Here I Go Again: a book review

Thursday, January 31, 2013
What happens when a mean girl grows up? That's the question Jen Lancaster set out to answer in her new novel, Here I Go Again.

When the novel opens, we find main character Lissy Ryder just weeks away from her 20th class reunion and life hasn't treated this former mean girl well. Actually, scratch the "former" part from that last sentence. Lissy is awful at the beginning of the book. (Heinous bitch is actually more like it . . . .10 points if you can name that high school comedy!) This shopaholic's selfish, vain, conceited, and, oh, horribly unsuccessful. 

Lancaster borrows heavily from themes introduced by Tina Fey in 2004's Mean Girls (one of my all-time favorite films, fyi) and although Lissy's problems often feel cliched, one of Lancaster's great gifts is that you actually end up rooting for Lissy in the end. While morbid curiosity about this horrible creature is what draws you into the plot at first, Lancaster carefully develops Lissy's character until you really do care about what happens to her (or at the very least, hope she figures it out already.)

You see, unlike all the other mean girls in the world, Lissy actually gets a chance to rectify her past, present, and future. But playing with time is always complicated (just ask Hermione ;) and Lissy ends up with some very interesting (and mixed) results. When you're as awfully as Lissy was and is, a little noodling with past events just isn't always enough.

I flew through this book in three nights. While this is chick lit at its finest, Lancaster keeps the surprising plot twists coming, which in turn, keeps the pages turning. There's quite a bit of discussion of popular music culture from the late 80s and early 90s in the book, which, quite honestly as someone nearing her 10th class reunion rather than her 20th, pretty much went over my head. But if you're looking for a book to keep you busy during a long plane ride or wait,  this is a great option. Just be warned, with Lancaster's irreverent writing style, you made snort out loud with laughter on more than one occasion.

You can find more information and join the discussions about Here I Go Again over at the BlogHer Book Club.
Disclosure: I participated in this review for the BlogHer Book Club. I was compensated for my time and received a complimentary copy of the book. However, all opinions expressed in the review are my own.


  1. So glad you reviewed this. I've been wondering how it is. I've read most of Jen Lancaster's memoirs and every single time I'm completely pulled in.

  2. I've been trying to figure out, after reading this, if I maybe read something else by Jen Lancaster, the name sounds really familiar. I've been doing some good alternating with genre lately, chased "the marriage plot" (recommend if you haven't read it) with "secrets of a shoe addict" (helped me fall asleep, not bad). If you're a chick lit fan, you might be pleased to know there is going to be a bridget jones part three coming out this fall. I'm psyched!


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