I first heard of Jen Lancaster through other people's blogs and was looking for some good summer reads. It's pretty hard to make me sit down with a book, looking forward to reading said book, unusual. Scheduling time in my day to read said book, unheard of! I used to be such an avid reader in school, but something in college just killed it for me, no idea what happened (maybe it's because someone forced me to read about rocks for 4 years?). I first started to rediscover my joy of reading when my mother gave me a copy of Marley and Me. My childhood dog had recently passed away, I'd purchased my first home by myself as an unwed and uncohabitating woman of 25, my finances were stretched to the limits and I had a nasty case of insomnia (as I have found is par for the course throughout the home buying experience unless you just have boatloads of spare money to toss around and have you ever tried to read and understand a closing statement?). Marley and Me gave me a pleasant end to my day, it was something to look forward to, something I didn't do out of obligation, but because I wanted to read the next chapter more than I wanted to see the latest TV show. I was really sad when it was over and found that towards the end I was slowly rationing it out chapter by chapter. It's been a couple years since I've found something that struck my fancy, so I started with Jen's books and have been reading them in order.
When people compared her to David Sedaris, I was skeptical, but I have found that I enjoy her MORE than Sedaris. Possibly this is because I'm a female and can relate to her but also, I find her family life and daily situations more believable and much closer to things I've experienced myself. Bitter was a bit tough to get through. Having been laid off once myself, seeing the painful decline of her life as a result was just not happy fun reading I wanted to do at night. Yes she made it hilarious and you knew she was learning a great life lesson and still, I reminded myself that this was autobiographical and she became a popular writer so her life thus far has made a turn for the better. But still, despite how witty Lancaster is, I got a little depressed. Financial ruin is stressful, no matter who it's happening to.