February: A Jessication!

Valentine’s Day never seems to go well for our girl. In Sloppy Firsts, she wishes for some kind of acknowledgement from Scotty, even if it’s ironic. And now Len breaks her heart on Valentine’s Day, just like in elementary school.

With the dissolution of Jessica and Len’s relationship, it seems like she and Bethany might have something to talk about. But, of course, Bethany has never been dumped in her life, so her attempt to relate doesn’t go well. The “Tyranny of the Trapper Keeper” is nowhere near as traumatizing as being dumped on Valentine’s Day. And of course Jess’s mom thinks it’s okay for her to skip school over boy troubles.

Thank goodness Jess has a habit of destroying her most tortured and painful journal entries, because I don’t think I could bear to read them. It’s so much more powerful when she describes how she needs to eliminate any trace of these entries. And she has to rip the pages into minuscule pieces, because finding a lighter would require leaving her room. Jessica can’t go back and erase her relationship with Len, or, more importantly, get rid of her feelings for Marcus. Destroying parts of her journal is the best she can do.

Bridget and Percy are the best for braving Jess’s den of misery. I love Jessica’s crazy rant, especially the part about a Jessication. You know you’ve gone off the deep end when you say stuff like that. It takes looking in the mirror for Jess to break down, not because she’s sad about Len, but because of the way she reacted to their breakup.

Stray Observations

  • Born Again Manda is the worst Manda.
  • The great conversation she has with Marcus and the sparks she feels when he touches her knee only underscore how necessary it was for her and Len to break up.

I cannot think of a more appropriate recommendation for this month than Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler. Mara and her niece V are only two years apart, but they don’t have much else in common. Mara is focused on beating her ex-boyfriend for valedictorian, working at a cafe, and being the perfect daughter. V’s a wild child who just wants to have fun. There’s also a follow-up novel about V called Guyaholic.


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