Title: Here I Go Again
Author: Jen Lancaster
Published: 2013, New American Library
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit, Humor
Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.I love the movies Mean Girls and Peggy Sue Got Married so the concept of combining the two stories into one really appealed to me. That is the general concept behind Lancaster's novel, Here I Go Again.
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?
This book basically boils down to the fact that Lissy Ryder is another version of Regina George. She was the popular, pretty head cheerleader in high school who ruled the school through terror and manipulation. She grows up and finds her life isn't as great as she thought it would be. She loses her job. Her husband (former quarterback of their high school) gives her the heave ho. She ends up back under her parents' roof and to top it off, gains some extra weight from her mother's cooking.
Just when things can't get any worse, the invitation arrives for her twentieth class reunion. Lissy, however, sees this as an opportunity to pick up a few clients for herself. Her plan backfires when she discovers her former, now super successful classmates won't have anything to do with her because she was such a biotch to them in high school. When she gets the chance to change things, Lissy discovers that some things are not fixed by a simple friendly attitude.
The thought of going back in time to fix mistakes seems like a great idea. There are plenty of things I wish I could take back. This book references the butterfly effect and that is a good premise for the book. I hope I didn't already give too much away. It's also filled with so many cliches that I rolled my eyes quite a bit. I also saw how Lissy's story would end pretty much early on in the book.
If you judge this book based on Pulitzer Prize winners, this book will fall short. If you judge this based on the sheer fact that this is chick-lit and meant to be fun and easy on the brain, it is a great read. While the story does have a romantic story line, the meat of the story is how Lissy learns to treat and appreciate her friends and family. It is a mean girl story with heart.
I picked this book up because I wanted something a little more light-hearted. I read it in a twenty-four hour period and maybe cried just a bit. I started to care about whether or not Lissy would learn a lesson. I found myself reading this at the dinner table just to find out if I was right about the ending. I ended up giving it four stars because it is engaging and fun as long as you remember that it's not supposed to be serious.
This book is a fun, quick read. It's great for those boring moments like waiting at the doctor's office. I would recommend this to women who want the literary equivalent of rocky road ice cream.