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217 Reviews
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Fun, funny chick-lit for grown ups! As much as I love the genre, I can't work up a lot of tension over the ususal question: whether a girl will wind up with the rich guy with rock-hard abs and a great haircut or the rich guy with rock-hard abs and a great heart. Jen Lancaster gets a lot closer to real life and real love in telling the story of Mac, Mia and the work...
Published on May 15, 2011 by Jane

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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really, REALLY wanted to love it...
but I didn't. Love Jen, have read all of her books many times over... I grab Such a Pretty Fat and My Fair Lazy every time I need something to read but don't have a new book. I've downloaded them all to Kindle, as well, so that I can read them on the go.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read her fiction novel because I love her memoirs sooo much, and thought I'd miss...
Published on May 17, 2011 by D. Geer


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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really, REALLY wanted to love it..., May 17, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
but I didn't. Love Jen, have read all of her books many times over... I grab Such a Pretty Fat and My Fair Lazy every time I need something to read but don't have a new book. I've downloaded them all to Kindle, as well, so that I can read them on the go.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read her fiction novel because I love her memoirs sooo much, and thought I'd miss reading about Jen, Fletch and her family of critters... but the temptation got too much for me so I downloaded it to Kindle.
Hate to say it, but I, too, was almost instantly disappointed. The name changes bugged me... Daisy for Maisy, Duckie for Loki, Tracy for Stacy and Agent Jack Bauer for Chuck Norris... I know it was meant to be obvious and ironic but I couldn't help wishing it was just Jen and Fletch and the dogs.
Had a hard time getting through it... And as much as I love Jen, I hope she stops "rocking fiction" and just keeps writing about her fabulous life and interesting, funny, and creative friends.

On the plus side, her writing style is never disappointing and she's always funny. If I were new to her work I probably would have loved it, but for me, it was like watching a movie AFTER you've read the book. It's never the same, too many important things are changed, and you leave wishing Hollywood could just stick to an already wonderful story line.
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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glad I wasn't there...., May 8, 2011
I'll give this book 2 stars on the fact that I was able to finish it an didn't stop midway through.

This book was such a letdown for me!

I'm a huge Jen Lancaster fan, but she's been slowly losing me with her last couple of books. I didn't LOVE "Pretty in Plaid", and "My Fair Lazy" was better but still so-so. But this one has to be the worst. I was skeptical initially at Jen venturing into fiction, but I thought, oh this won't be so bad...she has an excellent writing style and I bet this can transition pretty well and be really funny. I bet she can carry it off!

But it just didn't work for me. I understand that sometimes a great way to venturing into fiction is to write about what you know, but Mia and Mac might as well be Jen and her husband with an exaggeration of details. When I read the synopsis of the book I thought I definitely can get into this having gone through some recent homeownership woes myself, but I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the things that happen to Mia and Mac.

I've also been a fan of Jen's footnotes in her novels, but here they felt amiss. I didn't buy this book on my kindle for the purpose of wanting to be able to read the footnotes hassle free, but where with her nonfiction I feel it always added a little something to the novel, here I felt it took away from the novel.

I would have rather read this book as nonfiction Jen and Fletch story. I couldn't find anything likable about Mia or Mac.

If I were to recommend a Jen Lancaster book for a new fan, I'd definitely recommend one of her earlier nonfictions, like "Bitter".
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Downward Spiral Continues, August 19, 2011
By 
Neats (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
I thought Bitter is the New Black was one of the funniest books I'd ever read. Laugh out loud funny. Bright Lights, Big Ass was less funny but still great and, hey, they can't all be great. Trouble is that each book was less funny. The books went from funny sarcastic to bitter and finally to just mean-spirited "nobody is as cool as me and mine."

I had high hopes for this novel because if you've read any of the author's books, you know she was personally heading to the 'burbs. This book is NOT funny. It's re-hash of remarks from previous books so you feel as if you've read something just like this but better before. I kept asking my self, "if everyone and everything in the suburbs is so damn awful, why are you there?"

Sadly, this book is a continuation of the downward spiral of Jen Lancaster's writing. I think she had 3 good books in her and this is her 5th. Time for her to re-group or retire and rest on her laurels.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Tried to Like It, July 16, 2011
I was really disappointed in this book. I've been a fan of Jen's since her first book. I always laugh out loud and read the books multiple times. I did not enjoy this book. It was odd because after reading her other books the characters are clearly her and her husband just with different names. The book is not as humorous as her former books. The plot drags on and it takes several chapters to get to the point. I really hope Jen returns to nonfiction. It's where she belongs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not believable, August 29, 2011
My wife laughed out loud at this book so I gave it a shot, but found myself hung up on a lot of details. I know the story is exaggerated irony, but I just didn't buy the way the characters interacted. I found the husband and wife to be too naive and foolish to be believable in how they reacted to the tagging of their home and most of the story lines to be exaggerated sorts of suburban male/female stereo-archetypes.

As additional, more dislikable characters were introduced, I found the husband and wife more tolerable. There were a lot of little funny scenes that rang true like the husband's interminable visits to Home Depot in search of a light bulb and the wife's lawn mowing adventure through their pet's minefield in the tall grass, but having been through all of this myself, I was annoyed that these two seem to pass through crazy situations with little or no real consequences--as if the writing was simply a means to propel the reader from one bit of humorous exaggeration to the next. I thought of my own "material" and how reality is even funnier than these contrived situations.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Downward spiral here..., January 5, 2012
I've read all of Lancaster's books, loved the first one, liked the next two, and have been a little more disappointed with each subsequent one. As another reviewer notes, her ego seems to have grown amazingly plump over the course of her writing career, and she's gone from being outrageously funny and sarcastic to downright nasty and achingly superior. Success doen't suit her.

This book is so bad that I started to skim after the first few chapters, and then just put it down...a true waste of time. And, as a Chicgo resident, the silly "disguises" of local info were irritating. Are we so stupid that we can't figure out that Meridien Road is Sheridan Road? I've liked Lancaster's books for so long, I'm sorry to say that this will be the last one I read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to like if you are a fan of her non-fiction, January 23, 2012
I love Jen Lancaster's non-fiction works--absolutely hilarious! After devouring all of her books in a matter of a few months, this was the only one left, so I figured I'd give it a try. I didn't make it past the 2nd chapter. As the other reviewers have noted, she is obviously taking the characters from real life and tweaking them for fiction. I didn't feel like there was much creativity to it. If you like a laugh-out-loud read, then check out her memoirs. Maybe readers who haven't read her memoirs will like this book, but if you've already read her other books, you may be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappointed, January 12, 2012
I am a huge Jen Lancaster fan, and was so excited to read this book. Sadly, I was very disappointed. It wasn't "fiction" at all; more a tale of her real life with a few adjustments to names and minor details. There was no creativity on her part and I would have enjoyed it more had she written it in her typical autobiographical manner. I suspect the only people who rated this book more than a couple of stars are the people that don't follow her regularly. It was certainly funny and entertaining, IF you didn't know better.....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to Jen??, October 17, 2011
I LOVED Jen Lancaster...until this book. I ordered the audio version and tried listening to it while driving and exercising. I found myself thinking of other things. It totally didn't hold my interest at all. Jen needs to go back to her old way of writing and stay away from "fiction".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Eeeek ... what happened with this?, October 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First off, am a long time Jen Lancaster fan. Early adopter...and I mean early. One of the favorite things about her books is the literally laugh out loud funnies her books give. Loved the first three, Pretty in Plaid was a definite meh. My Fair Lazy - slightly better but still just ok. But this title....eeek.

Firstly, it was a such thinly veiled attempt at fiction -- fiction only not because of the authors real life housing purchase which was barely disguised in this text. Yes, all good material comes from some where but this was barely fiction. Is that a new genre? Barely fiction.

The characters lacked depth, the story line was weak and the obsession with John Hughes was odd, and really? Enough already. Yes his movies were influential on my teen years but eh. I have no desire to relive those years.

There were some humorous points but not what I hope to read in a Jen Lancaster book.
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If You Were Here: A Novel
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