Megan McCafferty still can’t believe it took her as long as it did to come up with a Jessica Darling prequel. “As soon as I figured it out it seemed like, ‘Duh, I should have done this three years ago,'” she tells EW. But it didn’t seem obvious to this writer. Perfect Fifths, the final installment in the series that began with Sloppy Firsts, ended, well, perfectly (in my opinion, anyhow). Do we really need to know what Marcus Flutie looked like in junior high? Turns out the answer to that would be an unequivocal yes.
Instead of exploring the cringe-worthy moments of young and new adulthood, Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection turns back the clock in favor of junior high. Yes, the book is the first in a new series for middle-graders, but have no fear, older readers: It’s been called “a gift for Jessica Darling fans.” All of your favorite (and not-so favorite) characters are there, albeit younger and perhaps a tad less jaded (but just a tad — this is Jessica Darling, after all). It List starts on the day before seventh grade when Jessica’s older sister Bethany presents her with the “It List,” a list of instructions to continue “Darling Domination of Popularity.” Jessica tries to stick to the list, to hilarious (and often painful) effect.
There are still a few months to go before the book’s release date, but you can check out the brand-new cover below, then read our full interview with McCafferty afterwards. READ FULL STORY