Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish You Were Here

I want to do this book review for you because I want to show that I also read for fun, not just for assigned book reviews! I also like the author a lot AND because I got the book on my Milwaukee trip with my friend Amy!

Wish You Were Here- Jen Lancaster
If You Were Here
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.

OK. Now all of Jen's previous books had been memoirs, with my hands down favorite being Such a Pretty Fat. I've read every book of hers, but that one is hands down her best. Every book after it has gotten worse (for me) and basically feel as if she's trying too hard. The kicker is that she doesn't need to- she's a naturally funny person, but I feel like maybe she's done what she could with memoirs. So when it was announced she was doing a fiction book... I was thrilled. 

Until I read it. First off, the characters of Mac and Mia are obviously characters of Jen and her husband Fletch. Right away I felt let down that she didn't reach for something completely outside of her norm and try something new. Not the case. 

I thought I could really relate to the story though because it's about new homeowners and the nightmare of home improvement- we all know I've been there and have tales to tell. As I continued my reading I felt more and more disappointing because at a point it just becomes unrealistic and far reaching. I almost closed the book all together when the one contractor comes into the picture because it was just over the top. And the ending? Mike Holmes? Really, Jen? 

So if I had to give this a rating out of 5 stars, I would honestly give it one. It's a harsh rating, but it's deserved but this book was not nearly as entertaining as it could have been. 


Life Love & High Heels said...

I normally power through her books, but you're right- this one fell short. It was completely her and fletch 100%. Which isn't bad, but when you market it as something else... Well, there's no fooling longtime fans.

However, the trip was super fabulous & I enjoyed meeting her with you!

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

I agree with your review wholeheartedly. The only thing that kept me going were the John Hughes movie references, they're my favorite.