Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It got a little hokey close to the end there with that Manilow karaoke moment, (even though I’d been dreading/anticipating/expecting such a scene the moment she said he was the “showman of our time.”) That aside, I can honestly say that I liked moments of this, just not for the same reasons I enjoyed Jessica as when she was in high school (Books 1 and 2) or even when she was in Columbia (Book 3).
I liked this. Even the bits where they’d come across as pretentious and smarmy or “highbrownnose-y” as they’d put it, (OK, maybe not those bits.) But I did like the look back on things past and seeing things through older eyes. But what I love a little more is where their story spans a decade, it’s but five days of mine… because the difference in who they were and where they were past and present came clear across. And I liked the changes I saw. And yeah, I could see how different they’d become but sometimes I caught glimpses of how they were before too. I can be contrary like that.
I am surprised by what I liked in this given how final the fourth book felt. Except it wasn’t final after all. What does this last one remind me of? Before Sunset, Ethan Hawke movie with a pretty French lady talking about their sweet romance of past to death; both this book and that movie touch on reconnecting and missed chances; true lurve as well as choice. But romantic as the movie was, it did get a little much for me. The movie was romantic for one thing, but also full of deep, deep thoughts. (Although come to think of it, it wasn’t as deep and philosophic-y as its predecessor. I mean, jump back a couple of years prior and you’ll recall how in Sunrise, the romance was just a little sweeter with how new and sudden and fortuitous their meeting was; BUT you’ll also recall also how pretentious they were even when they first met because the same young lovers with their idealistic hearts brimming with their new young love, were ever ready to talk things to death. (Eep,) those strolls at night with never a quiet moment (eep again) with them and their deep, deep meaningful discussions on everything.)
But I digress, my point, (and I swear I do have one,) is that PERFECT FIFTHS takes a little bit of what Before Sunset had without them being too pretentious or too affected or too mired in what could have been deep deep exchanges of their own because Jessica Darling if anything can always be counted on for a laugh.
Surprising even more is that it wasn’t really the humor that kept me reading. This was different. There’s reflection by both, and I liked that. There’s contemplation about what went wrong, about what was right at first, about what was good and later about what they wanted.
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