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.
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