February: Sex and the Single Girl

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.


2 thoughts on “February: Sex and the Single Girl

  1. 1. Bethany’s mirror comment–It’s like taking an iPhone selfie when the camera flips the photo around. I always look ridiculous.

    2. I love Pepe!

    3. As much as I love a book with a romance in it, it’s great to see a self-assured single girl. Jessica isn’t just single because no one will have her, as you said, it’s her choice. It IS heartbreaking that Jessica is disappointed that Scotty didn’t acknowledge her on Valentine’s Day. She knows that she wouldn’t be happy dating him, but she still wants to someone to want her.

    4. I love that you use “city smug” to describe Hy–so true!

    1. I love that she is way more upset about not being with Hope than she is about not having a boyfriend. At that age, I think that best friends are often much more important than romantic relationships.

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