- Jess says Sara is "funny with a lot to say." The second part holds true but FUNNY really got me bc in the future Jess doesn't think Sara is anything but annoying.
- Lolll Bethany being called in to mediate that fight at the store cause Kirsten couldn't handle it loll
- Bridget's totally fake job where she just walks around the store wearing their clothes and…maybe helping customers…no way is it legal to hire her in NJ tho just have her be a model for their fashion show or something- that's not breaking retail rules
- Beth dating Roger-not-Rodney, this nerdy guy that helped with the Darlings' computer, was an opening for Beth ending up with G-Money. She stopped dating jocks and started dating tech-y guys. Beth really knew who was on top at what stage in life
- I like that this shows Beth's connection with Gladdie too in which she takes her advice about school because Beth is Gladdie's granddaughter too and we mostly see her relationship with Jessica- this helps to give Beth more depth and shows that she actually does care about school and did try with her essay…loll GOSSIP is a Global Publicity class
- Jess referring to her (and Hope) as "our clueless selves" in relation to Manda and Sara is SO FUNNY bc later on the two of them call SARA AND MANDA the Clueless Crew. And at one point Jess says "I want to be normal like Manda and Sara" and Hope looks at her incredulously and is like, "You want to be like Manda and Sara?". It shows that Jess does not know shit about her body and is so insecure about it at this point that she wants to be like these girls who be acting cray cray this whole book.
- I like that Beth gives Jess and Hope advice about being comfortable with where their bodies are at right then and how they will develop at their own pace. I LOVE seeing Hope and Bethany interact cause they never do later on- and OMG that sleepover scene where Beth is nice to Bridget and Dori but disses Manda and Sara- and recognizes FROM THE JUMP that Jess doesn't like them like HER RADAR.
- The Halloween situation- as a teen looking back at it, Jess said her friends dressed as the Spice Girls but she was too jaded to care so she just didn't dress up. Now I guess they updated the MG ones because now the group is this J-Pop group, and Jess thinks she IS in their group costume and they were going with her nerdy idea. I like this better because it's showing that Jess does care and she does somewhat want to be included in her group- its a good setup for character development and is so much more interesting than if she were just jaded the entire time.
- Tween Jess is much more nerdy and hopeful and eager and honestly much more likable. Teen Jess is just as smart but she keeps her thoughts to herself and is much more likely to judge people- she's less curious and open than her tween self. Tween Jess being super interested in Australia was so cute- Teen Jess doesn't have that excitement about ANYTHING- she's just bored and she watches reality TV and doesn't really care about exploring things outside of her world the way she did when she was younger. She complains that she's unsophisticated but doesn't really do anything to change that, or educate herself. Tween Jess was all ABOUT educating herself in that eager way nerdy kids have.
- How Jess was surprised at Manda and Sara being tactful and understanding about Hope's period- it shows that the three of them had this deep relationship way before Jessica that allows for deep loyalty in moments like these. They may bicker with each other and Hope can't stand them at times and it may not be as tight as before, but in a way they are like sisters or family that they come through when they need it the most. I like the awareness when Jess says I've only known them for two months so it makes sense that they wouldn't have that same instinct with her, and maybe it will take a bit of time for that to happen….spoiler alert, it never does. I mean, Jess and Hope room with Manda after college but they never have a deep, brief moment together where they're real and vulnerable. Manda and Hope's friendship pervades even though they don't talk for most of high school and college after Hope moves away. They're still Able to laugh over their childhoods. At this point Jess is still open to friendship with the two of them but in the future she's emotionally closed to them completely. They only hang out so Jess won't be alone.
- Jess has track friends in middle school that are sort of on the side but truer than Manda and Sara and it makes me wonder why she doesn't hang out with them in high school, or make new track friends in HS. Is there no one on the track team she could hang out with? I feel like they leave that unexplored because Jess couldn't say anything snarky about them and she could stick with a friend group that would provide more toxic drama- but honestly she complains about her group so much but has never said anything negative about the girls in her track team so HS Jess should have started up a friendship with any of them. She wouldn't be surrounded by people that annoy her, and she shouldn't be alone since Hope moved away and she felt like she outgrown her friendship with Bridget
- In the middle grade books, Bridget has a new bestie but she and Jess still hang out but they're not as close as they used to be. I guess they have to keep that friendly but distant vibe for the sake of some continuity but in high school they reconnect and become close friends again, and Jess realizes how much she wrote off Bridget and lumped her in with the other two when really she was a nice girl and a good friend
- Burke- a jerk in these books, he's a jerk later on when he cheats on Bridget and lies about it- we see that in middle school he's totally okay with making fun of Jessica- his girlfriend's friend- and acts like he doesn't know who she is- like sit tf down Burke. And Bridget- when she's asked why she likes Burke, replies something shallow, like, "he's popular, he's cute, he plays football"- and they remain together for years. It's not until junior year that Bridget realizes that their relationship was totally insubstantial, and later gets with someone way better. Bridget is kinda shallow when she starts dating him but that's only to be expected since she's a middle school girl. Even then though, we get the vibe that she's starting to want to be seen for more than her looks- like when the girls say that she has to be the "pretty" character for Halloween. By senior year she's SO SICK of being seen just as the pretty girl
- Jessica being angry that "Burke stole Bridget"- totally understandable emotion given her age. And I get that since this wound is still fresh and hurting she doesn't want to blame Bridget, but Bridget could have said no to spending time with Burke any time. Sure he's a jerk and everything, but it was still Bridget's choice to spend time with him over Jess, and I don't think it was entirely her fault- this is her first boyfriend so she doesn't completely know how to act and she's excited about her crush liking her back and being in her first relationship that it's all-consuming for her. Also she and Jess are at this stage where they're interested in different things. Bridget is into dating and the cheer team, and all Jess isn't into guys yet and is exploring all these things (wood shop, track, and honors stuff) which Bridget isn't apart of and isn't into. Also, she's so hurt and IN THE MOMENT that she doesn't realize that at this point in her life, Bridget isn't the best fit as her best friend anymore. Sure, later on in life they will reconnect on a meaningful level, but currently the person that is perfect for Jess as a bestie right now is Hope, and they're both introverted people so it's taking some time but Hope is poised to be the one Jess connects with the most. In fact, they become so close that when Hope moves away sophomore year, Jess gets depressed because she doesn't have anyone around anymore that she connects with on that level. They were intellectual soul mates, they had the same senses of humor, their personalities complemented each other nicely. And while Bridget and Jess' friendship was so cute to see at the beginning of the MG books, different people are good for you at certain parts of your life. And oddly enough it takes Hope leaving for Jess to get that she and Bridget could still have that connection- that just because Jessica found someone that she bonded with more doesn't mean she couldn't have a deep friendship with Bridget again.
Some Things I've Noticed About the Jessica Darling's It List Books
Oct 04, 2021
Tween Jessica > Teen Jessica