Winner of the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
Winner of the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
Synopses & Reviews
My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don't they realize that Hope's the only one who keeps me sane?...I don't see how things could get any worse.
When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad's obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany's lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?
A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica's predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment from the dark days of Hope's departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious "Dreg" who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don't have to go back and grow up all over again.
"McCafferty's unflinchingly realistic depiction of daily life in high school...delves deeply into the themes of identity and the struggle to be subversively true to oneself. The author shines with painfully honest portrayals of a variety of relationships..." VOYA
"Such a sharp, funny, poignant heroine, with an inner world we can all relate to. I love it." Sophie Kinsella, author of Confessions of a Shopaholic
"Sloppy Firsts captures, in spare, truthful prose, the exquisite pain and ecstasy of being besotted by your best friend. The reader may flinch, but Megan McCafferty never does." Emma Forrest, author of Namedropper
"Sloppy Firsts is a spirited, down-the-rabbit-hole adventure in the madcap subculture of high school. With remarkable insight, tenderness, and wit, Megan McCafferty offers us a compassionate, clear-eyed tale of how a sassy young woman survives teenage-hood." Laurie Fox, author of My Sister from the Black Lagoon
"Sloppy Firsts perfectly captures the turbulent roller-coaster ride that is being a teenager. This is an (at times) intimate, painfully honest peek at a girl's coming of age. Getting to know Jessica was like meeting a new best friend. I miss her already." Atoosa Rubenstein, editor in chief of CosmoGirl!
About the Author
Megan McCafferty was senior articles editor at Cosmopolitan and has written for Glamour, CosmoGirl!, YM, Maxim, Details, and other top magazines. She also wrote an ongoing serial from Hope's point of view on twistmagazine.com. She lives in New Jersey, where she's at work on the next Jessica Darling novel.
Reading Group Guide
1. Family Relationships
Describe the relationship between Jessica and her father. Who puts more pressure on Jessica about running, her father or herself? Is track the only thing these two have in common?
2. Discuss how Jessica and her older sister, Bethany, relate to each other and to their mother. Are any of these relationships healthy?
3. Both Jessica and Hope have lost their older brothers. Discuss how each family dealt with the death. Will Hope understand Jessica's new relationship with Marcus?