Review: Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2) by Megan McCafferty

Title:  Second Helpings
Author:  Megan McCafferty
Series:  Jessica Darling #2
Publisher:  Three Rivers Press, a member of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date:  April 22, 2003
Pages:  349
Format/Source: Paperback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult, New Adult/Contemporary

“Knowing that I’ve just done something that will take decades off my parents’ lives with worry, you’ll excuse me for not getting into the fa-la-la-la-la Yuletide spirit this year… The only difference between Christmas 2001 and Christmas 2000 is that I don’t have a visit from Hope to look forward to. And Bethany has already packed on some major fetal flab. Oh, and now Gladdie doesn’t need to ask a bizillion questions about my boyfriend, because she’s already gotten the dirt from you know who.”

Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household. (From Goodreads)

*Warning:  This is the second book in a series.  While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*

That’s It, It’s Official…

I’m now a Megan McCafferty fangirl, and Jessica Darling is now one of my favorite characters ever.  Second Helpings sealed the deal for me.  And it’s quite funny, because when I first read Sloppy Firsts a couple of years ago, I really didn’t love it.  So I’m really glad that I decided to reread it, because I enjoyed it so much more the second time around and I absolutely LOVED Second Helpings.  I had pages and pages of notes and at times my notes got bigger and bigger and had lots of all caps and OMGs and exclamation points. Seriously, instead of “I  NY” I want “I  Jessica Darling” on a button.  Yes, I looked for it.  No, I didn’t find one.  But I did find some awesome “You. Yes. You.” shirts!

Let’s Gush, Shall We?…

I love Jessica’s humor, especially within the lists and quizzes that McCafferty adds in the books.  And I love that Jessica is a lot like me, yet she’s more of the me I wish I could have been in high school.  In Second Helpings, Jessica feels like she fails to live up to the character that Hy created for her, but I feel like I would have loved to have been like Jessica in high school.

Also, Marcus Flutie.  Need I say more?

Random note:  I think, in the (hopefully soon) upcoming movie version of Sloppy Firsts, Paul Parlipiano should be played by Darren Criss.  It’s how I pictured him the whole time I was reading Second Helpings.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Second Helpings:

“No one knew just who knew what I didn’t know yet.
Reread that last sentence.  This is what senior year is doing to me.

“It was so barely there that it seems more accurate to call it a dress concept, rather than an actual dress.”

“You can talk to someone, spend time with that person, share experiences and emotions and bond in all the ways that we like to think we’re bonding or whatever, but it still doesn’t get you any closer to someone’s secret self.”

Bonus Points…

Megan McCafferty totally gets some of my bonus points for the following reasons:

  • Jessica changes the lyrics to pop songs.  I do this all the time, and have included a few of my changed lyrics in other reviews.  10,000 bonus points.
  • In Jessica’s steps of how she chooses college, in her 5th step she eliminates Canadian schools by saying, “Celine Dion.  Enough said.” 50 million bonus points.

In case you weren’t sure, here’s my rating for Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty:

Five huge stars, and this one was added to my Favorites shelf on Goodreads. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House
You may also enjoy: Pretty AmyPaper Towns
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. fakesteph

    August 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Siiiiigh Marcus Flutie. You, yes, you. OMG OMG OMG. Major sigh and then some fangirly screaming. This is my favorite of the series. I cant to reread this now.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 8, 2012 at 3:19 am

      Lol! Yes, this one is definitely my favorite of the series so far. But I have 3 more to read. And did you hear that she's going to make a middle grade series about Jessica when she's 12???? I think it'll be awesome! :D

  2. Bittner

    August 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    This may definitely be a series I will need to look into when I finally finish the Georgia Nicolson one. It sounds really funny and I liked the quotes you included. Although I did have to reread the "people don't know that I don't know what they all know and I'm supposed to know" one a couple of times.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 8, 2012 at 3:23 am

      Yeah, I think these and the Georgia Nicholson books sound very similar. And yeah, that quote is one that I think everyone has to read a few times. :)

  3. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    August 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Okay, that's it! Everyone needs to stop reading books that I don't own already! I can't fit every book in the world on my shelves, and ya'll just need to stop reading books that I want to buy. So quit going on about the yummy Marcus Flutie, because I don't have time right now to read it and all this review does is make me want to go out and buy the entire series. So I am begging you, and this goes for Bittner, Steph, Courtney, Kim, Jen and Pam and all of the book bloggers, just stop posting about books I don't own, take some time off and re-read Hunger Games, or read some crappy books I care nothing about if you must read outside of my tbr shelves. Thank you.


    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 8, 2012 at 3:25 am

      Lol! I guess I'll have to make a spreadsheet of all the books I own and email it to you and you can check which ones you own, so I'll know what I can read. ;)

  4. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    August 12, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Ok I just about busted a gut laughing at Kate's comment. Which is also pretty much how I feel! This series sounds really good, but I don't own them and I already own so many books that I haven't read and I keep telling myself that I don't need any more books (I have a whole lot of want for books though.)

    Jessica Darling sounds like such an awesome character. Someday I will read them!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Hello, ladies, there's this thing called a library! ;)

      But I know how you guys feel. I own SO many books and I just keep getting more and I need to read all those that I already own! But yeah, you guys should try to read this series one day, it's really good!

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