Before this audio, I'd never read any of Jen Lancaster's books, but boy does she have a reputation! She is SO loved in the bloggiverse, known for her bawdy humor, relatable women's issues, and laugh-out-loud turn of a phrase. But the description of this one called out to me...Groundhog Day meets the '80's hair bands? Hey that is enough for me.
Synopsis: We all have known a Lissy Ryder once in our lives...worshipped and feared, in equal measure, in high school. Dated the captain of the football team. Set all the fashion and hair trends. Left a path of the walking wounded in her wake. Bottom line, Lissy was a bitch back then, but then again, so is karma. Now at 37, she's been fired from her job, her husband is leaving her, and she's been kicked out of her condo. She is living with her parents, trying to start her own business, and while wallowing in her misery, packing on the pounds from stress-eating. All the while waking up to the sight of David Coverdale, all oiled and mousse-abused, hanging on her walls.
She hits rock bottom when she attends a class reunion and is shocked to find her successful group of classmates all still harbor grudges against her for the havoc she wrought 20 years ago. How on earth can she make connections for her new business if everyone hates her? There is one classmate who has become a new age diva that takes Lissy aside and offers her an opportunity to go back in time and make it things right.
Lissy soon realizes it may be more complicated than just making better decisions in high school. Because for every action there is a reaction, and a kinder gentler Lissy has disastrous effects on the lives of those around her in the years to follow. Plus there is that one boy...the one who got away. She had obviously missed the boat when she broke up with him and married the football jock that ultimately dumped her. Is it really possible to ever get it right?
My thoughts: I've read some reviews from fans that have expressed disappointment for this particular Jen Lancaster offering, but since I have nothing to compare it to, I was thoroughly entertained. No wait...more than that. I LOUDLY belly-laughed my whole way through this book.
I mean, let me just say that the premise is ludicrous. And the plot is obvious from a mile away...there aren't any twists here that will shock you. But it is just pure, unadulterated fun. And bonus points for all the 80's references. The pop culture and particularly the music references were of my youth. And tell me you don't adore the movie Groundhog Day. I'm thinking we all look back on our lives and fantasize a "do over" here and there.
So I guess if this is the worst that Lancaster has to offer, I need to read all of her work. And for anyone who attended high school in the 80's, just do yourself a favor and grab this read for your summer travels (I'm talking specifically to my high school besties Kim and Julie)!
A few words about the audio production: Jan Lancaster herself narrated this book, and I thought she did an excellent job. She certainly has comedic timing, and delivers her one liners with flair. The only strange thing is that Jen's voice does not sound like a "Lissy". It is a deep, husky voice that would be better suited to the class jock, but that aside, it was a well-narrated romp.
Listening length: 9 hours and 10 minutes (320 pages)
4 out of 5 stars