Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

******You've been warned: Spoilers contained herein!!

And now finally, we come to the fifth and final book in Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series. Jessica hasn't seen or heard from Marcus Flutie after finally breaking things off three years earlier when he asked her to marry him. As she is hurrying to catch a flight for Bridget and Percy's wedding(!), Jessica literally runs smack into Marcus. Utterly unprepared for any such meeting, Jessica and Marcus both find themselves questioning their past relationship and if fate truly had a hand in bringing them together once again or if it was just plain dumb luck.

Alrighty then. Y'all all know how I've gone back and forth on this series and Perfect Fifths is no different. Basically, I am divided right down the middle regarding this fifth and final book in the Jessica Darling series. On the one hand, I loved how Megan McCafferty tied up all of Jessica and Marcus' loose ends. The shift from Jessica's first-person tell-all narrative to a third person narrator expertly showcased the idea that this them was telling 'their story.' And unlike the previous novels, I never felt like we were missing out on details since the entire novel only spans about a day. It was a very subtle yet effective way of underscoring the differences in their current relationship. And really, I don't know if there is anyone out that who wasn't thrilled to finally (FINALLY) get a glimpse into Marcus' head after all these years. His insecurities and left-over feelings for Jessica made him so much more human (and therefore likable) than anything else he had done previously as the Game Master.

And how refreshing it was to see Jessica become this confident, if not overworked, responsible grown up. Imagine my surprise to discover that she now went out of her way to try to make others feel better during conversations rather than the 'say anything and to heck with the consequences' method of her youth. It's about time you learned a little thing called compassion honey.

On the flip side, there were numerous details about this book that grated my nerves to no end.

1. The pretentious dialogue. Man, oh man. I get it that Jessica and Marcus are geniuses or something, but did it really have to get beaten over our heads every second of their entire conversation? After a while even I got pretty fed up with having to turn to wikipedia to sort out their latest esoteric reference.

2. Marcus as the ultimate desirable man. Frankly, his unthinkable antics in the previous books pretty much sealed my ambivalence for this guy. Also, I really didn't need the near constant reminders on his incredible sexiness. Seriously. Is there a breathing female that Megan McCafferty writes that doesn't drool over and/or shed her clothes after only a glimpse of him? And that shower scene did nothing to help. Totally awkward and borderline icky.

3. Jessica's breakdown after Sunny's accident. Okay -- rewind. I am so crazy happy that Jessica has finally found a 'calling' in life - something she could put all that passion and extra brain-power towards yet her whole reaction to Sunny's accident was very odd and never quite developed to its fullest potential. Not to mention her utter unwillingness to talk about it with anyone. And I'm not even going to go into Sunny's far-fetched miraculous recovery.

4. Jessica's freaky dream sequences. I can't really even begin to explain these besides to say...whaaaaat?!?

So overall, am I glad I finished reading this series? Yes. I was glad to finally have some closure for Jessica and to actually see her turn into a mature, responsible adult (sometimes I truly worried folks). But there were still many, many moments of sheer frustration. So there you have it. Die-hard Jessica (and Marcus) fans will probably love this one, but I'm okay with returning it back to the library.

series reading order:
~ Sloppy Firsts - my review
~ Second Helpings - my review
~ Charmed Thirds - my review
~ Fourth Comings - my review
~ Perfect Fifths

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Great Books and Fresh Coffee review (a clever review in haiku format)
S. Krishna's Books review 
The Story Siren review
The Reading Zone review
Wondrous Reads review
Write Meg! review

book source: my local library


Chachic said...

The pretentious dialogue. Man, oh man.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about the book! I'm glad that you read the whole series even if you weren't thrilled with all of the books. Your reviews made me realize that the Jessica Darling series isn't a favorite of mine anymore. Probably because there are so many wonderful YA series out there. But I really appreciate that you gave it a try based on my recommendation. :)

Also, love your new layout! The header looks great.

Holly said...

Sounds like I should stick to the first book in the series if I decide to pick it up. :) I like the new layout, too. The yellow is very striking.

Janicu said...

haha, your annoyance at having to check Wikipedia to figure out the Jessica/Marcus conversation craxks me up. I think I'm happy I stopped reading this series earlier though.

Michelle said...

Chachic - yeah that really started to grate after a bit. But still, I'm glad I read them all for closure ;)

Holly - I'd definitely recommend only reading the first and maybe the second if you decide to give this series a go.

Janice - I don't blame you. I know some folks love these books, they just weren't anything special to me.