August: Summer Mood

Jessica Darling is disappointed.  She’s  disappointed in herself, in Manda, in her sister, in Bridget, and in Hope.  This is a rough month for our girl — she puked on Paul’s shoes, confirmed her worst suspicions, and, perhaps worst of all, is fighting the feeling that she’s being replaced in Hope’s life after Hope has to cancel her trip to Pineville.

I have to say, this is the month when I’m a little disappointed in Megan McCafferty.  Jess comments, yet again, on Sara’s weight, making fun of her bragging that she lost three pounds on her diet while drinking beer.  Yes, her lemon water diet is insane.  Yes, we all know that she’ll put those pounds and more back on as soon as she starts drinking.  And, yes, it’s completely annoying to hear about other people’s fad diets.  But why is Sara’s desire to be thin lumped into her annoying traits?  Jess’s discussions Sara seem to always land in the “body snark” area.  Similarly, when Sara tells Jess that people thought she was a lesbian, she freaks out.  Vagaterian, she says.  When I complained about this, one of my friends mentioned that it seems like a word Jessica would use, and she’s probably right.  It’s not uncommon for someone in high school to be worried if everyone thinks they’re gay or to snark on someone’s appearance, especially if it’s someone they don’t like.  And, as I mentioned earlier, I love that sometimes I don’t like Jessica.

It’s hard to have outsider perspective in the confessional narrative of novels like Sloppy Firsts.  We are reading Jess’s thoughts, not experiences of these events or conversations first hand.  I don’t know how I’d rather Megan McCafferty handle these moments, but I don’t like them.  In her first discussion of the Clueless Crew, Jess describes Sara’s shopping habits as shamefully looking through the size 14 racks hoping no one would notice.  I don’t have to go back to look this up because I remember it from my first through.  I hated reading it then because I wanted to only identify with Jess, the frustrated and sarcastic outsider, not with the body image issues that she described with such disdain.

Things in this chapter that I would text Emily about if we weren’t writing this blog:

The pressure she puts on the CD mix is so real.  Emily, did the moving-away mix I made you solidify our friendship?

I love that she has consecutive entries that focus on her puking on Paul’s shoes.  It reminded me of my own journals, which are usually dominated by one event for weeks and weeks.

When I lived in Vancouver and would visit home, I would use the “adjusting to East Coast’ excuse constantly.  I feel you, Bridget.

If you liked (or were disappointed in) that, try this: 

Recently, I’ve become OBSESSED with Switched at Birth.  The show does a good job of letting people have natural, kind of terrible reactions to things, but also in letting everyone know that those reactions aren’t okay.  It’s on Netflix and reruns on ABC Family at 12:00.

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One thought on “August: Summer Mood

  1. I totally agree with your reaction to some of Jessica’s body snark comments. They really push me out of the moment. I also wonder about that in regards to Manda’s promiscuity. Obviously it’s not ideal to sleep with one of your friend’s boyfriends, but Jessica commented on Manda’s dating habits before this situation started. It makes me curious how Jessica would react if Manda weren’t already so insufferable.

    Your move-away mix absolutely solidified our friendship! Puking on Paul’s shoes would be the absolute worst and I would totally fixate on it FOREVER. I always watch the promos for Switched at Birth and try to figure out what could be going on!

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