Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster 

Publisher: NAL 
Pages: 320 
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:  Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was...or can she?

Kritters Thoughts:  If you took the movie 13 going on 30 and added a little cocktail twist, you would get Jen Lancaster's latest trip to fiction - for me it was one of the best books in her portfolio.  Lissy Ryder is the high school queen who led the rally of the Mean Girls and after a class reunion is regretting a few things that may have happened in the past.  Through an interesting encounter with a classmate she is given the opportunity to rewind the clock a bit and change a few things, will all the changes result in good?

Although this is Lancaster fiction, it still has the signature Lancaster snark that we all love.  Her main character Lissy ruled the school and through this character you feel Lancaster's view of the high school years and how some classmates make it out alive to tell the tale and some wish to erase the entire episode.  Obviously, I was reflecting back on my high school days and wondering if I made a different decision here or there, would I still be in the spot I stand now?

With many classmates involved in the story, somehow it was so easy to remember who was whom in high school and who they had become after graduation.  I rooted for the underdogs and then hoped for those whose lives had not met potential after leaving school.  I wonder if after reading this book would any other alum want to change a moment in their high school chapters or keep it all the same?

There is a quiet underlying storyline about the importance of family and how everyone has a family unit in some way shape or form and how critical these relationships influence our upbringing.  I wasn't prepared for a moment in the book to go very serious and subdued, but it drove the message home that family is the center of it all.

My first read of a Lancaster fiction and I am now headed to pick up her first foray - If You Were Here.  I would recommend this book to both fans of Jen Lancaster and those who may be a little uneasy with her non-fiction titles.  Funny, sassy, and entertaining - you can not ask for more from a book!    

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 56 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin via Edelweiss.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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