Monday, June 27, 2011
Jen Lancaster: If You Were Here
"No, why?" was my response.
"Well, the way you respond to messages here reminds me of her writing," she explained.
I didn't think much about it until last month when I read a review of her new novel, If You Were Here, in The Roanoke Times. Everything about this book sounded perfect. To quote my dad, "This book was made for you." Needless to say, I literally did a happy dance when I saw the title pop up in my local library's new book database and made a mad dash out the door to snatch it up before someone else did. I had to read this book.
Mia writes Amish teen romance novels. Sounds pretty boring, right? No way! Her Amish teens are also ZOMBIES! That alone would have made this a great book. But it gets better. So. Much. Better.
She and her husband Mac are on the lookout for a new house, their first house. Their current living situation isn't the greatest. How would you like waking up to graffiti threats every morning? So they decide to move to the Chicago suburbs, an area made famous by the John Hughes films that Mia loved so much as a child.
Once they find their perfect house--Jake Ryan's house from "Sixteen Candles"!--the adventure begins. The house needs work. A lot of work. And the renovations aren't going so great. In fact, they're downright hellish (and expensive).
And if that weren't enough, their neighbors don't like them at all. Instead of welcoming them to the neighborhood with gift baskets and baked goods, they're signing petitions, knocking on the door complaining about everything, and threatening legal action.
With Mac taking on the do-it-yourself renovations and Mia trying to meet a deadline with her publisher, things get a little tense and not only test their nerves, but their marriage.
If You Were Here is the funniest book I've read in a LONG time. I loved everything about it. Mia was quirky. Mac was loyal. They were an adorable couple. The supporting cast of characters was eclectic and fun. The footnotes and pop culture references sprinkled throughout the book were hilarious. But most of all, I loved the nod to John Hughes. I grew up watching his movies and will forever drop everything I'm doing to watch "Sixteen Candles" if I see that it's on TV.
I highly recommend this book!
For more information on Jen Lancaster, visit: