Every once in awhile, you come upon a book that so accurately seems to describe your life, you go, “Wow, why didn’t I write that?” Then you realize you’re not half as witty as you think you are, and just become incredibly grateful that someone wrote a book describing something very akin to your life in a hilarious and wise way. For me, Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts series are those books. These books take chick literality to a whole new level; I’ve never had to imitate these books; instead, they seem to imitate me.
If you’re still putting together your summer reading list, consider putting these books on it. They follow Jessica Darling, teenage misanthrope (she’s Daria in book form, minus the unconventional wardrobe and plus a dose of popularity) from high school into young adulthood. If you’re anywhere in the 16-26 age range, you’ll probably identify with Jessica’s struggles, and if you’re not, you’ll probably remember a time when you did. Jessica has the problems we all have (boy issues! frustrating parents! impossibly perfect siblings! quarter-life crises!), but she documents them with a laugh-out-loud amount of wit. (Seriously, these books are among the rare ones that make me actually LOL. Do not read them in the presence of people you’re not comfortable letting out the occasional snort in front of.)
Anyway, while Jess writes about a lot of universal issues, she also has a lot of attributes that make me think her life was secretly based on my own. For example:
- We both spent the summer before senior year of high school at nerd camp. Sure, Jessica’s was for writing and mine was for electrical engineering, but those are just semantics.
- We both won the exact same senior superlatives in our high school yearbooks (Most Studious and Most Likely to Succeed). It is debatable whether either of us lived up to them.
- We both worked on journalistic publications in high school (Jessica writes for the newspaper; I did yearbook, and I swear I had nothing to do with counting the votes on which senior superlatives were based).
- We both at some point very much wanted to attend Columbia University (spoiler alert: I did not; I will not spoil Jessica’s college decision for you).
- We both got the exact same score on the SAT.
- We are both obsessive journalers.
- We both have an unhealthy love of junk food. (These books taught me that it is entirely acceptable to spend the week after a breakup sitting in your room, not showering, subsisting on nothing but candy bars and Coke.)
- We both have an unfortunate tendency to be judgmental of others. Jessica does a much better job of getting away with it. Be it Mean Girls, MILFs, Republicans, pop stars, and everyone in between, Jessica has something both cutting and comical to say about them.
Image via Megan McCafferty