Jen Lancaster, and her memoir has been on my to-read list for quite some time. So I really didn't have a lot of knowledge of the author before reading Here I Go Again, her newest fiction book.
Here I Go Again is the purely enjoyable, totally unrealistic story of Lissy Ryder, a high school queen bee who never quite grew out of her immature, self-centered high school personality. Still, Lissy thinks she has it made: married to her high school sweetheart, driving a fancy car, with a luxurious home and gym membership. It's not long before that carefully constructed life begins to crack, however, and Lissy is faced with the reality that maybe she really doesn't have it all. Lissy soon finds herself broke and back home with her parents, sleeping in her childhood bedroom.
After a disastrous night at her twenty-year high school reunion, Lissy is forced to sorta-kinda acknowledge that maybe she hasn't exactly been as loved, admired, and envied by her peers as she imagined. Is it too late to change her course? When Lissy's wacky high school acquaintance surreptitiously sends her back into the past, will Lissy be able to fix any of her mistakes?
Watching Lissy struggle to overcome her hateful mean-girl instincts was pretty comical. The "redo" scenes were some of my favorites in the book. I also liked the fact that Lissy actually came to care about the repercussions of her actions, and that she felt bad when she inadvertently altered everyone else's future along with her own. We are talking about a snotty, nasty, spiteful character who actually learns a little bit about thinking of others. I was glad that storyline wasn't overdone, as Lissy clearly doesn't turn into a do-gooder saint after her experiences; she just becomes a thousand times more tolerable and maybe slightly enjoyable.
I will admit, the very end of the book bothered me a little. I won't spoil it by saying exactly what; it's just that something turned up in Lissy's "redone" life that I'm not sure fit her character at all. Through all her changes, parts of Lissy's personality seemed to remain the same, and I felt a little at odds with one detail of her ending.
Despite that little complaint, I thoroughly enjoyed Here I Go Again. It's fun and carefree chick lit, with just a touch of 80s and 90s music trivia thrown in for good measure.
Have you read anything by Jen Lancaster?
**I am compensated for my participation in the BlogHer Book Club, but all opinions expressed are my own. Find many more reviews and discussions of this title here.