Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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? -- New American Library
Right smack dab in the final weeks of my training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I was feeling a little stressed -- okay, a lot of stressed! I decided that I needed to read a fun novel; and based on Kathy's recommendation, I picked up HERE I GO AGAIN by Jen Lancaster. I've only read one or two of Ms. Lancaster's books, but I know that she's pretty darn funny.
HERE I GO AGAIN has a really cute premise. Lissy Ryder's best days just might be behind her. She's twenty years out of high school, and her high school sweetheart has just told her that he wants a divorce. To add insult to injury, Lissy has been fired from her glamorous job and kicked out from her condo. At 37 years old, she's back at home with her parents and trying to redefine her career prospects.
When she attends her class reunion, she hopes to make some connections with her more successful classmates to get her PR company on its feet. However, Lissy realizes that "karma is a bitch" when none of these people want anything to do with her. See... Lissy was a real bitch in high school and burned a heck of a lot of bridges.
When Lissy gets the opportunity to go back in time and get a do-over (thanks to a magic potion), she's more than willing to try. Things can't really get much worse for her. However, Lissy finds that her inner mean girl is still at work and it's not as simple as she had hoped. So when Lissy finally does try to make some changes and amends for her past, she discovers that this behavior might further complicate matters and not always be entirely helpful! Can Lissy fix her past so that she can fix her future?
I'm sure you can tell from my description of HERE I GO AGAIN that it's a light read. It is extremely funny and silly at times, and there were even a few feel-good moments thrown in. I am definitely giving myself away by saying this, but like Ms. Lancaster and Lissy, I am also a product of the 80s; and I absolutely loved all of the 80s references -- from the fashion, to the hair, to the music.
Lissy is definitely a unique character. Quite frankly, she's a horrible person for a major part of the novel and she's a little hard to take. Of course, that's by design! However, by the end of the novel, I found that I began to understand Lissy and I even began rooting for her. I don't want to read too much into this novel, but I did appreciate how Lissy reminded me that even the mean girls in high school had insecurities and a lot more going on than I ever realized. I remind my daughter of this almost daily, but I know I didn't have that perspective back then (and sometimes even now!)
I think the appeal of HERE I GO AGAIN (besides that it's a Jen Lancaster novel) is that it's about second chances. And who doesn't wish they had a way to fix some of the things from our past? While I would never (ever) want to revisit my high school days, it is fun to think about those days and wonder how things would have turned out differently if we'd made a few different choices. It's also kind of uplifting to know that those kids who weren't exactly the most popular in high school do end up with fulfilling lives!
HERE I GO AGAIN is just a light, fun read that's the perfect escape book... especially for those women who want a walk down the 1980s "Memory Lane."
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.