Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sloppy Firsts

McCafferty, Megan. 2001. Sloppy Firsts.

Sloppy Firsts chronicles the second half of her sophomore and the first half of her junior year in high school. Upset by the loss of her best friend, Hope, who moved away in December, she spends a lot of time focusing on what is not going right in her life. None of her other friends are good enough. There are no guys she wants to go out with. There is nothing she wants to do except complain. Not that I'm entirely unsympathetic, but surely she could have found something worth focusing on other than complaining...after a month or so. Sloppy Firsts is a novel about friends, boys, family life, dating, shopping, etc. The highlight of the novel--it's redeeming factor--is her strange new relationship with Marcus Flutie. Marcus is an 'outsider' of sorts. He is a nonconformist. Known to have had more than his fair share of women, booze, and drugs. Yet, she's oddly drawn to him when he begins seeking her out. He teases her. It's not flirting so much as teasing. He says things that he knows will provoke her. Irritate her. Why? He speaks the truth. For example, he recognizes her distaste for her shallow, superficial friends. He calls her on her stuff. (Which is probably why the reader likes him so much!) But during their junior year, their relationship deepens. Suddenly, he's her cure for insomnia. A phone call at midnight each which they discuss anything and everything...and she's a new person. She doesn't know if he likes her likes her. She doesn't know if she likes him...but she thinks deep down that she just might. Which is why their relationship is flirting with danger. Does she really know him? Does she want to know him know him? Is she ready to give her heart away to a reformed druggie? Should she?

Heavy on profanity, but full of humor. This one had me giggling with glee and smiling with secret pleasure. I can honestly say that without the presence of Marcus this book would not have hooked me. It would never have moved beyond a bitter, sarcastic, angry teen documenting the silliness and shallowness of her skanky friends. She hates her supposed friends. She hates so much of her life. Marcus makes her think. Marcus makes her a better person...he releases her from her trap.


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