Saturday, July 9, 2011

If You Were Here

If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
First off, I do have to mention that you need to know a little about John Hughes and his movies, particularly ‘Sixteen Candles.’  The only reason I mention this is because it plays such a prominent part of the story.  I loved the humor in this book, as it is quite over-the-top!  Suspending reality helps to enjoy this story….as it is a story of home renovation gone WAY wrong!  (The title refers to the song from ‘Sixteen Candles’)

Mia and Mac are tired of living in the city limits of Chicago, as they do not feel safe in the home they are renting from socialite Vienna Hyatt, a twenty-something heiress who wants to be the next Paris Hilton.  Having a local gang member-wanna be living down the street, Mia fantasizes about John Hughes country…Abington Cambs.  It was hilarious the various houses that they walked through before settling on the house that was featured in Sixteen Candles.  Mia and Mac won the bid on the house, and the house was much more work than then had expected.  Having watched years of HGTV, Mia and Mac felt that they were able to do any necessary repairs, but they had no idea what awaited them once they moved in!

I enjoyed this story, especially the digs in to Stephanie Meyers and her Twilight series (Mia writes a series on Zombie Amish Teens in Love), and the laugh-out-loud antics that Mac and Mia find themselves in quite frequently.  It was nice to read a book that wasn’t rife with grammatical or syntax errors.  The writing flowed well, and this was a very quick read.  The story line was very much over the top, but it made for a fun summer read.  The characters were quirky and likable or laughable, as the case was for Vienna.  You found yourself routing for Mac, as well as wanting to smack him upside the head and wanting him to get a clue!

I have only read one other book by Jen Lancaster, and that was Bitter is the New Black.  I have to say that Jen Lancaster’s writing has improved, as I did not want to read any more of that blog series.  This was Jen’s first foray into fiction, which I found amusing, since I thought that the other books were fiction…come to find out they are based on her life and her personal blog.  If I am looking for a humorous book that is filled with over-the-top antics, I will be looking for Jen Lancaster’s next ‘fiction.’

Favorite Quote:
Calm down, I tell myself.  You love this man, and this situation is only temporary.  Stop thinking of places you can insert that apple.  (page 242)
Rating: 4 Stars – An enjoyable read…and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh!
Tag: contemporary, humorous, chick-lit, John Hughes, home renovation, HGTV, clean romance

Series (if applicable): none
Publisher: New American Library
Page Count: 304
Source: local library checkout
Told in the uproariously entertaining voice readers have come to expect from Jen Lancaster, If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.

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