I have to admit, I am padding my cannonball with some shorter, quicker reads. And what better way to do that than to jump into some really pure, silly young adult fiction. The first three books of the Jessica Darling series are a coming of age story about a realistically portrayed young woman named Jessica Darling. There are no werewolves, no vampires, no evil corrupt government to overthrow. Just a girl, who is in high school, figuring some stuff out, often embarrassingly. And I loved it.
Jessica is imperfect. She wallows in self-pity, and clearly feels she is better than everyone around her. Her best friend has moved away due to a family tragedy and she is distraught as this is the only person she really felt worthy of her friendship. Jessica falls prey to the common teenage trope of being at once completely full of herself and afflicted with the kind of low self esteem that only someone who has recently been through puberty can possibly understand. Jessica is also funny, smart, and instantly loveable.
This book is a refreshing departure from much of the other young adult fiction I’ve been reading lately and a good reminder that you don’t need the paranormal to create an interesting story for this age group. I’d recommend the Jessica Darling series to anyone who enjoyed Bridget Jones’s Diary, or Judy Bloom.