Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster

ROTFLMAO!  If you're not familiar with that phrase, ask a teen.  In general, it means I thought this book was hilarious.  Followers of Ms. Lancaster's blog will recognize the story as a thinly disguised, but humorously exaggerated, retelling of the author's experience with a crumbling rental house, gang-related neighbors, and the trials of purchasing her first home.  

Mac and Mia purchase their dream home - a "fixer-upper" - intending to save money by doing the renovations themselves.  If you've ever attempted any home improvement projects, you know what a bad idea this is.  Soon they are dealing with AWOL contractors, rising stacks of bills, dwindling funds, complaining neighbors and a much larger/lengthier project than they ever imagined.  Jen's snarky footnotes and wild backup characters (like spoiled rich girl Vienna Hyatt - veiled reference to Paris Hilton, in case you missed it) balance out the frustration of Mac's procrastination and mechanical ineptitude.

I'm a bit too old for the 1980's John Hughes movie references.  I've never seen "Pretty in Pink", "Breakfast Club" or "Sixteen Candles", all of which play heavily in this story.  But that did not detract from the humor of the book or the lessons on marriage, communication and looking to "things" for happiness.  Laugh-out-loud funny!

Footnote:  Our new favorite phrase, gleaned from this book:  industrial-strength not happy!

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