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Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase
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Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  15,448 Ratings  ·  1,089 Reviews
Now in paperback! Jen Lancaster's cultural inferiority complex had to come from somewhere...and now fans can find out where in the New York Times bestseller Pretty in Plaid.

Before she was bitter, before she was lazy, Jen Lancaster was a badge- hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton,
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published (first published April 4th 2009)
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Community Reviews

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May 09, 2009 Sabiel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jen's dogs, Maisy & Loki

Please allow me to reprint for your edification a maxim from Little House on the Prairie, which perchance you shall abide by since you regard the Ingalls girls as fashion icons in high esteem:

First time is funny.
Second time is naughty;
Third time is a spanking .**

This is your fourth memoir***, and you're 42. And a decade or two younger emotionally. Not that that's a bad thing; we love you for it, and it entertains us. But I think the Veronica Mars knockoff novel you mentioned penning in your
Feb 28, 2009 Robyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have been a huge fan of Jen Lancaster since I read her first book, and I loved the two that followed as much as the first. I have waited for this fourth book for over a year now and anxiously ordered it as soon as it was available. Sadly, this one just didn’t do it for me the way her other ones did. The others were hilarious, laugh-out-loud reads that had me wanting to snap my fingers in a Z and say, “Oh no she di-in’t!” to some of the outrageous things she says and does in her memoirs. I mean ...more
Oct 05, 2009 Jeni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite writers. Everything she writes is just a delicious treat. From her twitter to her blog to her books-I love it.

Which is why my dislike for her 4th book, Pretty in Plaid, is very disappointing.

As a side note: this was the first book I ever read on my Kindle. Don't read Jen Lancaster on a Kindle. She is famously known for her awesome sub-scripts. On a Kindle, you have to scroll to and select each number. Once there, you select, each number, go the page it's on, t
I have a serious heart on for Jen Lancaster right now. Having just listened to my first "Jen" book I am full of Jen-ness. In a total state of Jen. Yeah. I am Jen-ed to the max!

This being my only Jen book under my belt I can give my opinion of this as a Lancaster virgin. Sure I had spotted her books in the Target book aisles - chuckled at the pithy titles. Thought - Maybe. Well Maybe is today bitches!

I laughed out loud several times. I actually got teary once while at work. (I forget the actual p
Ashley Wigglesworth
It started off so great - I loved all the stories of her youth. But when one of us wonders - are our daily lives worthy of prose? If your life consists of pledging to a sorority, working lame retail jobs and then at an HMO and having a humdrum BF who won't commit to marriage - the answer is NO! David Sedaris, she is not.
Margie Thomas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2009 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I floored by the fact that I only gave two stars to a Jen Lancaster book, but, frankly, this one was disappointing. Such a Pretty Fat was my introduction to Jen Lancaster and I LOVED it. I quickly bought and read her other two books and liked them. This book seems to be a rehash of all of the same smart comments (which, I have to admit are still funny, but predictable). The two parts of the book that I enjoyed the most were Lancaster forging Girl Scout badges while in elementary school and atten ...more
May 25, 2009 Deena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Lancaster's first three books. So much that I read them all in the span of a few weeks.
I was ecstatic to get an ARC copy of PIP from a bookseller friend. Honestly, I was really disappointed with it. It just didn't have the same wit or feel. It took me weeks to force myself to finish. Perhaps because the story 'arcs' of the first three followed a much smaller time line, or maybe I just couldn't relate to the clothes stories as well as I could to the other books.
It was still okay, and som
Mar 11, 2009 Kalisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How cool is it that I got an advanced copy of this book from my secret publishing connection? So cool that it could only be surpassed by getting an advanced copy from Jen herself when I hung out with her at BlisDom!!! Which I did not. But apparently several people did. Only not me. OK, I didn't really "hang out" with her so much as blather incessantly in her presence a couple times. She's my author-idol.

Anywhore, the queen of memoir has done it again. I especially loved this one because - duh -
Kimberly Russell
Jan 08, 2012 Kimberly Russell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is my first Jen Lancaster book. I have two friends that are in love with her (hi Amanda and Crystal!) so I had to see with the fuss was about, and I really liked it! I thought she was very funny and I loved that she kept getting herself in trouble.
Feb 25, 2017 Luz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first time I saw the book, I thought it would be an interesting story. I was wrong, it was the exact opposite. Lancaster skips around through several concepts in the book.

The book is suppose to be about her memories, but for some reason I can't understand how she wrote about them without lying a bit. The book begins with her as a child, how can she remember those occasions after several decades? I'm in my late teens and I can barely remember portions of when I was nine, much less what I as
Paula  Phillips
May 15, 2012 Paula Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth Jen Lancaster memoir that I've read and I enjoyed this one as much as the previous books. The book starts with memories of her 8th birthday, moving to Indiana a few years later, college/sorority years, and beginning her post-college work life, all linked with a running theme of what clothing she wore at the time. She is very in tune with the pop culture of the time and clothing name brands. I must be about the same age as the author, because I could completely identify with th ...more
With Butterflies
I would have rated it only one star, but I generally save that for books that I can't even finish.

I liked her other books, but this one was annoying. She writes about herself as a young girl like a Diablo Cody screenplay. I realize it's hard to look back at yourself objectively since we bring all of our life experience with that view. Still, Jen wants us to believe that she talked like a 40 year old when she was 8? Come on, kids (even teenagers) don't talk that way. Even if she is playing it up
I read her blog and watched her book trailers. Jen Lancaster is witty, funny and cute; some have even called her the female David Sedaris. Yet as I made my way through the beginning of Pretty in Plaid I was afraid that it might not be to my liking.

In this, her fourth memoir, Lancaster takes us from the pre-teen years as a smart-ass fashionista through the college years as a smarter, smart-ass fashionista.

At first I was slightly put off by her bratty, materialistic, egomaniac rants, but as her li
Bronson Lauper
Jun 14, 2010 Bronson Lauper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like chick lit. It's the stuff billed as trashy chick lit that I run from. And that's what I understood Jen Lancaster was about, so I've been running for years. But I can't seem to escape the snarky titles, and finally decided to judge this book by its cover instead and give it a chance.

I accidentally liked it. Oops.

Okay, fine. It wasn't really an accident. The book is conversational, self-deprecating and extremely funny. A few f-bombs does not a trashy novel make and I thoroughly enjoyed her.
Karen Germain
I really like Jen Lancaster. She has fantastic stories, is very funny (I often feel the need to stop and read sections of her books aloud to anyone who is willing to listen) and she just seems like someone that you would want to have as your best friend. This being said, her latest book, “Pretty in Plaid” was a stretch. It seems like she might be running out of funny stories. It just didn’t seem as fresh or as hilarious as some of her earlier books. I still like Lancaster and will give her next ...more
Jan 02, 2010 Brooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jen Lancaster fancies herself to be a touch funnier than she is. Sometimes, during the course of the two books I've read by her, I've felt a strong compulsion to push her down, sometimes to push her down a short flight of stairs. However, balancing that violence I feel is the fact that I laugh out loud several times during the course of the book. So there's that. However, I don't think I'll remember this book by the end of next week. Recommended for the beach, a plane ride, something you could r ...more
Aug 31, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really funny! I love memoirs that are humorous and self deprecating. There were numerous times I laughed right out loud. I couldn't help it.

The way that she looks at things is a nice combination of honest and humorous.

I think I liked the sections of her as a child best as they were the funniest. I can just picture a little 8 year old girl ordering lobster at a restaurant.

I don't think her sense of humor will appear to everyone, but I sure enjoyed it!
Jul 09, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was handed to me by Mandi. She said that I had to read it. She was correct. I love Jen. She is funny smart and knows how to weave a wonderful story. Will have to go back and read all of her others books. If you decide to read these books make sure that you have a strong bladder and a box of tissues, not for tears of sadness but from the tears of joy.
If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, there are a lot of things in this book you will be able to relate to and will laugh out loud about.

This is the first book I have read from this author and plan to read more.
May 06, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this "flashback" into the life and times of Jen Lancaster. As always it was entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny!
Sep 14, 2011 Vicky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was cute to hear about her past. It was funny but I think leave the autobiography to magazine
Kira FlowerChild
In this book, Jen Lancaster reverses her usual order. Normally I find the first several chapters of her books a little hard to get through, but things smooth out after that. In this book, I much preferred the first half, where she talks about her childhood. For the first time, she feels like a real person instead of a snarky comedian. But never fear, Jen Lancaster fans, once she enters college there is plenty of snark to go around, and it continues during her first years as a working woman, afte ...more
Jul 14, 2017 Jonelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the last few books I read by Jen Lancaster. This one, I wasn't impressed with. I didn't feel a connection, like I did with Bitter is the New Black. I found the tone to be quite negative and she wasn't very funny.
Jan 31, 2017 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Random stories about funny things in her life. A cracked a few smiles, but I feel like she tried too hard to be funny. My favorite stories were at the end where she realized it wasn't about *things*.
Jul 22, 2017 Kelley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember really enjoying "Bitter Is The New Black" But this fell way short. There some funny parts, but her growing up years I really found I didn't like her then. I will still read other books by her though.
Jul 22, 2017 Kelley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
I really liked Bitter Is The New Black. But coming of age Jen is obnoxious. This fell flat for me. And it seemed to skip large spans of time. I will still read another book of hers, but hoping it's better than this one.
Jul 11, 2017 Teri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it. I've loved everything she writes. Primarily because her life sorta reminds me of mine. And of course, she's a Pi Phi!!!
May 26, 2017 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Entertaining with a side of humor. Too many footnotes for my liking, but the style was fun to read. The second half of the book was a little dull, but overall it was a good read.
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Chick Lit Book Club: Jen Lancaster: 4) Pretty in Plaid 14 25 May 10, 2010 06:22AM  
  • The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal
  • At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life
  • Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back
  • Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits
  • Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag
  • Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos
  • It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita
  • It's Not Me, It's You: Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated Woman
  • Retail Hell
  • The Spinster Sisters
  • The Shiksa Syndrome
Jen Lancaster is the author of her own memoirs including: as Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights, Big Ass, Such A Pretty Fat, Pretty in Plaid, My Fair Lazy, and the newest: Jeneration X.

She has also dabbled with fiction in her first book, If You Were Here.
More about Jen Lancaster...

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“As I examine my life through this book, I can't help but wonder if my mother was right. Maybe I really was what I ate. And maybe if she'd let me eat a little more sugar, I'd have come out sweeter.” 43 likes
“For the record? I have never been her baby. In fact, I reject the notion of coming out of her body. I prefer to believe I was hatched, or perhaps purchased.” 36 likes
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