Freshman Summer June: Bang-a-langin’

In Charmed Thirds Jessica leaves high school behind and goes to college. But we don’t see much of her actual college experience. Instead of keeping a journal on a regular basis, she writes sporadically, only during her breaks.

The June of Jessica’s freshman summer gives us our first glimpse of Jessica and Marcus as an established couple. After their strange, fraught courtship, it’s so weird to read about Jessica and Marcus as a couple, doing normal date things. Especially the really active outdoorsy stuff like hiking and kayaking, since I’m used to their relationship being more conversation based. But in true Jessica and Marcus fashion, there are still plenty of obstacles—Jessica’s interrupting their already brief summer with her internship, they can’t find anywhere to have sex, and they encounter one of Marcus’s past hookups while looking at toilet seats decoupaged with images of the greatest showman of our time.

Is there anything as excruciating as Jessica and Marcus running into one of his past conquests? They all seem so anonymous, vague, and totally forgettable—I don’t even remember the name of his girlfriend in Sloppy Firsts (and it wasn’t significant enough to look up). Jessica knows that Marcus has changes and that he loves her, but being confronted by Sierra makes Marcus’s past all too real, for both of them. This encounter makes Marcus just as uncomfortable as Jess. He tried so hard to avoid it, keeps his sentences brief and ambiguous, and he uses Jessica as a human shield.

Stray Observations

  • Ugh, smug Brooklyn hipster parents.
  • This first month has some great quotes, like “hotness and horniness were too difficult to quantify” (15) and “they’re very proud of their chastity” (17).
  • Jess does love an animal costume.
  • I love that Sara would also show up at graduation.

I went to see The Spectacular Now this weekend and it was lovely. High school senior Sutter Keely is charming and charismatic, the life of the party. Too bad that his girlfriend just broke up with him, he’s perpetually drunk, and he might not graduate because he’s failing geometry. One morning, he wakes up on Aimee Finecky’s front lawn. She’s quiet, nerdy, and guileless—rather unlike the other girls Sutter has dated. Pretty soon they’re falling in love, even though Sutter is sure she won’t put up with him for long. An unflinching look at teenage romance. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (aka the girl in every upcoming YA adaptation) star as Sutter and Aimee. Also look for Kyle Chandler as the anti-Coach Taylor. It’s also a novel by Tim Tharp. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m excited to check it out.


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