Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster

3.5 Star

Jen Lancaster was living the sweet life-until real life kicked her to the curb.

She had the perfect man, the perfect job-hell, she had the perfect life-and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last. Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice.

This is the smart-mouthed, soul-searching story of a woman trying to figure out what happens next when she's gone from six figures to unemployment checks and she stops to reconsider some of the less-than-rosy attitudes and values she thought she'd never have to answer for when times were good.

Filled with caustic wit and unusual insight, it's a rollicking read as speedy and unpredictable as the trajectory of a burst balloon.

Kaley - 3.5 Star

I don’t often read memoirs but I was eager to give Bitter is the new Black by Jen Lancaster a try. There’s no real reason for why I don’t usually read memoirs. I think I just tend to read more fiction because it seems to be more prevalent. I’ve always wanted to try reading a few and after a good experience with Lancaster’s, I plan on checking out a few more!

For those of you who are like me and are not memoir readers, take note that this book doesn’t really read like one. Lancaster had a great way of writing about her own life to make it sound just like a novel that’s been plotted out. You can’t plan life but the way Lancaster wrote made it seem like she had. She does note at the beginning of the book that she wrote a few things out of sequence, changed some names, characters combined, and time compressed. I can understand why she did that (to make the story move forward a little more quickly) and it didn’t bother me at all. It’s her life, after all, so she can tell her story as she wishes. At least, that’s my take on it.

I have to say, I really didn’t like her at the beginning. I also feel really bad about that because it’s not the same thing as saying you didn’t like a character. No, I am saying that Jen, a real person and the author, annoyed me. Awkward, right? I think she knew how people were going to see her and judge her and she went with it. She really changed as a person by the end of the book and that helped me like her. She had no qualms about spending a ton of money on things and was so superficial at the beginning but once life served her some hard knocks she started to realize what really matters in life.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through what Jen and her husband went through. You think you have everything sorted and out and then your world crumbles around you. That must have been brutal. Lancaster wrote about it in a way that gave her situation some humour but I could still tell what they struggled with and how hard it was for them.

I enjoyed reading Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster. I really liked how she told her story and I will keep my eye out for some of her other books.

Connect with Jen Lancaster:


  1. I agree with you. When I initially listened to this book, I couldn't stand Jen, but she grew on me. I have found, though, that I only needed to read one of her memoirs (since she has a few). Once you learn her tone, it's not as funny to read or listen to repeatedly.

    1. Interesting! I was thinking of checking out her others but maybe I'll wait on it. Can you imagine being an average person (ie not a celebrity) and getting paid to just talk about yourself and your life? I'd like that gig :)

  2. I don't normally read memoirs either, but I read this because it was such a hit, & I had to find out why. I thought it was very funny, but a lot of the time I kept wondering what the point was to it. She did learn a lesson in not being so materialistic, but I still never connected with her. She has one fiction book out, but I haven't read it. I'm curious about it, though.



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