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If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
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If You Were Here

by Jen Lancaster

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Thirtysomethings Mia and Mack fall in love with "Jake Ryan's" house (the character from Sixteen Candles) and buy it, despite it being a disaster in terms of needed repairs. The hyperbole of their experiences, from $45 lightbulbs to toilets falling through the ceiling, are funny enough, but Mia's own attitude adds to the hilarity. Basically Mia is Lancaster if she were the author of teen Amish zombie romance novels who also makes poor real estate choices, so if you've liked any of her memoirs, you'll get a kick out of this tale. ( )
  melydia | Jun 21, 2013 |
Loved it! Laugh out loud funny. Light easy read that was hard to put down. ( )
  Lanetz | Apr 1, 2013 |
A tribute to director John Hughes and to DIY makeover shows. I enjoyed the chatty style of writing but got a bit bogged down by the DIY aspects in the second half of the book and I hadn't seen most of the movies that were referenced, so probably missed out on some of the whole point of the book there. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book was so much fun! Yes, I love John Hughes moves and I think zombies are cooler than vampires. The house adventure was great. The supporting characters - "it girl" , friends, family, elbow patches and more really added to the fun! ( )
  cheftori | Jun 2, 2012 |
Mac and Mia are tired of the graffiti artist thugs in the neighborhood in which they rent their house. They decide it's time to take the plunge and buy a house in the Chicago suburbs. And not just any suburb in Chicago - they want to move to the suburb that John Hughes used for his movies' settings. They look at several homes but can't find their dream house. Instead they buy a fixer-upper that will test their home improvement knowledge and their marriage.

I love Jen Lancaster. Because I've read all her memoirs and follow her blog, I feel like we're friends. (Don't worry, I'm not a crazy stalker!) If You Were Here is her first work of fiction but it's actually a thinly disguised memoir, in my opinion. Mac and Mia are Jen and Fletch. Some zany things happen to Mac and Mia that wouldn't happen to Jen and Fletch in real life but their personalities are the same. This didn't bother me but I think that if you aren't a Jen Lancaster fan already, you may not connect with this book as much as I did.

Some of the dialogue was stilted and some of the explanations of home-buying terms sounded too much like a real estate manual. However, the story was amusing and engaging. This would be a great beach read.

This book has tons of footnotes just like Jen's other books so I'm not sure if it would be good to read on an e-reader. ( )
  mcelhra | Apr 22, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
From the very first page... check that - from the Author's notes, before the very first page, this book was off to a very good start. Having read Jen Lancaster's previous books (memoir style) I could hear her as the voice of Mia and it was hilarious. She was so 'real' that it made each and every step of the process (moving and renovation) so incredibly real that I could see not only Mia (Jen) in that position but also myself. I found that I was laughing out loud at each and every turn of events that Mia and Mac encountered.

Footnotes - normally when a book has footnotes, it is a sure thing that the book has too much detail... having to describe what you are talking about in a 'footnote' generally isn't a good thing. However, the over 100 footnotes in this book were so much fun... each and every one added a personal touch that not only added to the story but made it, once again, so real! The sarcastic comments were perfectly placed. Being a sarcastic person myself, I could actually imagine many of the thoughts myself.

With Mia being a 'Zombie' author, I thoroughly enjoyed all the digs that were taken at Stephenie Meyer (author of the famed Twilight series... aka - vampire). Being a fan of the Twilight series, I loved it! I can imagine Stephenie Meyer reading the book and giggling along with each jab that came her way (or at least I hope she did... see the author's note at the beginning of the book). I was sort of hoping that one of the comments on the book jacket would have been from her.

Overall, a fun, well thought out novel. Jen Lancaster has now officially made her mark in fiction-land and I hope that she is here to stay! Well done!!
 
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"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"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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