Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1) - Megan McCafferty I liked it, but I have to say it was completely different from what I had expected - but not in a bad way, not at all. The titles of this series, combined with the heroine's name and the leg-stressed covers said light, funny and fluffy - but bold on the sex-side - teen-chick-lit. I had expected a cross between - let's say ... Sophie Kinsella, Louise Rennison and Meg Cabot. To be completely honest, apart from being open to surprises because of my Goodreads friends' loving reviews, I did not really expect many bubbles beneath the pink and frothy surface of the usual high-school drama.

Thus I was rather hit in the chest by the depths of the story and its constantly emanating sadness. We follow our likable, but utterly lonely, insomniac, super-brainy heroine through a year of high-school, feel her miss her moved-away best - or rather only - friend like the permanent hurt of an infested wound, which is enhanced by the the author's withholding said friend's responses to the heroine's monthly letters, and experience to be at loss: We would like to help Jess to crawl out of that lack-of-persons-to-speak-to dump, her thinking-too-much-and-too-pointlessly-about-life hamster's wheel, her underdog position as the second-best daughter, whose success at acing important subjects and the track-team are taken for granted and rated as being inferior to being a boy-magnet and Miss Popular at home.

On top of that we had the heroine contemplating whether to give in to the temptation of acquiring a popular boyfriend out of pure convenience or whether to decide to get to know the multi-layered former druggie Markus Flutie better in spite of her far-away best friend Hope hating him whole-heartedly, since he was friends with her brother Heath when he overdosed on heroin and died.

This has once more proved to be a lesson in "Don't-be-fooled-by-cover-and-title". I would rather group "Sloppy First" with Sweethearts and Prom than with Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Can You Keep a Secret? and The Princess Diaries. Thinking deeply about it, I think it turned out to be good that way. But I would have decided on a different title-and-cover-combo, if it would have been my call at the publisher's table eleven years ago.