Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster

4 Star

Sure Jen has made mistakes. She spent all her money from a high-paying job on shoes, clothes, and spa treatments. She then carried a Prada bag to the unemployment office. She wrote a whole memoir about dieting…but didn’t lose weight. She embarked on a quest for cultural enlightenment that only cemented her love for John Hughes movies and Kraft American Singles. She tried to embrace everything Martha Stewart, while living with a menagerie of rescue cats and dogs. (Glitter…everywhere.)

Mistakes are one thing; regrets are another.

After a girls’ weekend in Savannah makes her realize that she is—yikes!—middle-aged (binge watching is so the new binge drinking), Jen decides to make a bucket list and seize the day, even if that means having her tattoo removed at one hundred times the cost of putting it on.

From attempting a juice cleanse to studying Italian, from learning to ride a bike to starting a new business, and from sampling pasta in Rome to training for a 5K, Jen is turning a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, sharing her sometimes bumpy—but always hilarious—attempts to better her life…again.

Kathryn - 4 Star

This is my first novel by Jen Lancaster, not sure how I missed out on reading her previous novels but I really was missing something, obviously. I love her ease of writing, I love her honest look at herself and I love the premise of this novel- living without regrets.

Sometimes you just need to read about someone else doing something positive to make their lives better to inspire you to take a look at your own life.  I could definitely stand to lose a few pounds, which seems to be a recurring source of frustration for Lancaster also, but I actually got quite a lot of inspiration about the little things and big things she put on her proverbial “bucket list”.  I was also thrilled to learn that I’m not the only one who put things on the list to immediately cross them off.  (Hooray! Always nice to find out you’re not as nuts as you thought.)

The novel is a memoir so there’s nothing to criticize about plot and character. The best thing about a memoir is that you are immediately connected to the author and the realism is, of course, apparent. The trick to a good memoir for me is either to make it inspirational or hilarious and I Regret Nothing was both.  I warmed immediately to the relationship between Jen and her husband. They seem to completely “get” each other while finding the other entirely frustrating at the same time.  Most good relationships are based on a healthy dose of “what is he/she thinking?”- if we were all the same life would be very dull!

I really enjoyed I Regret Nothing and am eager to ensure I don’t miss Lancaster’s next set of musings.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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