If You Were Here
by Jen Lancaster
306 pages
general fiction

This book was the literary version of the fantastic 80s movie "The Money Pit" starring Tom Hanks and Shelly Long: fun with disastrous home repairs at every turn.

Mac and Mia move into the home used for Jake Ryan's (oh, how I had a crush on Michael Scoeffling who played him, and was even hotter later on as Al in "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken") abode in the movie "Sixteen Candles" to live the suburban dream; however, things don't go exactly as planned with just about every issue imaginable affecting their idealized mansion in the 'burbs.

Other reviewers have complained about the pop culture references and the endless associations with HGTV programming, but I, for one, found it to be perfect for 2011 - with home foreclosures at an all-time high, repair shows becoming the rage, and HGTV programming part of many people's day, I thought she hit the right notes in using the program line-up as reference for the characters. It seemed fitting.

I was SO annoyed and disgusted with the number of footnotes, many of them COMPLETELY unnecessary, that I started to become turned off from the book. Seriously, if she would have limited them even a LITTLE or better yet, not included them at all, I might have given this book four stars as a summer read. Instead, I deducted 1/10 of a rating star for every 100 footnotes used.



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