Fresh out of Columbia and facing the “where-is-my-life-going” question so many 20-somethings must tackle, Jessica Darling is living in New York City after finally reuniting with her best friend, Hope Weaver. Though things are tangled, complicated and tricky as Jess navigates post-grad life and tries (mostly in vain) to find a job, the matter weighing most heavily on her heart is whether or not to accept a very unexpected proposal from — who else? — Marcus Flutie, her first love and on- and off-again boyfriend.
Jess’s journal entries in the week immediately following the proposal make up Fourth Comings, the penultimate book in the Jessica Darling series. And while this installment lacked the action of the first three books, I think it was definitely an important “chapter” in the overall story of not only Marcus and Jess, but Jessica and Hope, Jessica and Marin, Jessica and her parents, etc.
To be honest, I’m a little bit in love with Marcus . . . and the fact that Jessica is so undecided about him — regardless of the fact that I can see where she’s coming from — is frustrating. I just keep wondering how long she’s going to wonder about him, holding him at arm’s length as she overanalyzes every step that could take her closer or farther away from the man she so obviously adores. But the real question here is the same one many must face before they make “the leap”: With far more differences than similarities between them, is love really enough?
But I adore her quote about falling in love that conveniently is eluding me right now — how first we fall so completely and obsessively for another person before the inevitable cool down that brings us into an easy, comfortable give-and-take relationship. Jessica says her problem with Marcus is that she’s always falling for him — falling, and falling, and falling, without ever hitting the bottom. And while she’s continuously sailing through this love affair, Marcus is reinventing himself time and time again, turning into someone completely different as he grapples with all of the changes life brings him.
Another quote I felt so perfectly sums up so many tangled feelings on love? As Jessica explains in her journal to Marcus:
I thought about you if only because I wondered how long it would take me to stop thinking about you. I thought about you, and how I might never be able to forgive you for all the girls who came before me, nor myself for all the men who would come after you.
I love McCafferty’s books so much, it’s hard for me to speak cohesively on what makes them so great. Jess is just such a complicated, annoying, flawed, beautiful and real character — there’s something about her that makes her more of a friend than a two-dimensional creation of Megan McCafferty! And while I would have liked more of the novel to take place in the here-and-now, I still really loved seeing Jessica grow, change and develop. And I loved getting the latest news on folks like Manda, Len, Scotty and Bethany.
Was I satisfied with the ending? No. I felt completely deflated, actually. But I’m looking forward to Perfect Fifths and concluding a series I’ve grown to love so much!
4 out of 5!