If You Were Here is Jen Lancaster's first fiction novel. I have been a fan of her hysterical snark since her debut Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office in 2006. I'm a faithful follower of her blog posts too. So when I first saw that she was releasing a fiction novel, I was skeptical. If writing memoirs ain't broke, why tamper with it? However, this is growth for Jen. Her ability to tell a story only improves in fiction.
If you also kept up with Jen and Fletch's life, then you are familiar with their adventures in real estate and Chicago housing. Although If You Were Here is not a true story, it was inspired by their real life adventures.
Mia is an author of a teenage-zombies-in-love series. Don't dare confuse her with Stephenie Meyer or utter the "V" word (vampires). Mia has spent the last 25 years obsessed with all things John Hughes. So when Jake Ryan's house becomes available for sale, she knows it is meant to be.
Calling the house a fixer upper is an understatement. Every single room, every single multi-colored toilet, every single shred of wallpaper needs to be redone. Actually, the only thing that doesn't need replacing is the staircase. Her husband, Mac, takes a month leave from work to dedicate undivided attention to this project.
The entire book is of their adventures of making Jake Ryan's house livable and their own. I was slapping my knee in laughter. My only gripe is I had to constantly remind myself that Mia is not Jen, nor is Mac really Fletch. The similarities were distracting. While I enjoyed Jen's first try at fiction, I'm more looking forward to her next memoir. Check out what she has to say in the video below.
Title: If You Were Here: A Novel
Author: Jen Lancaster
Published: May 2011