If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.
Earlier this year. I read Jen Lancaster's fiction novel Twisted Sisters and swore I'd never read another fiction novel by Lancaster. Memoirs yes, fiction, no. That lasted until I came across this novel at Goodwill and broke down and bought it.
I'm very glad I went back on this particular promise. This book was hilarious and I was reminded (again) just how funny Jen Lancaster can be. I think that it helps that with this novel (compared to Twisted Sisters), Lancaster was able to write it much like she would have written one of her memoirs, complete with footnotes. While some of the book was clearly fiction...there is a lot that I'm sure Lancaster borrowed from her real life experiences in moving to the suburbs.
I'm hard pressed to find anything I didn't particularly like about this novel, though I have to admit that not long after reading this...I had a baffling nightmare about zombies...which I could only trace to this book.
I'm still not convinced to read more of Lancaster's novels, but it did give me a renewed interest in reading her memoirs as I'm two or three books behind.