Here I Go Again (book review)

Here I Go Again was written by Jen Lancaster.  It is her second novel... and is a current selection in the BlogHer Book Club.

Book description:

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshiped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was...or can she?

Here I Go Again was a quick (took me 1 day) fun read.  I LOVE all of the references to music and pop culture from the late 80s and 90s.  I felt like it was an entire book of details about my high school and college years.  A bunch of inside jokes.  It had me reminiscing with every page turn.

I can't figure out how to write any more of my review without "spoilers".  So... you've been warned.... spoilers!!!!!

While I really did think this was a fun book... I can't remember a book where I disliked the main character as much as I disliked Lissy.  I honestly spent the whole book hating her.  She was a horrible bully.  As an adult she was still a bully, and snotty, and snobby.  She was shocked when the people she had bullied in school filled her in on how awful she had been.  Even as a 37 year old time traveling to her high school life she still had to make a HUGE effort not to be her same bully self.  I kept waiting for her to have a truly redeeming moment, and while at the VERY end she seemed to get it "right"... she was still pretty selfish and awful.  I just really hated her.

I also kind of hated the effect Lissy found she made during her time travel.  I enjoy time travel stories.  I love how authors can spin the stories of how time traveling to the past can alter the present and future with just the slightest bit of meddling or changed behavior.   But this time travel story kind of left me ill.

Briefly... when Lissy was a horrible bully, all of the people she bullied grew up to be enormous successes (rich, famous, living next door to Oprah, etc).  When Lissy went back she tried to correct all of her evil behaviors, and then, all of the people she didn't bully the 2nd time around ended up total failures (drug addicts, fat, bald, miserable).  Whatever made those people happy successful people seemed to be caused by Lissy bullying them.  So she went back a 3rd time a had to bully them all over again.  Yes, other things happened as a result of her time traveling.... but what I was mainly left with was that people who are bullied automatically end up being stronger, smarter, more successful, truer selves.  And that?  That is just a crappy thought to be having about bullying.  I know that's not the point of the story... but it's the major point I'm left with.

BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

Disclosure: I received a copy of Here I Go Again as part of the BlogHer Book Club.  All opinions expressed are my own.