Book Review: If You Were Here

If You Were Here: A NovelIf You Were Here: A Novel by Jen Lancaster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mac and Mia are tired of the graffiti artist thugs in the neighborhood in which they rent their house. They decide it’s time to take the plunge and buy a house in the Chicago suburbs. And not just any suburb in Chicago – they want to move to the suburb that John Hughes used for his movies’ settings. They look at several homes but can’t find their dream house. Instead they buy a fixer-upper that will test their home improvement knowledge and their marriage.

I love Jen Lancaster. Because I’ve read all her memoirs and follow her blog, I feel like we’re friends. (Don’t worry, I’m not a crazy stalker!) If You Were Here is her first work of fiction but it’s actually a thinly disguised memoir, in my opinion. Mac and Mia are Jen and Fletch. Some zany things happen to Mac and Mia that wouldn’t happen to Jen and Fletch in real life but their personalities are the same. This didn’t bother me but I think that if you aren’t a Jen Lancaster fan already, you may not connect with this book as much as I did.

Some of the dialogue was stilted and some of the explanations of home-buying terms sounded too much like a real estate manual. However, the story was amusing and engaging. This would be a great beach read.

This book has tons of footnotes just like Jen’s other books so I’m not sure if it would be good to read on an e-reader.

Here’s a crappy cell-phone picture of Jen and I at her book signing last year for If You Were Here. (I’m really not a stalker, I swear!)

Buy this book at:
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  • rhapsodyinbooks

    This sounds really interesting to me, especially since we have spent much time looking at houses in the Chicago suburbs! And I love crappy cell-phone pictures – everyone looks better with a little blur! LOL