Author Megan McCafferty returns with the third installment of the Jessica Darling series, Charmed Thirds.
Readers will be pleased to learn that Jessica is pursuing her dream of attending Columbia University. In addition to acclimating to life in New York City, Jessica has decided to major in psychology and has also been given an internship at a magazine. She seems to be on a clear path to a career in publishing. Jessica's boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, chose to attend a Buddhist college in California so she is also adjusting to a long-distance relationship while trying to enjoy herself at college. From time to time, Jessica receives postcards from Marcus with only one word written on them. She has no idea what they mean. As well as coping with Marcus and his odd missives, Jessica also continues to lament the the distance between herself and her best friend Hope. Jessica continues to search for a suitable replacement for her and remains disappointed with the prospects.
As many college freshmen do, Jessica finds herself testing limits. Over the course of her first year at Columbia, Jessica has encounters with a punk Republican (the emo guy who lives down the hall), an ex-boyfriend, and even a married man (the Spanish graduate student with whom she is working on a project).
In Charmed Thirds, readers will notice that Jessica's tone has changed. Although she is still characterized by a sharp wit, a unique world view, and biting sarcasm, Jessica is more forthcoming about her views on everything from sex to society. For example, Jessica reflects on how high school parties were exhausting because she was the only smart person in the room. She comes to the conclusion, however, that college parties are equally exhausting in a different way because everyone in attendance is smart and she has to work hard to keep up with them. Another example of Jessica's commentary is that which she provides on the latest and greatest technology. "I’m fascinated by group iPoding. It’s social, yet solipsistic at the same time," she says. Readers will delight in the chance to stay abreast of events in Jessica's new world at Columbia; it is full of possibility.
Charmed Thirds is followed by Fourth Comings and Perfect Fifths, which completes Jessica's story.