February: Sex and the Single Girl
Jessica Darling is single. In lesser novels, her narrative would revolve around the fact that she is miserable, she is lonely, and she is an outcast at school. Instead, Jessica Darling chooses to be single. Sure, she’d love to have a boyfriend, but she doesn’t desperately pin all of her hopes and self-esteem on the idea of one. Probably because February is the month most associated with hearts, cupids, and boyfriends, this month in Sloppy Firsts focuses on Jessica’s dating life and, in doing so, establishes her current lack of a romantic life as a choice motivation by self-worth and stubbornness. I’m currently in the bridesmaid phase of my life, so the scene that opens the month stands out far more to me now than it did before. I’m so proud of Jessica for standing her ground and not letting her mom and Bethany change her mind about Scotty. I knew a lot of Scottys when I was in high school. I don’t like his character, especially on reread, but what I mean by that is that I would never want to hang out with Scotty for an extended period of time. I think he’s so well drawn, and I love the way Megan McCafferty highlights how much Jessica thinks of herself, even when she, as the narrator, is putting herself down. While Jess is single, she thinks about sex. A lot. And only now that I’ve read much more fiction and YA fiction can I really appreciate how realistically she thinks about sex. There’s so much to love in this novel.
Am I giving Jessica too much credit? Did you also find it a little bit heartbreaking when she was disappointed that Scotty didn’t even give her a joke present, while explaining away why he didn’t need to?
Things in this chapter that I would text Emily about if we weren’t writing this blog:
That mirror thing Bethany tells her has always freaked me out. Do I part my hair on the wrong side?
Hy has come to town, and I immediately dislike her. Her city smug is too much to handle.
Pepe Le Pew! You’re an instant classic.