Date published: May 2010
Reviewed by Angie
Review copy provided by publisher
Jen Lancaster describes her novel as "One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being a Dumb Ass is the New Black, or a Culture-Up Manifesto" and this sums it up completely. She takes bits of her own life and leaves readers breathless with laughter. As she goes through her very own transformation from low class to high class she learns a lot about herself and what she wants her life to be.
Jen begins her tale by admitting she is the loud mouth everyone avoids at parties. She drinks too much and becomes rambunctious, saying whatever thoughts come to mind. Her mouth often gets her into trouble with friends, family and colleagues. She thinks she lost her job during the dot com failure just because she was unable to compete with those who had better manners.
Jen's submersion into culture is hilarious and complete. As she begins going to plays and reading poetry she leaves readers laughing out loud. She has made me as a person want to know more about opera and even learn more about cultural food - I will admit her description of herself as the Beverly Hillbillies hits home. I have decided to do my own makeover when I return from vacation. I, like her will begin by learning more about each culture and venturing into new food groups - starting with Indian and maybe Japanese, I think easing in will be my best bet.
Jen Lancaster has taken her life and turned it into an open book. I am not sure how much of her memoir was truth, and how much poetic license she took, but she made me want to be her BFF! The one downside to this novel was the footnotes she uses. I kept missing the little numbers as I read and then getting to the bottom of the page and going back and searching for what they refer to - very confusing for me as a reader. Yet most of them made me laugh, and wish I had the foresight to have footnotes in my own diary.
A great read for the beach! I will be reading more by Ms. Lancaster in the very near future!
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.