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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So FUNNY it makes being bad look good!
Jen takes on temp jobs while waiting for her advance check from selling her first book. To fill the extra hours, she has written a hilarious memoir about her ordinary life experiences. Cross her and you may be the lucky recipient of one of her crafty letters that you wouldn't believe someone would have the nerve to write. (And what a great tool for releasing anger) If...
Published on October 3, 2007 by Reading my way thru life

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113 of 144 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Confident Crosses Over into Self Absorbed and Jerky
I really wanted to love this book, for many reasons. First, Jen survived as a female in the high stakes dot com era, which wasn't easy to do. She thrived and took charge - and traits that men would call "courageous" and "ready for action" in other men, they would call "bitchy" and "conceited" in women. It's one of the unfair aspects of men and women, and I am very eager...
Published on October 24, 2007 by Lisa Shea


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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So FUNNY it makes being bad look good!, October 3, 2007
Jen takes on temp jobs while waiting for her advance check from selling her first book. To fill the extra hours, she has written a hilarious memoir about her ordinary life experiences. Cross her and you may be the lucky recipient of one of her crafty letters that you wouldn't believe someone would have the nerve to write. (And what a great tool for releasing anger) If your one of her stay at home friends, you may be on the recieving end of funny daily scoops that rival a soap opera drama, and much more interesting by far. -The thing is you never read any e-mails from them, so their lives must be dreadfully boring in comparison.

I've never had a book make me laugh out loud (even in public) like this one did! This girl has lightning quick wit and humor. Actually, reading this made me feel a little more sane. (Thanks Jen:) I thought I had an overactive mind, she's definately got me beat, and her thoughts are way funnier than mine could ever be! Her behavior and mouth are so excusable because she's just hilarious. She really does make being bad look good.

This is a keeper. When I'm feeling low and needing a good laugh, I'll be reaching for this. Reading this will make passing the time (in line or Dr's office or anywhere) much more pleasant. Just know that it is very likely to make you bust out laughing in front of everyone!
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113 of 144 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Confident Crosses Over into Self Absorbed and Jerky, October 24, 2007
I really wanted to love this book, for many reasons. First, Jen survived as a female in the high stakes dot com era, which wasn't easy to do. She thrived and took charge - and traits that men would call "courageous" and "ready for action" in other men, they would call "bitchy" and "conceited" in women. It's one of the unfair aspects of men and women, and I am very eager to support women who do the best they can in those situations.

Second, Jen is overweight and is attempting to be comfortable with that in a world of stick-thin models and 24/7 press hammering us to be beautiful. Again, it is very hard in our modern society to even try to accept yourself if you're overweight, and I give great kudos to Jen for giving it her best shot.

Also, it is always REALLY scary to write your life story and put it out there. If someone criticizes Eragon, heck, it's just a fiction story. The writer might be a little upset. But if you criticize a memoir, you are now putting down an author's *way of life*. Since few of us can claim to live a perfect life, how can a reader possibly say someone else's way of life is "awful"? We are all trying to do our best with the world we live in. So I give Jen a lot of credit for having the nerve to lay her life on the table for public perusal.

Now, that all being said, I offer my impressions of the book with those caveats in mind. Jen was perhaps shaped by her dot-com environment to be snappy and judgmental. Maybe it's the only way she could survive. But you can only judge the book presented to you - you can't try to second guess the author's motives or background or reasons. And while I find her *writing style* to be great, full of snappy humor and well chosen words - I find her *willingness to harm others* to be very upsetting. This is the type of character, in a fiction novel, who bothers the heroine until the point that the heroine snaps, punches her in the face, and everyone applauds. To have this person out in real life behaving like this - and to have in essence a self-congratulatory book praising herself for her behavior - bothers me.

I gave a lot of thought to my reaction. After all, I used to watch All in the Family when I was growing up. Archie Bunker was very much like Jen - only cared about himself, actively hurt others as a daily way of life, and didn't care at all. His actions would explicitly cause others either emotional pain and trouble in their jobs. Jen is the exact same way. Why did I enjoy All in the Family, but get bothered by Jen?

After several hours of thought, it came down to the All in the Family atmosphere clearly being a satire. That was a fake situation explicitly made to show why that behavior was harmful, to hopefully help those who were like Archie to take a look at what they were doing and to stop doing it.

In comparison, Jen seems to be wanting to build a club of Jen wanna-bes, people who were just as pleased to make snarky comments to people *right in their face*. Jen went out of her way to hurt people who had physical or ethnic issues that were completely out of their control. It upsets me a lot that a movement of "hurting people" is thought of as fun. With all the conflict we have in the world, we should be trying to understand and help each other - not thinking up better and better zingers to damage each other's self esteem. What kind of a way is that to live?

Just off the top of my head, Jen lies to her employers. She is randomly deceptive for her own amusement. She actively works to harm her husband's chances at work. This isn't just once - but MULTIPLE times. She complains about how tight money is - but rather than help her husband, she BOTHERS HIM while he is working with immature, petulant whining! Her husband must have the patience of a saint, because if my husband started behaving the way Jen does, we would either be talking to some sort of a couples therapist or splitting up. Her behavior goes far beyond "cutely eccentric" and deep into the realm of "daily torture".

As much as she claims she is comfortable with her weight while she gorges on sweets, as soon as it comes to a real test like being in public, she is suddenly signing up with an Exercise Nazi and trying to kill herself so she can be "better looking" in public. I would have given her far more credit if after all her bitchy talk she did actually go out and "be herself" and be proud of it. if you're going to talk the talk (and a super-nasty talk at that) you better be able to walk the walk.

The book is full of many poor messages like this, wrapped in a fine silk of fun writing and comedic timing. I read a lot of books every month - but with the thousands of educational and inspirational new books that are out there, I would much rather read one that had an encouraging message, rather than one as discouraging as this one is.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, March 31, 2008
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Because of some of the reviews here on Amazon I was a little hesitant to read this book especially since I thought Bitter is the New Black was so funny but I'm glad I ignored the reviewers. BLBA is just as funny and well written as Bitter!! Jen once again puts her life out there (good, bad & ugly)for the world to read and she does a great job of capturing the classic moments of her life. I found myself cracking up in some parts and even reading certain parts to my husband where we both chuckled at Jen's life moments. Funny, fun and entertaining is to best describe this book. Way to go Jen I can't wait for the next book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny!, December 30, 2008
By 
Red Pineapple (Washington State) - See all my reviews
I bought this book based solely on the description you see above. As a person who is unhappy living in the suburbs and fantasizes about moving back to the city, I thought this book would give me an un-romanticized glimpse into city living. I was definitely not disappointed. Jen Lancaster puts city living into perspective, and does so hilariously. I found myself laughing out loud many times while I was reading, much to the discomfort and confusion of my boyfriend, and I think that anyone who has ever lived in an urban environment will do the same. She deals with noisy neighbors (my particular pet peeve), confusing mass transit systems, the soul-crushing search for that perfect apartment, and city vermin of all types. Even the passages that seem to deal with nothing more than her many irrational fears have the ability to make even the most neurotic person feel normal.

There were a few things about the book that bothered me, however. Lancaster is about as foul-mouthed as the most outrageous guest on Jerry Springer, and the constant swearing can get a bit tiring. She's also a conservative Republican, and her tirades against liberals can be hard for someone as left-winged as I am. But these are really issues of personal taste. Lancaster presents herself undoubtedly as she really is, and to me, that is the most admirable thing about this book. She's unapologetic and a little crazy, but that's why her life is interesting enough to be put in books.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snarky Snark -, March 1, 2009
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First of all, those reviewers who call Lancaster "vapid," "shallow," "immature," etc must not have read the book's subtitle. Words like "Self-Indulgent," "Surly," "Ex-Sorority," "Sucks," and "Idiots" are pretty big context clues that the author wasn't winning any Jr. Miss Mother Teresa pageants.

See, Lancaster bought the dream: go to school, work hard, get a good job, and live a wonderfully exciting and glamorous life in the city. Of course things didn't work out that way - just look at her first memoir Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office (NB: the subtitle of this book also provides some clues as to why she wasn't living in a mud hut immunizing three legged dogs and orphans in some far off war torn country)

So what's a gal to do when she's trying to turn over a new leaf and finds that life is still conspiring against her? Well, she writes this book. And provides a realistic look at big city living (Sex and the City believers - we're giving a disbelieving head shake at you) set against her quest to understand her life, circumstances, and surroundings.

Yes at times the snark is a little much - hence the four stars - but overall this book is a fantastic follow up to her first book "Bitter is the New Black" and provides some much needed laughter amongst all the self examination. Hers. And yours.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yo! Jen, dude? What happened?!?!?, August 4, 2007
By 
M. M. Sanchez (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After reading her first book, I was her number one fan. I hooted and hollered the whole way through, and couldn't wait for her sophomore book to be released. (But I did, not that impatient...) It's painful to get through it because I'm one of those people that absolutely MUST finish anything I start, and chapter after chapter I keep saying to myself, it's gonna get better... it doesn't.... I feel like I am reading a reality show! Sorely disappointed!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars she lost me with coulter, July 7, 2008
By 
K. Mumaw (charles town, wv) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Okay, i know i shouldn't let my political views impede on my book selection. i have close friends who are republicans. i fear my husband is a closeted one. And I enjoyed her last book. But, i felt a frisson of alarm when she mentioned having Fox news on all the time and ripping down an anti-Bush poster. When she wrote about reading an Ann Coulter book, i felt repusled and could not get past it. She would write something funny and i'd think, "but she reads ann coulter!" For whatever reason, that greatly diminished my reading and enjoying the book and will dissuade me from purchasing another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as funny as Bitter - but an evolution of sorts, April 18, 2009
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While Bright Lights wasn't quite as laugh out loud funny as often as "Bitter" (her first book) was, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and Jen's take on life. The fact that Jen notices all the little idiotic quirks and bizarre oddities that happen all around us every single day totally makes me feel better. I am not the only one with lunatics next door hiding a battalion of well armed mice behind 3 foot of un-mown monkey grass, rotten fencing and tacky drapes!

Those who hated this and the other two books or found Jen Lancaster to be shallow, snarky and hateful, well so what? She is a little bit of all three. Aren't we all? The difference is she's also brave enough to be honest about who she is and what her priorities really are or were and where they are heading as she matures. I think Jen represents in many ways, a huge percentage of the women from her (our) generation. We grew up in a material world - Jen's books are an open look at the path through and beyond that world into the bigger picture. If you can carry a Prada bag and be funny while you learn something at the same time, more power to you!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dull light big mouth, January 23, 2011
By 
Dee Thole (Grand Rapids, MI USA) - See all my reviews
I think it took me until the second chapter 'Church of the magnificent Mile' to make me realize instead of a witty skewering of Sex in the City this is a lame tragedy of a book.This writer is such a wanna be.. she wants to be thin, wants to have the money again, what she has is the amoral attitudes of "sex" without the writing skills. Not a blog, not a story - I see no evidence of enough imagination for that - so this is a memoir? Doesn't doing something memorable need to be the start of a memoir? Her theme of `poor me I had lots of money but I was such an airhead I spent it all' just confirms how childish and stupid this writer is. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library which, I've managed to use since the age of 12 without forgetting to get the books back in a timely manner, and I kept my well earned money for something better - like paying my bills without whining.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as I expected!, August 19, 2007
It started out funny, then it got boring (ex: her train experience and how she needed her husband for EVERYTHING, come on). I thought it was fiction, but it was a memoir. I couldn't even finish the book, stopped half way.
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