Junior Summer—June: WORK HARD! PLAY HARD! LIVE EASY!

Oh Kieran, we barely knew you. Kieran and Jess’s relationship is one of the things that I remember most from Charmed Thirds, but it’s over so quickly. We see them fumbling toward a relationship and then the aftereffects of their breakup. Their relationship is only significant because it’s the first she has after Marcus and because their breakup leaves Jess potentially homeless in the fall. So Jess returns to Pineville for yet another summer vacation and works at ACCEPT, a college prep program for uptight overachievers. Her students are so annoying. I would totally crack and yell at them too, but no one can crash and burn quite like Jess.

I love that Sara is so dedicated to her gossip mongering that she calls Jess’s parent’s landline and wakes Jess up, just so she can be the first to tell her that Len and Manda broke up because he walked in on Manda hooking up with a girl. It’s probably the greatest scoop of Sara’s life, and as Jessica says, “If I were able to speak, I would have apologized to Sara for doubting her all of these years. Because it was clear to me that the entirety of our fake friendship had existed merely to set us up for this exquisite moment” (286). Exquisite, indeed.

Stray Observations

  • Jessica’s housing anxiety is so real and hilarious.
  • A Darling day of pampering! Mrs. Darling can always be called upon during a breakup crisis—it’s when she really shines.
  • Great Jess, why not be mean to Bethany too? Especially when Bethany is providing you with an actual solution to all of your problems!

This week I’m going to recommend Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund, whose heroine has a very different Ivy League experience than Jess. Amy goes to Eli (aka Yale) and is surprised to find that she’s been inducted into Rose & Grave, the most exclusive secret society—especially since women have never been initiated before. Amy and the rest of her pledge class face backlash from powerful alumni, who aren’t happy that Rose & Grave is now co-ed. There are four books in this series and I love them all—Rites of Spring (Break), the third, is my favorite. My favorite part about this series is that it’s pro-feminist and that Amy gets to have multiple sex partners without being demonized.

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One thought on “Junior Summer—June: WORK HARD! PLAY HARD! LIVE EASY!

  1. Jessica’s housing crisis stresses me out so much. I can’t even imagine how terrible — expect, of course, she just can’t easily accept Bethany’s offer and be kind to her. I also wish we knew more about Kieran. It’s her only real relationship outside of Marcus, and I wonder how much it affects her future judgement and decisions.

    I must read that series! You always know the best novels about secret societies.

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