I was offered a copy of Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster to read for the BlogHer Book Club ... wait, let me just get this out of my system:
Here I go again, on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time
Here I go agaiiiiinnnnn
Okay, thanks. And yes, there are many Whitesnake and 80s rock references throughout the book, so rock on.
If I could sum up this book in one sentence, it would be to say that this book is Mean Girls meets Back to the Future meets Wizard of Oz meets Thirteen Going on Thirty. You totally know what I mean, right?
So let me get a few bothersome things out the way first before I tell you all the things I liked about this book.
1) It's the story of a mean girl who gets a chance to go back and do things over to make her life better. Having been the victim of many mean girls, I would say I do not think they should be the ones to get a chance like that.
2) Did I mention it's the story of a mean girl? So you hear all her horrible mean thoughts? And you hate her until pretty much the last few pages of the book, and even then, it's hard to really like her, because you remember all the horrible things she did? Yeah. That.
3) The book makes some pretty bold statements about bullying and high school that I do NOT agree with. But, I'm not the authority and my opinion is not the only one, so, whatever.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, can I just say that I should have been reading Jen Lancaster a long time ago? Her writing is biting and hilarious, and ... what's even better than hilarious? Whatever is funnier than hilarious, that's what she is. I can understand why she chose to write the voice of a mean girl, because it made for some interesting dialogue and inner monologues. On top of that, Lancaster is a master of character development. There was not a single character in the book that I didn't feel like I had met in person and had known for years. I have to hand it to her, even though I was having a REALLY hard time in the first third of the book suspending disbelief (Okay, she's ... going back in TIME? Good lord.), once I was halfway through the book, there was no way I was putting it down until I was done.
Bottom line: Hilarious, well-written, great characters. If I can read from the point of view of someone I dislike and still want to devour the book .... that's some dang fine writing. Excuse me while I go out and read all the rest of Lancaster's work.
If you want to read more about the book, you can do so at the BlogHer Book Club. You can learn more about Jen Lancaster on Twitter, facebook, and her blog.
I was provided a free copy of this book and compensated for this review, but the opinions are my own.