“Hope,

I guess your move wasn’t a sign of the Y2K teen angst apocalypse after all.  I’m still here.  You’re still there.  Fortunately, I’ve been way too busy basking in the golden glow of adolescent adulation to be the least bit depressed about your departure…I’m kidding.  Sort of.”

Jessica Darling is devastated when her best (and nearly only) friend, Hope, moves away.  Now Jessica is stuck with her superficial clique friends, parents who don’t understand her, a body that’s rebelling, and the school dope-head wierdo paying unnatural amounts of attention to her.  We get to spend a month with Jess as she tries to find a new balance in her life now that Hope is gone.

If you ever wondered what it was really life in a modern public high school, here’s a great chance to get a snapshot.  This is a no-holds-barred look at a 16 year old girl’s psyche.  Be prepared for language, sexual explicitness, and lots and lots of drama.  Sure, not every high school kid deals with the things that Jess does, but all of them probably come up against at least one of these issues at one point in their high school career.

To be honest, I didn’t really care for Jessica or any of the other teens in the novel.  I’m not a big fan of teens in general.  I wasn’t even a fan of teens when I was a teen.  I did enjoy watching the hilarity of the drama unfold – there’s one thing high school drama guarantees, things can always get worse.  Marcus Flutie reminded me of not a few guys I knew in high school, but the Clueless Crew was a little too ripped from the movies for my tastes. I’m not sure I’m going to read the other books in this series, as the universe was a little too familiar and uncomfortable for me, leaving that just exited the SHS halls taste in my mouth.

“Sloppy Firsts” was written by Megan McCafferty and published in 2001.

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