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Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

October 30, 2007

fourthcomingsIn this conclusion to the Jessica Darling series, Megan McCafferty brings back old characters and ties up loose ends for a satisfying conclusion to the Darling-Flutie romance.  As you can tell by the innuendo on the cover of the book, Marcus proposes to Jessica just when she wants to break up with him.  Jessica’s left with is a week of contemplation and writing that reveals her thoughts on numerous situations from the past and present that lead her to her ultimate decision.  Will she marry Marcus who seems to have yet again reinvented himself as a Princeton freshman, just as Jessica’s emerged as a full-fledged quasi-adult trying to find employment ala Reality Bites, or will she finally break up with him? 

As in the case with Charmed Thirds, in Fourth Comings McCafferty seems to be writing for a mature audience.  She’s grown up with her reader base which is cool.  There are certain situations that definitely put this title in the older teen/adult arena.  Being in the school of: if you’re a senior planning on going away to college or living in a dorm and you don’t want a rude awakening, you probably should be aware of some things that will inevitably happen in your college experience, I have kept this gem of a title in my young adult section.  The adults can come over to my side to pick up this title.  This title will no doubt appeal to a wider audience including adults, not just high school females.   McCafferty expertly recaps much of what happens in this coming of age story and captures the local flavor of New York and New Jersey within her witticisms.   

*Spoilers ahead*

Here are some thoughts on the conclusion:

  • Why did it have to end?  I know Marcus and Jessica were doomed from the beginning, but why oh, why did it have to end?  I know, McCafferty has to move on to other writing projects, but the foursome was so enjoyable, I’m sad to see it end.
  • What’s up with all the 80’s references?  It’s hard for me to believe that Jessica and Hope are that into the 80’s.  McCafferty has enough current pop cultural references as it is, do we really need to go back a couple of decades too?
  • In some ways Jessica’s over thinking of things has made her the dreaded dislikable protagonist.  Not to the degree that I started hating on Bella Swan in Eclipse, but she was wearing on my nerves with her indecision.  If  I could talk to Jessica I’d say, “Get out of your head and start doing!”  You can tell what kind of friend I am. 
  • Did we really need to meet Hugo, Marcus’ older brother?  I totally forgot about him, it almost seems like an easy out for explaining certain things about Marcus that should be left unexplained.
  • What’s up with that lame letter Marcus wrote?  He should have just sent a postcard saying, “WHATEVER.”

I love Megan McCafferty’s writing don’t get me wrong, there’s just things that I have to say to say them.     

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2007 2:01 pm

    Isn’t McCafferty working on book 5? (Which I also won’t read, so you can recap it for me.)

  2. October 30, 2007 4:21 pm

    Yes, thank you for the recap. I wished I hadn’t read Charmed Thirds. She is writing Final Fifths and supposedly coming out with it in 2 years.

  3. October 31, 2007 3:52 am

    I read and liked Charmed Thirds. The fourth book made me crazy. Even with the annoying characterizations, why oh why did it need to be in 2nd person? It was so grating. In the end I finally came around to liking the book, but I wasn’t all that thrilled to see she was writing the 5th one.

  4. ari permalink
    November 2, 2007 9:10 am

    i must say i think this is the worst book out of all the series mainly because marcus wasn’t in it and he was the one who made the story interesting. i ended up skipping some pages because who cares about dexy and shea i want to read about jessica and marcus and how they end up together and live happily ever after!!! unfrotuanly not in this one =[ which made me cry at the end when i realized that jessica had grown from the high school relationship with marcus and she didnt want to deal with his “unpredictableness” which i love!! i cant wait to marry someone exactly like marcus!

  5. Gayle permalink*
    November 2, 2007 3:25 pm

    Final Fifths? Whoa, thanks for the heads up I thought the series was over.

  6. meh permalink
    December 12, 2007 5:32 am

    maybe the fifth will redeem the series? i think i speak for everyone when i say..lets get back to marcus

  7. shelby permalink
    October 4, 2008 11:38 am

    I didn’t really like Charmed Thirds but Fourth Comings is very good – marcus is back! Just like the first two books, the minute i started reading it i couldn’t put it down til i finished!
    excited for the fifth to come out in april

  8. Ana permalink
    October 27, 2008 3:04 pm

    i hated the ending off Fourth Comings, why doesn’t Megan McCafferty let Jessica go back with Marcus?? I hope that in the fifth book they reunite and live happily…

  9. aimee permalink
    May 5, 2009 8:34 am

    Have you realized Book 5 has already been released (and that it has, what I would like to call, an infinitely better conclusion than the fourth one)? It’s adorable and I love the fact that she revisits some of the earlier mysteries of the series, or happier moments, and well, MARCUS! I enjoyed it immensely, and the haikus, Byron (you’ll know what I mean when you read it) blaming, and doth-protesting makes it absolutely a worthwhile series. The first two books remain my all time favorites, but this one had a certain charm lacking in the third and fourth. And I’m glad the last thing we’re told about Marcus and Jessica’s relationship is no longer “whatever” (which absolutely made me upset in book four).

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