Monday, December 14, 2009

Bitter Is The New Black - Jen Lancaster

Also reviewed by Mindy.

Summary: This is a story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment... It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words? [She] had it coming. (Summary from back of the book and image from

My Review: If you don't mind a little profanity, you'll enjoy this book. She is hilarious--profane, but hilarious!

Jen has a transformation in the book, which is what eventually endeared her to the me. In the beginning I was having a hard time feeling connected to her: she has everything. A high rise, modern penthouse, shoes from brand names I've only looked at in New York, purses for every occasion again by designers I've only read about, she sees a hairdresser that is only part of a one-stop pamper yourself shop, a boyfriend who actually agreed to her Jen Commandments, I mean, seriously? This is only possible in fiction from my experience. That and the fact that she gets away with her insults without any repercussions; it's too good to be true.

Then you witness her house of cards go tumbling down. And she's right. At the beginning you think she had it coming. As you read of her dedicated efforts to right her situation you start to feel sincere sympathy for her and for her boyfriend, Fletch. By the end of the book I had a deep respect for her integrity and I could relate to her humbling experience, something I think is a universal human experience.

There were a couple parts in the book I was laughing out loud. 1) The Jen Commandments--seriously she couldn't have described my feelings about cooking better. And 2) The marathon convention she has to attend as a favor for a good friend. Her self-deprecating humor is endearing and her snarky zingers are what I've always wanted to say, but either don't think of at the time or don't have the guts to ever really say to anyone. Be forewarned: don't read this if you don't like swearing--she's a potty-mouthed trucker. Still...SO funny!

My Rating: 4.5 stars. I almost gave it 5 stars, but didn't because the swearing was a bit overboard for me.

Sum it up: Insanely witty, brutally honest, a bit crass, but overall entertaining read.


StephTheBookworm said...

My number one favorite book of all time! So glad you liked it!

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

Absolutely fall on the floor funny! I haven't read her others, because I'm afraid they won't be as good. The Marathon registration was hysterical!
Loved it -- and I want her to be my new best friend.

Lisa said...

I need a good hilarious book to break up some of the other things I've got planned for the coming year. I'll have to pick this one up!


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