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Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase Paperback – 4 May 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library; Reprint edition (4 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451228537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451228536
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,407,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jen Lancaster is the author of "Bitter is the New Black." She has lived in Chicago for ten years with her husband and pets, and has yet to get the hang of the subway or returning library books in a timely manner. Visit

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you think you won't be captivated by a preternaturally manipulative little girl who holds out for lobster at ten dollars a pound for her eighth birthday dinner, you'll think again with the first few pages of the hilarious Pretty In Plaid. Not only is she demanding but also fashion conscious. It was a chilly evening when Jen, her parents and her brother, Todd, went out for that dinner and her mother wanted her to wear "a ridiculous pair of maroon tights." No way! As she says, "...I balked because my sweater is red and I refuse to clash, particularly on such an auspicious occasion."

And, that laughing readers, is only the beginning in this flat out funny memoir following Lancaster's highly successful Such A Pretty Fat. Yes, there are weight issues to be faced again but she primarily focuses on her growing up years, each period remembered by her must-have apparel of that time.

We begin with her days as a Junior Girl Scout - not only would there be camping and outings but she absolutely loved the green uniform. What was the all important accessory for that uniform? A sash laden with badges, of course. Only problem was you were supposed to earn those badges. Such details didn't stand in our Jen's way as she is soon sporting an eye-popping embellished sash.

What a romp it is to revisit those early years with her as she goes from that childhood triumph to college co-ed where she learns the hard way that a rush party described as casual does not mean a jean jacket and that a Coach handbag is an absolute necessity and why another rushee "with streaky blond hair from a suburb of Detroit called Grosse Pointe" looked so smug. There was so much for her to absorb in college, and further lessons learned when she didn't make her grades.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jen Lancaster has done it again with another fantastic book! This time she reflects back on her childhood !!!! I love every book she has written so far and I can not wait for the next one. I hope one day she will do a book tour in London as I am sure so many others would as well!!!!
I suggest to anyone to read all her books if you need to laugh out loud !!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jen... Have You Been Reading My Mail? 30 Jun. 2009
By Sparkle - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hesitated in buying this book thinking that going back to Jen's childhood could not be nearly as Snarky and hillarious as doing such adult things as pretending you have a homeowner's association and that you are the president. I saw that other readers didn't love this one as much, so that made me hesitate too. Boy, was I wrong and I'm so glad I read it.

I found this book delightful and HILLARIOUS! Now, that could be because I think Jen and I are about the same age, with a very practical, middle class up-bringing, therefore have we have many of the same experiences and perspectives. If you are a child of the 70's & 80s and remember Kristy McNichol, Jordache Jeans, Polo shirts and Michael Jackson, you may relate too. She walks readers through her real first job and how she though she was RICH! Didn't we all? When you hit the 20k's in salary.. woo hoo!! until you have to pay rent and a car payment. Then the first time you heard people talking about "Their Lewie" - not know ing it wasn't a dog or an uncle, but a Louis (As in Louis Vuitton).

Jen feels like a Facebook friend I don't personally know very well, but because I read her posts and see her photos, I feel like we are BFFs. I think this book is worth the read. Just be prepared to remember who you were at that time. The entertainment lies not only in Jen's story, but who the reader was at that time in their own history.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plaid Not Her Color 2 Sept. 2009
By L. D. Merkl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The publisher got greedy and the author got lazy. (Success can do that to you.) With the triumph of three books, someone got itchy to make some more dough and I guess a prequel sounded like a good idea, as well as a surefire moneymaker.
JL's grammar and high school years are a bore. It also reads like she made it up -- so much for the memoir part.
The book gets going more than half way through when JL goes to college, but didn't really capture my interest until the story about the yellow argyle sweater. That is class Jen.
The stories of her professional life don't hold a candle to her temp stories from the second book.
Then the book just sort of ends with..."and you know the rest...Bitter Is The New Black...blah, blah, blah."
I understand she has three more books in the works. I hope she puts effort back into those.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to recommend 24 May 2009
By Elizabeth A. Hein - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Jen's books. Bitter was amazing! I told tons of people to read it and not one was disappointed. Pretty in Plaid sadly I will not be giving a hearty recommendation for. I agree with another review, chapter one was a gas! And there were moments of great stuff in this book, but not enough to make you want to turn the page. I am sad this book did not live up to my Jen standard. Read her first two, maybe her third but take a pass on this one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but not "wet your pants" funny 11 Jun. 2009
By Megen Duffy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
If I hadn't read Jen's other books and nearly put myself into a coma with laughing, I would think this was hilarious. In comparison, it's just OK. It's still worth buying and reading, but I just like her adult books better. The memoir stuff is all right, but the timeline fast-forwarded at the end and felt disjointed.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit for Jen. 17 May 2009
By Lauryn Thompson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked up Jen's first book, Bitter is the New Black, about a year and a half ago. It was funny and witty and made me want to read more. So I read the next book, and started following her blog. Then Such a Pretty Fat came, and Jen hit the New York Times Bestseller list.

This book follows her through her childhood to young adulthood, to place her as an uncomfortable teenager defining herself through a certain size of a certain brand, or a child being made fun of for her accent and too-fancy clothes on her first day at a new school.

Jen Lancaster is a funny, charmingly bitchy woman, who I would love to have drinks with. If anybody reads this review and has the opportunity to meet her on her book tour, DO IT. She's great in person. I met her in Atlanta, and my sister and I had a great time.

My only complaint about this book is that it doesn't translate fantastically to Kindle. The footnotes do not display on the bottom of the page; instead, you have to scroll through and click. I went out and bought a hardcover copy instead.
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