, living in a trailer park, etc. etc. McCafferty isn't afraid to address the fact that hwile in the GRAND scheme of things JD's probs are probably trivial, in her life, they are her world. Which is why i think I (and many others) can relate.
If you're looking for a book where you feel at one with the characters and the plot, definately pick up Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings for a sometimes sad, sometimes touching, sometimes downright painfully hilariously embarassing and ALWAYS real plot!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A teenage male's perspective. May 15, 2006
By S.P.T.
It appears that there are an exorbitant number of female reviews of this book, and few (or none) which are written by males. Not surprising, since the book is aimed at an audience lacking a Y-chromosome. Yet here I am, a 17-year old typical (not) teenage male, writing a review for a book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Jessica's dry-wit was a pleasant backdrop for a story written with a solid premise and foundation. However, despite my enjoyment of this book, and my five-star rating, I found that there had a few aches from this book, things that, albeit being small, made me wonder as to what the author was thinking when she wrote it.

First and foremost, was my profound dislike of Jessica. Yes I know that she is witty, intelligent and observant. But she also happens to be the saddest sort of hypocrite imaginable. A large portion of the book is centered around Jess's differences from all other females. Yet, she acts exactly the same. She takes the same critical approach to many of the people in her life (Sara and Manda) but will still hand around them simply because they are her past, to which she doesn't want to turn her back. Also, I would have hoped that Jessica would not turn out to be the hormone-driven girl she is. She refers to Manda as a skank (no arguments) but she herself cannot stop thinking of guys. Her obsession with Marcus, with a pause for Len, being just one example.

Second: the author's inability to tie in Hope's life in any way shape or form into Jessica's communiqu?s. Clearly, the story is set around J.D and Hope is simply a foil to enhance to former. Yet it is shocking that in two years worth of soul-pouring (I've yet to read Charmed Thirds), Hope has hardly been given two lines for her own life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Buy! No Question About it!! January 19, 2004
By A Customer
Second Helpings is a story of realization, friendship and growing up. Aided by a childhood friend (and onetime Clueless Crew member) and another friend, Jessica dusts herself off after a heartbreak and pushes forward. A scene where she's told how Marcus feels about her is one of the best in the book. Marcus might be the best character in the book, being that he's always highly intelligent yet not always in control. Megan McCafferty shows us two characters who are both head and shoulders above their peers intellectually, but also both in need of friendship (namely each other's). No matter how intelligent Marcus is, he's almost unable to make Jessica warm up to him. Regardless of how vulnerable Jessica feels, she won't let Marcus inside, possibly out of fear for his motivations, intentions and past.
Subplots in the story include Jessica's search for a college to attend, her struggles with the track team, the ongoing gossip trail of her friends (most of them from Sloppy Firsts), meeting up with her old crush, and her family. All roads lead to growing up, and each subplot is a part of that.
It's a tightly woven story and while it's significantly longer than Sloppy Firsts, the two stories merge together well, and there's realistic character development. In short, it's a fine novel and improves upon Sloppy Firsts. I'd also like to recommend two other fun Amazon purchases -- the losers' club by richard perez, dogrun by arthur nersesian. Love these books! Mmmmmm!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars focused on ridding herself of a horrible teenage malady
"Second Helpings" is a very successful, very highly rated, so-so book. Written in 2003, it's the second in a five book series starring Jessica Darling; in this one she's a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kenneth C. Mahieu
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite timeless
While this novel was enjoyable, it is starting to show its age. I was just Jessica's age when this book came out, and her thoughts and opinions are not generation-accurate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by DailyMayo
5.0 out of 5 stars I love reading this.
I have read the first 2 books in the JD series more than once and I think this one is my favorite. I am still working through the series though. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Elizabethsews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it more than the first!
The story of Jessica and Marcus continues... This picked up where the first book Sloppy Firsts ended. I enjoyed this book more than the first and I couldnt put it down!
Published 12 months ago by A. Cruz
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun read
I was impressed by the first book and enjoyed the second. It's a fairly quick read but entertaining. My one complaint is the right-wing jokes. Because seriously, not necessary.
Published 12 months ago by Chelsie
5.0 out of 5 stars quote "fabulous" unquote
Second helpings had me page turning every five seconds. Jessica was hilarious in her feeble attempt to achieve what most teenagers never do. Read more
Published 12 months ago by QUELLY
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than first book
So the girl tells her life story growing up and some perspective on life through the eyes of the teenager. Interesting and easy to read.
Published 17 months ago by Alec L
5.0 out of 5 stars Marcus Flutie is a dreamboat
Loved loved loved it. So glad to see more of Jessica, Marcus, and all the other characters. And I adore Marcus Flutie - him, yes him.
Published 17 months ago by Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies
4.0 out of 5 stars McCafferty raises the bar with her second installment of her hilarious...
It's Jessica's senior year. She's somehow become friends with the girls of the Clueless Crew, and she hasn't spoken to Marcus since the night they almost kissed. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars love this series
I love these books. I started reading them when I was 16, and ten years later, I still like them. Funny, honest, and witty.
Published on January 6, 2013 by allison
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More About the Author

Megan McCafferty is working on a series of middle-grade prequels to the bestselling Jessica Darling novels. JESSICA DARLING'S IT LIST: THE (TOTALLY NOT) GUARANTEED GUIDE TO POPULARITY, PRETTINESS & PERFECTION and JESSICA DARLING'S IT LIST 2: THE (TOTALLY) NOT) GUARANTEED GUIDE TO FRIENDS, FOES & FAUX FRIENDS are available now. The third book in the series goes on sale in June 2015.

The original Jessica Darling novel, sloppy firsts (2001), was ALA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, an ALA Popular Paperback, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. Its sequel, second helpings (2003) was also selected to the NYPL list, and was a Booklist Editor's Pick for one of the best novels of 2003. charmed thirds (2006) was an instant New York Times bestseller and a NYPL pick. fourth comings (2007) and perfect fifths (2009) also made the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Booksense, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other national bestseller lists.

BUMPED and THUMPED were published in 2011-12 and described in Publisher's Weekly as "sharply funny and provocative...set in a world where only teens are able to have babies, and are contracted by adults to carry them to term." Megan also edited a short story anthology called SIXTEEN: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday (2004).

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