Here I Go Again
Author: Jen Lancaster
Published: January 29, 2013
Genre: chick lit
Hardcover: 320 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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. 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?
My Thoughts: I really loved Jen Lancaster's first foray into fiction, If You Were Here, so I was anxious to see if she could keep the ball rolling with her second work of fiction. Lucky for us, not only does she write another great piece of chick lit, but she gets even better! This time, Lancaster explores the world of the privileged, specifically one girl who was the most popular girl in high school but whose world is falling apart in the present day. When Lissy is given the chance to go back in time and possibly change her ways, she realizes how it will affect her future. This is a great book, filled with great characters, an engaging story, and enough humor to keep you laughing.
Lissy Ryder is the quintessiential mean girl, that one girl who ruled the school with an iron fist and got everything she ever wanted. But now, she's 37 and she's lost her job, has no money, and her husband is leaving her and dating someone that they went to high school with together. Lissy gets the chance to travel back in time to fix her errors, but as she finds out, changing her past will also change her, and everyone else's, futures. Lissy is a great character. You are laughing at her within the first few pages but half way through the book, you really care for her and are hoping that she is able to fix everything for the better. I don't want to give anything away, but you will be rooting for this former mean girl and hoping that she is able to change everything for the better. It's rare that you cheer for someone as mean as Lissy, but Lancaster manages to have you loving/hating her from the very beginning.
Lancaster's writing has also improved from her first novel. I think her first book was still a bit memoir with a few fun tidbits thrown in to make it a work of fiction. This one is pure fiction and it's wonderful. She still employs the stream of conscious writing that I've grown to love from her books, but it's Lissy's voice that it talking, not Lancaster. It shows a huge growth on Lancaster's end as a writer and storyteller to remove herself from the character's voice and let them stand on their own.
If you are looking for a wonderful chick lit novel to get lost in and laugh at, I would highly recommend this one. If there is anything that I could improve upon, it's that I wish I had read it during the summer because reading this outside with the sun shining would have been the only thing to have made it better.