At first it seems that she’s living the elusive New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, Hope, working for a magazine that actually utilizes her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with Marcus Flutie, the charismatic addict-turned-Buddhist who first captivated her at sixteen.
Of course, reality is more complicated than dreamy clichés. She and Hope share bunk beds in the “Cupcake”—the girlie pastel bedroom normally occupied by twelve-year-old twins. Their Brooklyn neighborhood is better suited to “breeders,” and she and Hope split the rent with their promiscuous high school pal, Manda, and her “genderqueer boifriend.” Freelancing for an obscure journal can’t put a dent in Jessica’s student loans, so she’s eking out a living by babysitting her young niece and lamenting that she, unlike most of her friends, can’t postpone adulthood by going back to school.
Yet it’s the ever-changing relationship with Marcus that leaves her most unsettled. At the ripe age of twenty-three, he’s just starting his freshman year at Princeton University. Is she ready to give up her imperfect yet invigorating post-college life just because her on-again/off-again soul mate asks her to... marry him?
Jessica has one week to respond to Marcus’s perplexing marriage proposal. During this time, she gains surprising wisdom from unexpected sources, including a popular talk show shrink, a drag queen named Royalle G. Biv, and yes, even her parents. But the most shocking confession concerns two people she thought had nothing to hide: Hope and Marcus.
Will this knowledge inspire Jessica to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years? Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life.
Acerbic heroine Jessica Darling is faced with the post-college conundrum what now? in McCafferty's fourth (following Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings and Charmed Thirds). Her answer is to finally break it off with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, who, after cleaning up his drug habit, studying Buddhism and spending some time in Death Valley, is now at Princeton. But before she can break up with him, he pops the question, and she mulls her response for a week. The bulk of the novel is made up of Jessica's satirical observations on life in New York: the tiny room in a basement sublet she shares with her best friend Hope; her nonjob for a magazine that pays so little she has to mooch off of her older sister; her friends who convince her to go to a club where she is hit on by a seven-foot-tall drag queen named Royalle G. Biv. Though the acid descriptions of city life are as hilarious as in the previous books (her landlord says of her eyebrows: Zey are like two desperate sperm trying to impregnate your eyeballs! ), the book lacks cohesion, and the ending is a letdown. Like cotton candy, it's sweet and fluffy but has no substance.