Charmed Thirds

Charmed Thirds
(Jessica Darling #3)
by Megan McCafferty
Published 2007 by Three Rivers Press
368 pages. Paperback.
Rating: 3/5

Charmed Thirds begins the summer before Jessica and Marcus begin college on separate sides of the country. It chronicles Jessica’s years in college. In this novel Jessica has trouble dealing with the distance between Marcus and her. When they hit the rocks in the middle of their college years, she explores other options. Marcus, being his mysterious self, sends one-word post cards as his only form of correspondence, keeping Jessica guessing at his true feelings.

I was a little worried to start this one. My interest in the relationship of Jessica and Marcus is why I’ve enjoyed these books. When I read the back of this book I was afraid things between Jessica and Marcus would get really bad. As I predicted, I didn’t like this one as much as the last two. It’s just not as good without Marcus. It kind of felt like it lost focus a little bit, but perhaps that was the point, since Jessica lost focus. I guess that’s what college is about for most people. Maybe I’m judging it harshly because I’m already over that stage of my life.

It seemed like it was all crammed into this book too. There was nothing about Jessica’s life during the semesters, supposedly because she was so busy with class she couldn’t keep a journal. I can understand that. However, that means you get an entire semester’s information in a letter to Hope at the end of that semester. Sure, she explains anything important, but it still seems rushed. After two books spanning a year, why all of a sudden are flipping through four years of Jessica’s life in a little over 300 pages.

There’s not too much character development. I suppose the plot development makes up for this a little, but not much. I got a little irritated with Jessica this time. I think Marcus is great, and he obviously adores Jessica. He has great faith in there relationship, and that’s a good quality. Jessica is pessimistic by nature and convinces herself that Marcus is going to cheat on her or something. It’s like she tries to find reasons for them to break up, even tough she obviously wants to be with him. I think it comes down to her own self-conciousness, and that’s a quality I’ve never really noticed in Jessica. Sure, she’s not one to think she’s awesome or anything, but I’ve certainly never thought of her as self-concious. Maybe I just didn’t pick up on it. I’ll have to read the fourth one a little more closely.

Source: Gifted
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