Series Send Off: The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty

Check out past Series Send Off posts in which I finish the last book in a series & chat about it plus introduce new readers to the series with my general & non-spoilery thoughts about the series as a whole!

I just finished the 4th & 5th books of the Jessica Darling series FINALLY…seriously I read the first 3 forever ago. I just didn’t want to let go (plus I get distracted by ALL THE BOOKS). So, as per the usual format, I’ll talk about the series as a whole for those who aren’t familiar and then give my thoughts on books 4 &5 as I say goodbye to this series.


Upon finishing the series I say to all of you who haven’t started the series:

READ IT. It’s one of my ALL TIME FAVES. There is just nothing like it out there. THEY WERE JUST PERFECT FOR ME. There’s just something about following Jessica from high school through adulthood — she voices the struggles, triumphs and confusion of adolescence and that transition into adulthood SO WELL. Everything is so raw and real and the characters feel like real human beings that make mistakes and have flaws. REAL. That’s the only way I can think to describe this series. Also, HELLA funny. Jessica’s inner monologue slays me every time. Her voice is UNPARALLELED.



What The Series Is About:

The Jessica Darling series follows the charming (and sometimes not so charming) Jessica from high school through adulthood as she chronicles all those life-changing moments with SERIOUSLY razor sharp wit. From falling in love (and out of it), to going to college, to trying to pay your rent as a broke twenty-something, Jessica’s voice just captures perfectly the highs and lows in the journey to and through adulthood in a way that is just so realistic and in a way that is easy to relate to. She puts the difficulties of growing up into words that will make you laugh, reflect and nod along with her. Seriously, she goes through it all!!



Recommended For People Who Love:

Series that span YEARS (ie from high school into adulthood), contemporary YA (this is a classic!!), hilarious and brutally honest MCs, epic romances



Thoughts On Fourth Comings & Perfect Fifths
(Skip below to the next section if you haven’t read the series yet!)



MAN, Megan McCafferty just captures that awkward “I’m an adult but I don’t feel like an adult” feeling SO WELL in Fourth Comings. I felt like I kept nodding my head like YES IT IS SO HARD TO BE A TWENTYSOMETHING OUT OF COLLEGE. Why do I feel like I’m a fake adult?? Why is it so hard to get all the things you thought you’d have by this point??  The job, the glamorous life, the feeling that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, a romantic relationship that just feels right, etc.

Fourth Comings, man. I thought my heart was going to break with Jessica and Marcus. I mean, there love story has been up and down and I was so happy they were finally back together….and now Jessica is questioning it?? And then he asks her to marry him??? MY HEART WAS NOT OKAY. But I got it? I did. They were in different places in life. How she talks about that made so much sense to me even though I was like NO NO NO. Basically when it came to their romance, this book DESTROYED MY HEART. Like tore into two. But as I watched her try to figure out her answer to him…I realized I admired how honest she was about the whole thing. She loved him BUT. Love is so tricky and I just think sometimes we want something to work out so much because you love someone but it’s not REALLY working yet it hurts so much to let it go. So, even though I was like NO NO NO NO you need to be together..I really understood. She had to be honest about what she wanted for her life. Where she saw it going. Was her love strong enough for him to give up what she wanted? We see a wiser and more honest (in a more self-aware way) Jessica in this one. And it hurt, but it was TRUE. She really saw the whole picture.  GOD I COULD JUST CRY THINKING ABOUT THIS BOOK!

Perfect Fifths — I was not ready for this one. As I started I was immediately like WAIT WHAT IS THIS THIRD PERSON NARRATION??? I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but it was perfect as I read on. I loved getting this complete story with her AND Marcus’s thoughts. Jessica and Marcus and their chance meeting after years of not speaking?? That nostalgic, awkward FEELING it is to be in the presence of the one you loved once? MY HEART. BE STILL. It was definitely a slower conclusion that revolves around their conversation as they meet and a lot of jumping back in time but I enjoyed every minute of it. Every minute of kind of re-living their epic love story that spans all these years (god, I’m reminded of Veronica and Logan here from VMars). There were points where I wanted MORE from this book in terms of fleshing out the adult Jessica and Marcus since they last time we saw them. I felt kind of distanced from their lives. But ultimately, I really loved this conclusion as a fan of this series. It wasn’t necessarily AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER which I kiiiind of wanted for the sake of all that they have put my heart through but I just felt like it was SO fitting for their love story. My love for Jessica and especially Marcus grew even stronger in this book. I just cried as I read the last words because this series was EPIC. I wasn’t okay with it being over because I felt just so attached to them.



Rating Broken Down By Books
(Links to individual reviews)

Sloppy Firsts: 5 STARS!!
Helpings: 5 STARS!!
Charmed Thirds: 4.5 stars
Fourth Comings: 5 STARS!!
Perfect Fifths: A solid 4 stars!



Farewell Jessica Darling! Growing up with you was a pleasure. I feel like YOU GOT ME and I can’t tell you how many times I nodded like YES YES YES  or THAT’S SO ME or YOU ARE PUTTING WORDS TO SOMETHING I CANNOT DESCRIBE. We would have been bffs if you were a real person. Your honesty and reflection was refreshing and I know I will never meet anyone like you again. Thanks for the major LOLS, the tears and for being you. YOU. YES. YOU. (forever).  (Seriously, I’m really emotional right now because this series is EVERYTHING).  WHY WHY WHY is it over????


What did you think of the conclusion to this series if you’ve read it?? What did you think of the series overall?? If you haven’t read it, have I piqued your interest?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I truly intend to read this series this year, finally! (famous last words, amiright??)

    • HAHAH I feel you. I mean, it’s been YEARS since I read the first 3. I just am AWFUL at finishing series, even favorite series, and also I didn’t want it to be over!!

  2. I read the first two last week in the space of 24 hours, and I adored them both. I have the rest of the series sitting on my Kindle, but I felt like I had to space them out to reduce the size of the hangover when I inevitably finish the last book! But soon. SOON.

    • AHH I’m so jealous you read the first 2 for the very first time. They are just so great. I mean, the rest of the series is too but, man, those first two books!! Book 2 has my favorite part….with the shirt…YOU YES YOU. *melts*

  3. I have this series on my TBR list, but haven’t really considered it high priority because I’m not a huge contemporary fan. It’s gotta be something really relate-able for me to enjoy it. This post makes me think I should bump up the first book and at least try it though!

  4. Oh man, the last book in the series was so bittersweet for me. I am so with you wanting a happily ever after for these two. I’d really love for her to write another book of them to see where they’re at now!!

  5. OMG, this series. I absolutely adored the first two but wasn’t quite as into the later books in the series. Depsite that, I would still say the series is one of my all time favorites. Every page Jessica was just ME. Are you planning to read the newer It List books about Jessica in middle school? Even though it’s obviously for a younger audience it’s still hilarious and such a quick read.

    • Those first two books were something very special! They remain my favorites of the series though I loved book 4 A LOT for many reasons! And yessss this is why I loved her so much..I just felt like her inner monologue was so ME. I really want to read the It List books! I have both of them! You are def convincing me that is a good idea!

  6. I haven’t read these books yet but I’ve been thinking that maybe I should–a thought cemented by your series sendoff post. After reading this I was also happy that I just reordered the entire series for my library’s collection.

  7. I’ve never even heard of this series! I should check it out … I love series books, but this one sounds even more interesting since it’s not just a few years (or in some cases, a few months). Will be adding this one to my wishlist!

  8. I still haven’t read the Jessica Darling series! I’ve heard plenty about it, for sure, and your series send-off has reminded me that I want to read it eventually. I feel like I hear about it and how it’s a contemporary classic, and so that obviously appeals to me. I do like that you’ve described it as Jessica narrating all of the changes and situations she goes through from high school to adulthood – sounds like it chronicles an epic journey!