Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

What first appealed to me about Jen Lancaster’s Here I Go Again was that the main character grew up in the same era I did, the 80s; the decade of hair bands and florescent socks.  What I found though upon reading the first chapter was that I pretty much hated the main character’s guts, which I think is absolutely what was supposed to happen.

I can’t think of anyone I know who didn't come away from high school without some scars and quite often there was a face and a name attached to many of those scars; a person who we secretly hope will one day come face to face with their karmic debt.  For many of us that face would be very similar to that of Lissy Ryder, the blond, pony-tailed, hair band loving cheerleader who we meet 20 years after the end of the 80s as her life comes crashing down around her and yes, she indeed finds herself looking right into a karmic mirror.

For those with a love of all things 80s there are references galore from the chapters named for 80s movies, bands and well known songs to the multitude of Breakfast Club and Molly Ringwald movie references with a few jokes about the size of personal computers for good measure.   The book is written from Lissy’s point of view in the present tense which, thought I'm not a huge fan of that style of writing, serves to highlight the plot twist that leads Lissy to take a journey back to the home of those same 80s icons to find her redemption not only in the story but in the eyes of the reader as well. 

I enjoyed reading this book and yes, though she is slow to learn her lessons, I found myself eventually moving from disgust to actually liking Lissy's character.   In the real world we are not often given a chance to redeem ourselves in the dramatic fashion that Lissy is but let us hope that if presented with such an opportunity we’d perform just as well.

Want to learn more or participate in discussions about the book?  Be sure to visit the BlogHerBookclub page!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

So this is life

I've been meaning to write.  Really I's been nearly two weeks since my last post and I really, really, really want be up dating the blog weekly.  Maybe writing everyday for a month used up all my writing gusto?  Maybe I've been too busy?  Maybe I've just been lazy?

Any combination of the above could be true but what really has stalled my writing is that I'm mulling over what direction I want the blog to take.  My life has changed a lot since it began and I often find writing about art, decorating, odd encounters on the bus, my cats, and any other odd assortment of things that may not have much to do with living as an unmarried woman.

One major change of course has been that I now share an apartment with roommates which is proving to have definite ups and downs.  I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to share the details of my new venture into apartment sharing quite yet but as with many of the thoughts that roll around in my mind I googled it and discovered the following:

The Wikipedia "Roommate" Entry

The Pros and Cons of Living with Roommates

6 Signs That You're a Bad Roommate 

Bad roommate horror stories abound (roommates who dry the dishes with the same towel they dried off with after a shower, roommates who move their significant others in without asking, roommates with strange hoarding habits).  Yes, it's probably a very good thing that I didn't google 'bad roommate stories' before deciding to live with other people again.  I would have most certainly would likely have bailed on the whole idea and sought out a comfortable basement to squat in.

Honestly though, at least as far as the humans are concerned, it's been mostly good.   I genuinely like and get along well with my roommates.   My biggest beef right now is with myself and the fact that after three months of being here I'm still not entirely unpacked.  There are six boxes stacked in the corner mocking me on a daily basis.  I'd hoped to finally feel settled in after the winter break from school but no, there they sit, staring at me...taunting me.  I'm sure I heard one giggle just yesterday.

The cats are another story.  All is not peaceful and the spinster pride is having some trouble adapting.  However we are working on that too and I think we've devised a solution that will hopefully go into effect in the next week.  I'll of course keep you posted.

The rest of my life is about to get quite busy again since school begins next week.  Though I have classes scheduled two days and one evening each week I am determined that I will not exhaust myself this semester. I  will plan better, schedule better, sleep better, eat better...well, all of the things that I figured out how to do well by the END of last semester.  Aside from school this spring has so many wonderful things in store that I want to make sure I'm happy, rested and well enough to fully enjoy all of them.