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If You Were Here Paperback – 6 Mar 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library (6 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780451236685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451236685
  • ASIN: 0451236688
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,715,622 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
You may also read my review here: [...]

From the very first page... check that - from the Author's notes, before the very first page, this book was off to a very good start. Having read Jen Lancaster's previous books (memoir style) I could hear her as the voice of Mia and it was hilarious. She was so 'real' that it made each and every step of the process (moving and renovation) so incredibly real that I could see not only Mia (Jen) in that position but also myself. I found that I was laughing out loud at each and every turn of events that Mia and Mac encountered.

Footnotes - normally when a book has footnotes, it is a sure thing that the book has too much detail... having to describe what you are talking about in a 'footnote' generally isn't a good thing. However, the over 100 footnotes in this book were so much fun... each and every one added a personal touch that not only added to the story but made it, once again, so real! The sarcastic comments were perfectly placed. Being a sarcastic person myself, I could actually imagine many of the thoughts myself.

With Mia being a 'Zombie' author, I thoroughly enjoyed all the digs that were taken at Stephenie Meyer (author of the famed Twilight series... aka - vampire). Being a fan of the Twilight series, I loved it! I can imagine Stephenie Meyer reading the book and giggling along with each jab that came her way (or at least I hope she did... see the author's note at the beginning of the book). I was sort of hoping that one of the comments on the book jacket would have been from her.

Overall, a fun, well thought out novel. Jen Lancaster has now officially made her mark in fiction-land and I hope that she is here to stay! Well done!!
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Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of all Jen Lancasters book and this was by far her funniest yet! Jen's books just get better and better!
Her new book was something I completely related with as we just bought a new house in London ourselves and being from Chicago this hit home and so true!
If you are currently looking for a house to buy please read this book as it is funny and helps with the stress levels of finding that "dream home". I can't wait for her next book! But in the mean time everyone should run out and buy this book!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars 236 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable 17 Feb. 2014
By MWhittaker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read Jen's novels because I love her non fiction so much. I was concerned that I wouldn't like reading something that was fictionalization, but this is written in a way that it feels like you're still reading about Jen and Fletch. Of course the story is far-fetched but suspend your skepticism for a minute and you'll enjoy it too, at least if you like her other work.

The book does have a bunch of things that will make you snicker-the whole "The Money Pit" storyline, Vienna Hyatt (ehem, Paris Hilton), dogs and cats with names similar to those of Jen's real life pets, and of course the main characters deep grudge against the author of Twilight.

I finished this in two nights, just couldn't put it down.
67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really, REALLY wanted to love it... 17 May 2011
By Dani - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
but I didn't. Love Jen, have read all of her books many times over... I grab Such a Pretty Fat and My Fair Lazy every time I need something to read but don't have a new book. I've downloaded them all to Kindle, as well, so that I can read them on the go.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read her fiction novel because I love her memoirs sooo much, and thought I'd miss reading about Jen, Fletch and her family of critters... but the temptation got too much for me so I downloaded it to Kindle.
Hate to say it, but I, too, was almost instantly disappointed. The name changes bugged me... Daisy for Maisy, Duckie for Loki, Tracy for Stacy and Agent Jack Bauer for Chuck Norris... I know it was meant to be obvious and ironic but I couldn't help wishing it was just Jen and Fletch and the dogs.
Had a hard time getting through it... And as much as I love Jen, I hope she stops "rocking fiction" and just keeps writing about her fabulous life and interesting, funny, and creative friends.

On the plus side, her writing style is never disappointing and she's always funny. If I were new to her work I probably would have loved it, but for me, it was like watching a movie AFTER you've read the book. It's never the same, too many important things are changed, and you leave wishing Hollywood could just stick to an already wonderful story line.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Downward Spiral Continues 19 Aug. 2011
By Neats - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I thought Bitter is the New Black was one of the funniest books I'd ever read. Laugh out loud funny. Bright Lights, Big Ass was less funny but still great and, hey, they can't all be great. Trouble is that each book was less funny. The books went from funny sarcastic to bitter and finally to just mean-spirited "nobody is as cool as me and mine."

I had high hopes for this novel because if you've read any of the author's books, you know she was personally heading to the 'burbs. This book is NOT funny. It's re-hash of remarks from previous books so you feel as if you've read something just like this but better before. I kept asking my self, "if everyone and everything in the suburbs is so damn awful, why are you there?"

Sadly, this book is a continuation of the downward spiral of Jen Lancaster's writing. I think she had 3 good books in her and this is her 5th. Time for her to re-group or retire and rest on her laurels.
56 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glad I wasn't there.... 9 May 2011
By St. Lucia - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'll give this book 2 stars on the fact that I was able to finish it an didn't stop midway through.

This book was such a letdown for me!

I'm a huge Jen Lancaster fan, but she's been slowly losing me with her last couple of books. I didn't LOVE "Pretty in Plaid", and "My Fair Lazy" was better but still so-so. But this one has to be the worst. I was skeptical initially at Jen venturing into fiction, but I thought, oh this won't be so bad...she has an excellent writing style and I bet this can transition pretty well and be really funny. I bet she can carry it off!

But it just didn't work for me. I understand that sometimes a great way to venturing into fiction is to write about what you know, but Mia and Mac might as well be Jen and her husband with an exaggeration of details. When I read the synopsis of the book I thought I definitely can get into this having gone through some recent homeownership woes myself, but I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the things that happen to Mia and Mac.

I've also been a fan of Jen's footnotes in her novels, but here they felt amiss. I didn't buy this book on my kindle for the purpose of wanting to be able to read the footnotes hassle free, but where with her nonfiction I feel it always added a little something to the novel, here I felt it took away from the novel.

I would have rather read this book as nonfiction Jen and Fletch story. I couldn't find anything likable about Mia or Mac.

If I were to recommend a Jen Lancaster book for a new fan, I'd definitely recommend one of her earlier nonfictions, like "Bitter".
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Tried to Like It 17 July 2011
By CaseHolland - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was really disappointed in this book. I've been a fan of Jen's since her first book. I always laugh out loud and read the books multiple times. I did not enjoy this book. It was odd because after reading her other books the characters are clearly her and her husband just with different names. The book is not as humorous as her former books. The plot drags on and it takes several chapters to get to the point. I really hope Jen returns to nonfiction. It's where she belongs.
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