JENERATION X by Jen Lancaster


One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development, or Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner
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An immature woman takes a crack at maturity in this chatty memoir.

Lancaster (My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto, 2010, etc.) provides some laugh-out-loud moments: Her accounts of giving herself a moustache wax in the middle of the night and of putting Vaseline all over her cat showcase the author’s cheerful willingness to share potentially embarrassing yet hilarious moments from her life. Most of the stories are about rites of adulthood, such as refinancing a mortgage and getting a mammogram, and Lancaster concludes each with a short “Reluctant Adult Lesson Learned.” This theme organizes what could have otherwise been a scattered series of anecdotes. On the whole, however, her experiences are more ordinary than transformative. Lancaster is the author of several other similar memoirs (Bitter is the New Black, Such a Pretty Fat) and often assumes that readers will be familiar with her back story, which could make it difficult for those new to her work to follow the narrative thread. At its best, this memoir will feel as comfortable as a long conversation with an old friend. However, longtime fans may wonder if they have anything in common with their old friend anymore—particularly during the chapter in which she describes her hunt for the perfect vintage bowling trophy—and new readers may occasionally feel like they are eavesdropping on an obnoxious person braying into her cell phone. Ultimately, Lancaster is abrasive and proud of it, and her ability to be true to herself mostly redeems her less-than-flattering moments.

Like Froot Loops for dinner: fun but unsubstantial.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-451-23317-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2012


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