Charmed Thirds covers the entirety of Jessica Darling's college years. This is a change of pace from the first two novels which covered a year in the life of the narrator. However, only segments of each college year are covered, leaving us with major events rather than ramblings (not negative, ramblings can be entertaining!) from throughout the year.
Jessica is still with Marcus in Charmed Thirds despite their great separation (aka the entire contiguous US). Marcus becomes rather tiresome to me in this one due to his Buddhist comments and zen beliefs/attitude in general. I do not know how Jessica maintained a relationship while having to listen to him respond to everything in that manner. Oh, right, they live 3,000 miles apart. That might help. Jessica's subsequent actions which hurt Marcus in this one did not come as a terrible surprise and I cannot entirely blame Jessica. I do, however, wish she had been more thoughtful.
Jessica makes many decisions in this one without the thought process she seemed to exhibit in books 1 and 2. The pressures and atmosphere of college may have contributed to this, although the thought processes often came back AFTER things happened. I cannot say if I were in college with Jessica if I would really like her. It makes it odd to essentially read her diaries and enjoy them while at the same time being ambivalent about the individual.
I do not know if it was the author's intention due to Jessica being in college, but the writing in this one is rather different from the first two books. Jessica writes in an overly and unnecessarily complex manner. She chooses sentence structures few would unless they were purposely attempting to be pretentious. Adding to this issue is the increase in elaborate words Jessica uses, which only seem to grow in use. Is this a reflection of Jessica becoming pretentious? Did the author purposely choose this to represent the teachings of Columbia? Is this common practice to go to college and start talking with words that you managed to live without for most of your life just fine? (I hope I was never as bad as Jessica!) Look, I completely understand the love of words and I have always had an elaborate vocabulary. But I find it much easier to talk to the average individual without adding in vocab words most individuals would never bother memorizing. Also, why would she bother writing in her diary using these words? To make herself feel learned? If you are writing a diary for yourself, who are you trying to impress? That is what ultimately gets me, she wrote like this to HERSELF.
While the book overall was enjoyable, although a bit more tedious to read than the first two, I did predict the ending. The author seems to have created a pattern for herself that I can only hope she breaks. But I have enjoyed the rollercoaster journey of Jessica thus far.