September: The Trifecta

September is just full of exciting incidents—Hy’s book, Marcus’s return, and Jessica’s broken leg! All of these events also make it possible for the Clueless Crew to remain intact for at least another month.

I love how September opens with a fake out. The Clueless Crew is primed to implode. Burke cheated on Bridget with Manda. Sara and Jessica know, but Manda doesn’t know that Jessica knows. And Bridget is willfully ignorant. The whole Hy debacle gives the Clueless Crew something to talk about other than what they did on their summer vacations. As Jessica puts it, “we were joined by an elephant named MandabangedBurkeallsummer that stood quietly in the corner while we all ranted and raved about Miss Hyacinth Anastasia Wallace” (171). Everyone has a different way to deal with the situation. Jess keeps her mouth shut. Manda makes sly comments behind Bridget’s back. Bridget prattles on about what a great boyfriend Burke is, either because she’s oblivious or totally insecure. And Sara gets extra BFF-y to (unsuccessfully) hide her panic, which is my favorite reaction.

Marcus Flutie, honors student, also keeps Jess and the Clueless Crew too distracted to focus on their internal issues. Nothing upsets the status quo like a dreg wearing a tie in the honors class.

Jessica’s broken leg sounds like the worst, but it also helps to keep Manda’s secret from being revealed. At this point, she’s too preoccupied with her own misery to really care about the treachery in the Clueless Crew. And as her helpful pro-con list notes, she’s able to miss 25 minutes of lunch conversations a week and can’t be guilted into socializing with them outside of school.

Stray Observations

  • Jessica, why do you think Marcus’s email would be (haha, hotmail)? Does he actually embrace that nickname?
  • I once jokingly said to a friend, “I won’t narc on you, cuz,” and she thought I just made it up and was insane.
  • Poor Sara, not only does she miss the two biggest back-to-school scoops, she has to sit on the piece of good gossip that she does know.
  • I love Jess’s description that her mom hovers over her like a drunk toddler.
  • Jess loves a list and so do I.

I had some trouble coming up with a recommendation for this post, but I decided to go with Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot, because it’s filled with secrets and drama. Katie is publicly dating popular football player, but makes out with the equally attractive drama boy behind the dumpsters when she’s at work. Oops. When Katie’s not waitressing and juggling her make out partners, she’s also participating in a Quahog Princess pageant. And then Tommy Sullivan comes back to town and complicates everything. This book is fun and breezy with lots of kissing.


2 thoughts on “September: The Trifecta

  1. Jessica’s outline about her cast is one of my favorite parts of Sloppy Firsts! Also, I similarly love Sara’s desperate attempts to keep everyone together. Jessica’s snark is at it’s best when describing her sad grasping at straws.

    I still find Hy’s book such a strange plot point. I almost always forget about it and it could almost be lifted from the plot and not make a difference. And I just don’t like her. What do you think?

  2. I remember when I read Second Helpings for the first time I had no idea who Hy was or what all the Bubblegum Bimbos nonsense was about. I had completely forgotten about it and it didn’t really affect my reading. It’s like McCafferty felt the need to give Jess some sort of outside validation. It feels like some kind of fantasy where someone from outside your high school microcosm comes in immediately recognizes and affirms your inherent awesomeness.

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