Tag Archives: Sloppy Firsts

Books and Beyond: What else or where else do you review?

One of my favorite aspects of book blogging is writing book reviews.  Maybe it speaks to my background as an educator–constantly evaluating and analyzing.  Whatever it is, I love to write reviews and with the advent of the internet have gone beyond reviewing solely books.  In addition to posting my  reviews here, I also submit them to Amazon.com.

Last year I joined Trip Advisor (nat-n-ant) and have since published a few reviews of the hundreds of places we’ve traveled to during our annual summer road trips.  Though Trip Advisor has been recently criticized for review integrity, I love the site and have found many wonderful places to visit and restaurants to try that I might have otherwise missed.  I have notes on so many great places (pictures, too!) and fully intend to post more reviews when I have some free time.   

I also write short book reviews and recommendations for my local library.  Brevity is the key to those mini-reviews–written on an index card–something that can be elusive to a chatterbox such as myself!  I love suggesting great books to other people and recently got some great feedback from a teen volunteer who read Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty at my recommendation.  She told me that she loved the book and read the remaining books in the series to find out what happened to the characters.

At restaurants, I always fill out comment cards complimenting on the good and noting the not-so-good.  When given constructively, feedback is a valuable tool for any company that deals with the public.

So, how about you?  Are you a reviewer of books or other things on sites beyond your blog?  Do you write for Yelp! or some of the others that offer public opinion?

And the winnerS are…

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the Jessica Darling series.  As a last minute bonus, I was also able to give away two copies of the first book in the series–Sloppy Firsts–as 2nd and 3rd prizes!  Random.com selected the following winners:

Congratulations BOOKISH PATTY for winning the entire series!  You’ll really enjoy these books.

Congratulations are also in order for Debbie of Suburb Sanity and Heather of Book Addiction who each won a copy of the novel that started it all–Sloppy Firsts

Thank you to everyone who participated!  Let’s do this again soon!

Shameless Promotion: The Jessica Darling Series

firstsLong before Stephenie Meyer dreamed up her vampire heart-throb, Edward Cullen, there was Megan McCafferty’s tempting-yet-forbidden Marcus Flutie.  I first met Marcus in 2001, while browsing in Books-A-Million in Florida.  He was tucked away in the pages of a novel with a splashy cover that featured a pair of legs and an origami-style folded note—the kind you passed to your friends back in high school.

I picked up the book and read the plot blurb and author’s biography.  McCafferty’s a fellow New Jersey resident and Sloppy Firsts was her debut novel.  On a whim, I bought the book and returned to my parents’ house with few expectations.

Two hours later found me poolside and engrossed in a realistic and intelligently written novel about Jessica Darling, a teenager from New Jersey.  The novel was written in the first person, journal-entry style.  Like Bella from Twilight, Jessica’s love interest seems to be a dangerous and ill-suited match.  It’s a classic case of good girl falls for bad boy.

I’m hesitant to categorize the Jessica Darling series (for there are four more books that follow Sloppy Firsts) as YA just because Jessica is a teenager at the start of the series.  She is a dynamic character, maturing and changing as the novels progress.  By Perfect Fifths, she’s a working woman in her mid-twenties and we’ve seen her through high school, college, her first job, and new job that is almost custom-made for her.  These books hold appeal to a wider audience than just the YA crowd. 

Her friendships and romantic relationships develop and transform as she ages her relationship with Marcus faces one frustration and obstacle after another.  Can the couple relationship nirvana.  Will it happen in Perfect Fifths?  You’ll have to wait until April 14th to find out!  (I’ll be reviewing it here next week.)

To pass the time, you can try reading a book that falls between genres, as the novels in this series do.  I would suggest reading them in order to get the full scope of Jessica’s feelings and the landscape of her relationships: Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, and Fourth Comings. 

You can also pop over to Megan’s blog to see what she has to say.  She’ll be signing copies of Perfect Fifths on April 14th in (where else?!) New Jersey at Barnes & Noble Princeton Marketfair from 7:30-8:30pm.  After that, she’ll be in NYC, Stamford, CT, DC/Metro area, and LA.  See her page for event details.