Review (and Giveaway!): Perfect Fifths

perfect_fifthsTitle: Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series)

Author: Megan McCafferty

Genre: Fiction*; 304 pages

Publication date: April 14, 2009

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Rating: 4 Bookmarks**

Perfect Fifths is the final book in the Jessica Darling series.  It picks up three years after Fourth Comings; Jessica (now 26) and Marcus are reunited in a chance encounter at Newark Liberty International Airport.

After buying the first book on a whim a few years ago, I was lured in by the protagonist, Jessica Darling, a then-teenager from New Jersey.  Her acerbic wit had me laughing from page one.  She finds temptation in a boy named Marcus Flutie and their on-again, off-again relationship spans the series.    The good girl/bad boy conundrum spoke to me on a personal level and I was eager to find out how things would play out.

McCafferty tells her story using dynamic and credible characters who grow and change as the series progresses. The dialogue is realistic and the storyline is believable.  Sexual tension between Jessica and Marcus runs high, creating suspense and frustration for the characters and readers alike.

The first four books are written journal and letter-style from Jessica’s point of view.  As readers, we’re limited to seeing plot events and characters as she does, which colors them significantly.  I found myself wanting to kick Jessica in the shins on several occasions because she didn’t make the decisions I would have.

In Perfect Fifths, McCafferty switches to third-person omniscient point of view and we finally(!!!) get to see into the mind of enigmatic Marcus Flutie!  Marcus dispels some of the myths that have been perpetuated in the previous books and we learn the motivations behind some of his past actions.

A new character is introduced and is reminiscent of young Jessica.  Minor characters from the other books resurface and play bigger roles.  McCafferty brings the story full-circle, tying up all of the loose ends.  We get resolution with Jessica’s friends and, of course, with Marcus…though it may not be what readers were hoping for.

I couldn’t put the fifth book down and stayed up reading it until 2:30 in the morning.  Then I re-read it twice more, savoring the story and interaction between the couple.  It was such a pleasure to take this literary journey with Jessica, Marcus, and the whole cast of characters that Megan McCafferty crafted.  This series belongs in your TBR pile.

And now on to the CONTEST!!  Simply leave a comment below and you will be entered to win the entire Jessica Darling series–all 5 books!  The deadline is 10pm EST on Monday, 4/20 and a winner will be chosen at random.  ONE entry per person and this contest is open to everyone–even international friends.  Good Luck!!!






Many thanks to Megan McCafferty and Crown Publishers.

* This series is sometimes classified as YA fiction but the books span 10 years of Jessica’s life, ending on her 26th birthday.  The series deals with sophisticated themes and the nature of the story lends the books to a wider audience.

**To fully appreciate this particular novel and all the references and entendres, the books should be read sequentially.


  • At 2009.04.16 20:16, Heather said:

    Oooh how fun! Count me in. 🙂

    • At 2009.04.16 21:52, mari said:

      I have been wanting these books ever since you mentioned them. Enter me, please. 🙂

      • At 2009.04.16 21:35, S. Krishna said:

        I am SO in for this – thanks for the giveaway!!!

        • At 2009.04.16 21:49, Steph Su said:

          Awesome giveaway. I’d like to be entered, please. 🙂

          • At 2009.04.16 22:07, nicole said:

            omg this is an amazing giveawy!!! I would love to be entered!! =)

            • At 2009.04.16 23:21, Lesley said:

              Is this contest open internationally? If so, please throw my name into the drawing. Thanks!

              nat says: yes–it’s open to one and all!

              • At 2009.04.16 23:21, Karin said:

                Would like to be entered in your giveaway. Thank you!

                • At 2009.04.17 03:22, vivienne said:

                  I don’t know if this is an international comp, but if it is can I enter.

                  nat says: yes!! internationally friends are more than welcome to enter.

                  • At 2009.04.17 07:05, Susan @ Reading Upside Down said:

                    I haven’t heard of this series before, but you have certainly tweaked my interest.

                    Glad international entries are allowed – I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

                    • At 2009.04.17 07:14, Connie said:

                      So now you’re an international hit as well???
                      Well…I knew you when…so I really should win 🙂

                      nat says: oh, connie…it’s just international shipping…not international celebrity. hee hee.

                      • At 2009.04.17 08:44, Emily said:

                        Awesome giveaway! I would LOVE to win these books. I’ve been hearing such great things about them, but sadly neither of my libraries have them! Maybe if I win them then after I read them, I could donate them to my library…

                        • At 2009.04.17 11:45, erinstraza said:

                          I’ve not heard of these but they sound intriguing! Toss my name in the hat. 🙂

                          • At 2009.04.17 11:49, Hermie's Mom said:

                            You read it 3 times?! Man, that’s an endorsement. Please count me in for the giveaway.

                            • At 2009.04.17 12:36, Jessica said:

                              me? me? me?

                              I know i’m late- but Happy Passover!

                              nat says: thanks for the wishes…but we do easter over here at chez book, line, and sinker! lol.

                              • At 2009.04.17 13:23, FemmeFairyGodmother said:

                                Oooh! A new series! I’d love them! Pick me! Pick me! 🙂

                                • At 2009.04.17 13:49, thedailydish said:

                                  Just read your copyright info – very funny !

                                  now for the contest : not sure this is my genre, but your praise speaks volumes. i’m game if you are.

                                  wish me luck.

                                  • At 2009.04.17 15:36, mindy said:

                                    what a great series thanks for the giveaway

                                    • At 2009.04.17 17:09, SANDY said:

                                      looks good

                                      • At 2009.04.17 21:49, MMW said:

                                        I can’t wait to read the whole series! thanks for the generous giveaway!

                                        • At 2009.04.17 22:10, emma said:

                                          Ok, here’s the truth. I read your post about the series a few posts ago, and was so intrigued I went out and bought the fourth one – 2 days ago!!, thinking that way if I love it I can go back and read the earlier ones but wanting to jump into the height of the arc (I’m working on patience). I would love to win the whole series, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed 🙂
                                          nat says: oh, no!!! i’ll be honest…the first one is where the magic really happens. if you don’t have the back story the other books just won’t mean as much. with some series books you can read them out of sequence…but I don’t think you get the most out of these books without reading them in order. you’ll be missing most of the nuances and wonder why I’m raving so much…

                                          • At 2009.04.18 08:24, wendy wallach said:

                                            always looking for new things to read.

                                            madamerkf at aol dot com

                                            • At 2009.04.18 08:35, kim v said:

                                              Would love to win this.
                                              Thanks for the giveaway!

                                              • At 2009.04.18 09:02, cheryl kellery said:

                                                What a great giveaway – thanks so much and please count me in

                                                • At 2009.04.18 12:18, Christina Brunetti said:

                                                  I would really love to read these.

                                                  Thanks so much!

                                                  • At 2009.04.18 15:17, Susan said:

                                                    Sounds like an intriguing series. Thanks!

                                                    • At 2009.04.18 18:01, Marie said:

                                                      I would love to read this series — I always enjoy finding authors who are new to me!

                                                      • At 2009.04.18 22:06, Sheri said:

                                                        Wow what an amazing giveaway! The series sounds great – please count me in 🙂

                                                        • At 2009.04.19 09:54, Care said:

                                                          Hi, no need to enter me – I’m not very good with series books. and YES!! I made my Read-A-Thon goal of 300 pages. Which doesn’t sound all that impressive: one reader finished over 5300+ pages. (not a typo: over 53 hundred!!!)

                                                          • At 2009.04.19 11:05, Sharon Fairclough said:

                                                            Sounds like a wonderful series, would be great to add to my growing library. Thanks for the giveaway

                                                            sharr1226 at yahoo dot com

                                                            • At 2009.04.19 14:03, Carrie K. said:

                                                              Sounds like the whole series is a lot of fun! Thanks for the generous giveaway.

                                                              Also, I noticed that you left a comment on a post from Books and Movies earlier this week, and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve moved my blog to a new domain and won’t be posting there anymore due to some diagreeable policy issues at My new blog is still called Books and Movies – here’s the new address:


                                                              nnjmom at yahoo dot com

                                                              • At 2009.04.19 15:18, thewordjar said:

                                                                This series sounds like a lot of fun! Sign me up, please! thewordjar[at]yahoo[dot]com

                                                                • At 2009.04.19 16:06, kay said:

                                                                  I want to participate : I’ve been wanting to read those! 🙂

                                                                  My email is on my “contact me” page at my blog 😉

                                                                  • At 2009.04.19 16:07, debbie said:

                                                                    Wow. That could keep me in reading material for a while! Thanks.

                                                                    • At 2009.04.19 17:17, Jennifer said:

                                                                      This sounds like a great series, thanks for the giveaway!

                                                                      • […] Author’s Bio ← Review (and Giveaway!): Perfect Fifths […]

                                                                        • At 2009.04.19 19:52, Kimmy said:

                                                                          What an awesome giveaway! The series sounds fabulous. Please enter me.


                                                                          • At 2009.04.20 10:51, Carey said:

                                                                            Thanks for the great review. I will definately be picking up this series soon.


                                                                            • At 2009.04.20 10:53, mariah said:

                                                                              sounds like a good read. 🙂

                                                                              • At 2009.04.20 14:05, Bookish Patty said:

                                                                                Hi! Great review and cool giveaway. Please add my name. I love Twilight and if this series is like that one I am ready to read it right now!

                                                                                • At 2009.04.20 17:52, Mary said:

                                                                                  I loved this series when I was in high school but I haven’t read the 3-5th books yet. It would be pretty exciting to win the giveaway.

                                                                                  • At 2009.04.20 23:09, domini927 said:

                                                                                    too late oh well good job on promoting the series
                                                                                    excited to read when i finally get my hands on it

                                                                                    • At 2009.04.21 09:49, Andrea said:

                                                                                      I still haven’t read Fourth Comings but now both are on my list.

                                                                                      • At 2009.04.21 11:53, thedailydish said:

                                                                                        did i win?

                                                                                        (Required, will not be published)

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