It’s very fitting that Emily’s post was partly an ode to Natty because he’s someone who I think is very important to this novel. Here, finally, not only do we get Marcus’s perspective, but we get his feelings. If you know me, then you know I’m a girl who loves feelings. I love journaling about them, I love talking about them, I love using the phrase “I have a lot of feelings about this.” Marcus is not this kind of boy. When Jessica cheats on him in Charmed Thirds, she’s upset because of his lack of emotions. When he gives the journals back in Fourth Comings, his letter to Jessica is clearly heartfelt, but it also seems controlled. He refrained from annotating the texts, just as he refrains from dwelling over her words. Part of his overall zen-ness is a balanced and calm understanding of his own thoughts and actions and acceptance of others. Although there are of course many advantages to this, one of the downsides is what feels like a lack of genuine emotion. Finally, here we get it.
Of course, we get these emotions secondhand. It is Natty who reminds Marcus — and, by extension, us — of the way he mourned Jessica after she turned down his proposal and broke up with him. Natty tells us how he couldn’t shower, how he was devastated. Of course we knew that Marcus loved Jessica. But we knew it because of the way he was happy, of the way he was persistent and the way he made heartfelt, grand gestures. Maybe it’s just because of my own tendency to cry and journal about absolutely everything, but knowing how sad Marcus was felt very important to me. We always knew that Marcus, or the lack of Marcus, could destroy Jessica. Now we know Jessica held the same power over him. Perfect Fifths starts on an equal playing field, and I love that.
Things i would text Emily about if we weren’t writing this blog:
I’m always so embarrassed for Jessica when she lies about having her period. She does a terrible job with it, and it draws more attention to idea of sex, having it and not having it, then not saying anything would.
I don’t know if you knew this, but Megan McCafferty once wrote on her blog, or maybe on the news section of her website, about how she wasn’t sure what her fifth book would be or if she would have one — I remember her once saying something about a 10-year reunion — but that she heard of a rumor about a Breakfast Club sequel where the characters were trapped in an airport. And that’s when she immediately knew what this novel would be. Love it!
If you liked that, try this:
My post is so late because I’ve been distracted by being home on Thanksgiving Break, so I’m going to recommend the book that I read over break: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. This novel is narrated by a Greek chorus of a generation of gay men who died of AIDS as they watch the sometimes overlapping stories of young gay men, including two ex-boyfriends who attempt to break the world record for kissing. Speaking of emotions, I cried all over this story.