Two Frogs
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Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?

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by Jen Lancaster
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2010

Jen set the bar really high with her first book, Bitter Is the New Black, and so I had very serious expectations when I started reading her second autobiography. She stays true to her general formula (biting wit with copious one-liner footnotes that add to or edify the sarcasm), but this one felt more like a collection of essays or articles than it did an actual novel. I think the lack of a real timeline is what did it.

A nit to pick: I really could have done without all of the emails to her friends being slipped in, as they felt… lazy. Just write them up as stories you’re addressing to ME, your reader, rather than re-purposed personal emails you sent to your gal-pals.

In this one, both Jen and her husband Fletch are gainfully employed and well on their way to re-establishing lives of success and comfort, escorted by two big but lovable pit bulls and a host (we never really learn how many) of cats. As a fellow pet owner I got a lot of laughs out of the animals’ hijinx (especially Maisy), but I REALLY could have done with less written about how much the dogs peed and pooped on everything. I mean, really. Ew.

I know it sounds like I’m being critical, and perhaps I am, but the book was still a big win. It’s still funny. Jen still manages to somehow say all of the catty, bitchy, snarky things we all think but never actually say, and for that, I truly love her.

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