Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel by Megan McCaffertySloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel by Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel

byMegan McCafferty

Paperback | August 28, 2001

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 100 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The first book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling novel, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment. From the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart, this poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

“A hilarious trip down memory lane. You’ll laugh out loud–and cringe–as this first novel by McCafferty takes you back to the soap opera that was high school.”—Glamour
Megan McCafferty is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels. Best known for her Jessica Darling series, she was senior articles editor at Cosmopolitan and has written for Glamour, CosmoGirl!, YM, Maxim, Details, and other top magazines. She also wrote an ongoing serial from Hope’s point of view on She...
Title:Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:304 pages, 9.2 × 6.1 × 0.65 inShipping dimensions:9.2 × 6.1 × 0.65 inPublished:August 28, 2001Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0609807900

ISBN - 13:9780609807903


Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my all time favourites This is one of my all time favourite books - I read it as a teen and it still holds up today. The entire series is fun and so easy to read again and again.
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great series! I read the series again recently, and remembered why I loved it so much! A really great coming of age story :)
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! Love this book. The series is great for teens!
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! Loved this book. The series is a great read for teens.
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it I loved it. Look at that rating! Five stars, baby! And that's not because its a groundbreaking work of literature, but because its funny, true, and smart. Jessica Darling has earned herself a spot on my list of favourite heroines. She is smart and clever, witty and sarcastic, thinks too much about everything and anything (I can relate to that pretty well) and despite her pessimistic attitude and her quick judgement of others, I couldn’t help but like her.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! Incredibly funny and entertaining- the character of Jessica Darling is well written and easily relatable. I have read the whole series but always end up re-reading the first one!
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book with a Strong Female Lead Not all novels featuring a female lead send a good message to young girls: this one does! Jessica Darling is unique and secure in her uniqueness. She feels insecurities but doesn't change who she is!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Series This book is fa relatable teen novel and to top it off, it's absolutely hilarious.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Series is Fantastic! I got this book for Christmas years ago, it's probably not something I would have bought myself, because the summary on it didn't really do it justice. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down! I had to read the second book right away! This book is fantastic, you can relate to most of the things Jessica goes through, and on top of it all, it's absolutely hilarious. I recommend this book and the second one as well!
Date published: 2010-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jessica is so Darling A great summer read and it will make you laugh. It will also leave you wanting more. Recommended
Date published: 2009-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved Loved Loved this book this book was simply amazing! i would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good witty funny book about what its like growing up as a teenage girl. I was truly impressed by Megan's writting style. This book is definately worth every cent!!!
Date published: 2009-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i loved this book!!!!! I could not put this book down. It was a good chic book and the authors writing style is great! Would highly recommend it!
Date published: 2008-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 100% FANTASTIC BOOK!!!! This book is 100% fantastic. I felt as if i were reading my own journal. Every teenager can realate to something in this book. I never wanted to put it down. I loved it so much I was willing to get a Library fine on it. It ws that great! If you have doubts about this book you shouldn't i did i thought it was going to be stupid. I stand corrected! Dont judge a book by its cover and all that. It wasn;t stupid at all!!!!. I loved this book. I can't wait to read the next two in the series.
Date published: 2006-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME This book was truly amazing. I picked it up randomly at the library because I needed something good to read...and i was HOOKED. I couldn't put it down. It was just so intriguing. It's so funny and I just love the character of Jessica Darling. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read!
Date published: 2005-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing i love this book is one of the best books ive ever read, i seriously couldnt put it down! by the end of the book i was still wondering what was going 2 happen, and it still surprized me, and i loved the second one even more!!!!! i seriously encourage u 2 read this book...!!!
Date published: 2005-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great read for us females my aunt bought this book for me as it was requested. i was introduced to this novel by a friend. all of the random things seen in the eyes of Jessica Darling make it a funny and awsome read. the way the author writes everything makes the novel beleivable. the author is geniously amazing, she created a character any girl can relate to. you just gotta love it. i didnt rate it a five because the sequel is even better. read it you won't be dissapointed!
Date published: 2005-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from hahaa, dont make me laugh my mom bought this book for me and normally her taste is pretty sad but after i read this book i had to respect her choice. its just the random things that make it so funny and the way the author writes everything everything. the author is a genius, who could have thought of Jess the insomniac/ runner/ academic/ antagonistic critic? gotta love it. the only reason i didnt rate it as 5 stars is because the sequel is sooo awesome. :D
Date published: 2005-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sloppy Firsts Is Right. Hey everyone looking to read this book. Ok this has to be one of the best books that i've ever read. I don't know of anyone who can't relate to this story and all of the experiences that occur in it. I love this book, it reads so easy and it's so funny and fun! I can't even explain how much i love this book lol. So Read It or you'll be really sorry!! ahahah
Date published: 2004-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from my new best friend Jess is the most fantastically cynical, critical, observant and funny person to ever exist (fictionally counts). She's like my would-be best friend, every feeling i've ever had is in this book, right down to the whole PAUL PARLIPIANO thing. No wishy-washy writing, no repressed felings, no naive ideas of what being in high school is like, this is the real deal -it doesn't stoop to mediocrity just because it's for the 14-19 age group. Yet it doesn't try to be more then it is - a tell-it-like-it-is novel about growing up and wishing you were somewhere else. The sequel is even better! They are probably my two favorite books.
Date published: 2004-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMIGOD!!Can you say page turner! This book and its sequel are so interesting and funny that all you want to do is read them as fast as you can and then get the next one! I hope we get to follow Jess into her college years!
Date published: 2003-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!!!!!This book was so totally awesome! Anyone's who anyone has to read this quote incredible unquote book! You'll get it if u read it! Read the sequel too!
Date published: 2003-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from quote Touching unquote This book is one of the most wonderful books I've read. I read it in two days, and am going out to buy the second one, Second Helpings, as soon as I possibly can. It touches you, and makes you feel overwhelmed emotionally, but in a good way. You can't help but gasp when Jess goes through hard times and has 'fun' with Marcus Flutie. You can't help but wonder what Marcus' 'lip nip' means, and at the end of the book, you just can't wait to read the next one, to see if Jess realizes that Marcus is the one for her (in my opinion). You feel remorse when Jess feels remorse, you feel sad when she does, and you feel angry when she does, as well. This is an extrordinary book, I recommend this book to males and females, from ages 12 to 99. This is a must-read.
Date published: 2003-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from High recommendation. I loved it. I could totally relate to Jess and her family, as well as her feelings and emotions. I felt her pain, felt her happiness and you felt like you got to know a person inside. The characters were intriguing. I throughly enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone of any age.
Date published: 2003-06-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun Book This book is a fun read. You become very attached to the main character Jess. I found myself wishing for someone like Krispy Kreme, and long midnight telephone conversations. It was an awesome book, easy to read, i've read it 3 times already.
Date published: 2002-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! This book was great and explained in detail exactly what teen life is like. I highly recommend it to everyone!
Date published: 2001-10-04

Read from the Book

Tonight I've been thinking about the mosaic Hope gave me the night she U-hauled ass out of Pineville. I wasn't supposed to open it until my birthday, but I couldn't wait. I tore off the wrapping paper and finally had an explanation for the mysterious slivers of shredded magazine pages all over her carpet. For months, Hope had been tearing out pictures of school buses and pumpkins to capture the color of her curls. Hershey bars and beer bottles for my bob.I hung it on the wall next to my bed. I've been staring at it, trying to figure out how she glued all those tiny pieces of paper so they would come together to re-create my favorite photo: Hope and me at four a.m.-wide awake and laughing, waiting to sneak out to watch the sunrise.I remember that summer sleepover at Hope's house two and a half years ago more vividly than anything I did today.We watched the video of her Little Miss Superstar dance recital. She was the most coordinated of the dozen or so yellowbikini-clad four-year-olds shuffle-ball-changing to a Beach Boys medley. (Hope's review: Hello, JonBenèt Ramsey!)We tried to outdo each other in round after round of "What Would You Do?" Eat nothing but fish sticks OR wear head-to-toe *NSYNC paraphernalia for the rest of your life? French kiss your dog, Dali?, OR have sex with the Chaka, the Special Ed. King? Be zit free forever OR fill a D-cup bra?We flipped through our eighth-grade yearbook and decided that being voted Class Brainiac (me) and Class Artist (her) just about guaranteed geekdom in high school. We thought that Brainiac Who Will Actually Make Something of Her Life and Not End Up Managing a 7-Eleven and Artist Who Will Contribute More to This World Than Misspelled Graffiti sounded so much better. Then we literally rolled on the rug laughing as we stripped other Class Characters of their titles and gave them what they really deserved . . .Scotty Glazer: from Most Athletic to Most Middle-Aged Yet Totally ImmatureBridget Milhokovich: from Best Looking to Best Bet She'll Peak Too SoonManda Powers: from Biggest Flirt to Most Likely to End Up on Jerry SpringerSara D'Abruzzi: from Class Motormouth to Future Double Agent Who Would Betray Her Country for Liposuction.Mrs. Weaver made German pancakes with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar for breakfast. Hope's then-sixteen-year-old brother, Heath, snorted the powdery sugar up his nose and imitated some crazy seventies comedian all hopped up on coke. This made me laugh so hard I thought my stomach was going to come out my ears. I felt bad when Hope later explained to me why she and her mom weren't so amused by his antics. And when Heath died of a heroin overdose six months ago, I felt even worse.My brother would've been in the same grade as Heath. Hope and I always thought that was a really freaky coincidence. I never knew him, though. Matthew Michael Darling died when he was only two weeks old. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. No one in my family talks about him. Ever.Mr. and Mrs. Weaver made countless excuses for the sudden move back to their tiny hometown (Wellgoode, Tennessee: Population 6,345, uh, make that 6,348). They had to get Hope down there in time to start the third marking period. They had to move in with Hope's grandmother so they could afford to pay for college. But Hope and I saw through the lies. We knew the truth-even if we never said it out loud. The Weavers wanted to get Hope out of Pineville, New Jersey (pop. 32,000, give or take three people), so she wouldn't end up like her brother. Dead at eighteen.Now I-I mean, we, Hope and me-have to pay for his mistakes. It's not fair. I know this may sound a little selfish, but couldn't they have waited another seventeen days? Couldn't they have waited until after my birthday?I told my parents not to even dare throwing me a Sweet Sixteen party. The very thought of ice-cream cake and pink crepe paper makes me want to hurl. Not to mention the fact that I can't even imagine who would be on the guest list since I hate all my other friends. I know my parents think I'm being ridiculous. But if the one person I want to be there can't be there, I'd rather just stay home. And mope. Or sleep.Besides, I have never been sweet. Maybe not never, but definitely not after the age of three. That's when my baby blond hair suddenly darkened-and my attitude went with it. (Which is why my dad's nickname for me is "Notso" as in, Jessica Not-So-Darling.) Whenever anyone tried to talk to me I'd yell BOR-ING and run away. I probably picked it up from my sister, Bethany, who was fourteen at the time and spent hours in front of the mirror rolling her eyes and practicing pissy looks to advertise her so-called angst. Of course, the difference between Bethany and me is that I've never had to practice.

Bookclub Guide

1. Family Relationships Describe the relationship between Jessica and her father. Who puts more pressure on Jessica about running, her father or herself? Is track the only thing these two have in common? 2. Discuss how Jessica and her older sister, Bethany, relate to each other and to their mother. Are any of these relationships healthy?3. Both Jessica and Hope have lost their older brothers. Discuss how each family dealt with the death. Will Hope understand Jessica's new relationship with Marcus?

Editorial Reviews

“Such a sharp, funny, poignant heroine, with an inner world we can all relate to. I love it.”—Sophie Kinsella, author of Confessions of a Shopaholic“Sloppy Firsts captures, in spare, truthful prose, the exquisite pain and ecstasy of being besotted by your best friend. The reader may flinch, but Megan McCafferty never does.”—Emma Forrest, author of Namedropper“Sloppy Firsts is a spirited, down-the-rabbit-hole adventure in the madcap subculture of high school. With remarkable insight, tenderness, and wit, Megan McCafferty offers us a compassionate, clear-eyed tale of how a sassy young woman survives teenage-hood.” —Laurie Fox, author of My Sister from the Black Lagoon“Sloppy Firsts perfectly captures the turbulent roller-coaster ride that is being a teenager. This is an (at times) intimate, painfully honest peek at a girl’s coming of age. Getting to know Jessica was like meeting a new best friend. I miss her already.” —Atoosa Rubenstein, editor in chief of CosmoGirl!