Monday, November 12, 2012

Audiobook Review: Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

Pretty In Plaid
Author: Jen Lancaster
Narrator: Jamie Heinlein
Published: April 4, 2009
Genre: memoir
Audiobook: 7 discs (approx. 8 hours)
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): In Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.

Think Jen Lancaster was always "like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?" (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life-and wardrobe-before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.

The author who showed us what it was like to wait in line at the unemployment office with a Prada bag, how living in the city can actually suck, and that losing weight can be fun with a trainer named Barbie and enough Ambien is ready to take you on a hilarious and heartwarming trip down memory lane in her shoes (and very pretty ones at that).

My Thoughts: I really love Jen Lancaster's books and thought, "Why don't I try her in audiobook form?" I mean, I listened to Mindy Kaling's book and was busting out laughing, so I thought I would try another funny lady in audiobook form. And while I was busting out laughing, it wasn't what I expected from it. This book is all about Jen's struggle with clothing throughout her life and the pieces that have defined her life. And while the writing was great, it was the narration that was a bit off for me. I have never heard Jen Lancaster speak before, but I have a clear image in my mind of what she would sound like. And unfortunately, this narrator just didn't sound how I imagine she should. It was just a bit too snotty and not enough sarcasm, which brought down the reading for me. 

I did identify with Jen at various points in her life. While I did not grow up in the 80s, I do remember some of the fads from when I was in middle school and high school, so I can understand where she's coming from. And hearing her talking about walking across the Purdue campus in the middle of wind storm is something I can definitely relate to (I also went there ... Boiler Up!) And when she goes suit shopping for a job interview, I was busting up. I mean, I have been there (what woman hasn't?), and pretty much every suit is designed for and old woman. So it takes forever to try and find something, normally with some annoying sales lady telling you how nice you look. I mean, it's something that all women go through, and Jen just nails the whole shopping experience perfectly. While I look forward to reading more of her books in the future, I will no longer be listening to them.

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