Title: Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series)
Author: Megan McCafferty
Genre: Fiction*; 304 pages
Publication date: April 14, 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Rating: 4 Bookmarks**
Perfect Fifths is the final book in the Jessica Darling series. It picks up three years after Fourth Comings; Jessica (now 26) and Marcus are reunited in a chance encounter at Newark Liberty International Airport.
After buying the first book on a whim a few years ago, I was lured in by the protagonist, Jessica Darling, a then-teenager from New Jersey. Her acerbic wit had me laughing from page one. She finds temptation in a boy named Marcus Flutie and their on-again, off-again relationship spans the series. The good girl/bad boy conundrum spoke to me on a personal level and I was eager to find out how things would play out.
McCafferty tells her story using dynamic and credible characters who grow and change as the series progresses. The dialogue is realistic and the storyline is believable. Sexual tension between Jessica and Marcus runs high, creating suspense and frustration for the characters and readers alike.
The first four books are written journal and letter-style from Jessica’s point of view. As readers, we’re limited to seeing plot events and characters as she does, which colors them significantly. I found myself wanting to kick Jessica in the shins on several occasions because she didn’t make the decisions I would have.
In Perfect Fifths, McCafferty switches to third-person omniscient point of view and we finally(!!!) get to see into the mind of enigmatic Marcus Flutie! Marcus dispels some of the myths that have been perpetuated in the previous books and we learn the motivations behind some of his past actions.
A new character is introduced and is reminiscent of young Jessica. Minor characters from the other books resurface and play bigger roles. McCafferty brings the story full-circle, tying up all of the loose ends. We get resolution with Jessica’s friends and, of course, with Marcus…though it may not be what readers were hoping for.
I couldn’t put the fifth book down and stayed up reading it until 2:30 in the morning. Then I re-read it twice more, savoring the story and interaction between the couple. It was such a pleasure to take this literary journey with Jessica, Marcus, and the whole cast of characters that Megan McCafferty crafted. This series belongs in your TBR pile.
And now on to the CONTEST!! Simply leave a comment below and you will be entered to win the entire Jessica Darling series–all 5 books! The deadline is 10pm EST on Monday, 4/20 and a winner will be chosen at random. ONE entry per person and this contest is open to everyone–even international friends. Good Luck!!!
* This series is sometimes classified as YA fiction but the books span 10 years of Jessica’s life, ending on her 26th birthday. The series deals with sophisticated themes and the nature of the story lends the books to a wider audience.
**To fully appreciate this particular novel and all the references and entendres, the books should be read sequentially.