here i go again by jen lancaster is a breezy novel about the high school "it" girl, lissy ryder, losing it all and facing the reality of what her "itness" cost others-- and herself. through a glossed-over method, lissy is able to go back in time (again and again) in order to find the the moment that her future (and the futures of her classmates) hinges upon. it's fun. it's full of pop culture references, and it was a quick read.
honestly, this is not the genre of book that generally leaps off the shelf into my hands. given the opportunity to review it, i wanted to give it a fair shot and hopefully open my eyes to a new genre of novel. as fun a read as it was (i definitely had some chuckles), the book fell short to me. it was as fast-paced as an episode of gilmore girls, but without the depth or heart. even lancaster's main character seemed flat to me (she's vain! but she has funky taste in music!); a paper doll instead of a living, breathing woman. i wasn't sure if i was supposed to root for or against lissy. i know how to identify with the losers or outsiders from high school (hello!), but i kept waiting to discover the heart and soul of lissy; that magic moment that would allow me to see her as human. however, the essential question that lancaster explored, i can resonate with: if you could go back and change your past, would you? or has your past (good or bad) made you who you are today? there are some past experiences that i think might want to skip over, but on the whole, i hope that i've used pain or humiliation or boredom or even tons of good to grow and learn and just simply become me. i hope we'll get to explore a little more of that in the blogher book club.
are you going on vacation soon? do you have hours in your future that should be spent curled up reading? (or better yet, stretched out in the sun reading?) here i go again is a perfect choice. fun, funny, and fast.
This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own
here are a couple of other books i've read recently:
dark places by gillian flynn. this is the author of gone girl and the title is not a lie. this book is very, very dark. flynn employs the same back-and-forth storytelling device as in gone girl, but less effectively.
under the dome by stephen king. i am obsessed with king's 11.22.63. that book is as thick as a dictionary and i couldn't put it down. i wanted to give another recent king novel a try. i wasn't as into this one, but i can appreciate king's mastery of storytelling.
the school of essential ingredients by erica bauermeister. this is a short, sweet novel of a cooking class told in vignettes. it made me want to approach cooking with more romance and less get-it-on-the-table. i am now girding up my loins to attempt beef bourguignon and homemade pasta sauce.
where'd you go bernadette? by maria semple. semple was a writer for arrested development. enough said, right? this book was hysterical. i think i read it in 24 hours.