Book Reviews of Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Bitter is the New Black Confessions of a Condescending Egomaniacal Self-Centered SmartassOr Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Author: Jen Lancaster
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ISBN-13: 9780451217608
ISBN-10: 0451217608
Publication Date: 3/7/2006
Pages: 416
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 797

4 stars, based on 797 ratings
Publisher: NAL Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

141 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 371 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 21
The author of this book is an egotistical, narcissistic b*tch but somehow she manages to come across as both sympathetic and funny at the same time. I didn't think I'd like this book after reading the first 2 chapters, but by the time I finished it, I was looking forward to the sequel.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
Have you ever wondered who orders the $80 "sugar scrubs" and such at spas? This book answers that, plus details the author's illustrious career rise and downfall in marketing, and her accumulation of designer duds and debt along the way. The last third of the book describes her long (2-yr) unemployment and destitution culminating in eviction from her apartment. She is finally saved by her blogging which attracks agents. I suggest visiting the blog (www.jennsylvania.com) before deciding on this book as I found her writing repetitive, sarcastic and annoying. Of course, she admits this is her schtick on the back cover, but it's still tough to plow through.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
Such a funny book - I think a lot of us fall into the "trap" of thinking we need materialistic things and attention from others to make ourselves feel important.

The author learned the hard way how untrue this is, we could all learn from her mistakes :)

I just picked up her second book - can't wait to get started!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a houseold income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto appartment...it's a modern Greek tragedy,as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meenindless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words? The bitch had it comming.

A great read, funny and entertaining. You've gotta read it!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Helpful Score: 9
Cute, funny, light reading. The main character was a bit annoying at first, but I think it was intentional as part of the character's development. I'm not a big fan of chick-lit, but I found this to have more humor and substance than many of the books in the genre.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This book is pee your pants funny! Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Jen Lancaster is a trip!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 347 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I actually read the sequel "Bright Lights, Big Ass" first. Jen does come across as whiny, but much of that is for effect. She really does learn a painful lesson about making priorities in life by the end of this story.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was funny, I'll give it that. BUT that was about it. With all the hype, I really was expecting to laugh out loud. Not so much. It was humerous, but by 3/4 the way through, I was still trying to figure out the plot? Cute, but I doubt I'll read her next books.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I loved this book - it really shows you how quickly your entire life can change.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Really bitter, but really funny. Lancaster is going to be around for a long time to come.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Even when Jen Lancaster is being a snob, there is something to love about her. She's over the top and says what everyone else is thinking, but would never have the gumption to say. (As if it never crossed your mind to call a whore a whore. I, however, wouldn't be surprised if said whore slapped me for actually verbalizing my observation. But I get the distinct impression that Jen would be caught off guard and wonder why anyone would feel the urge to strike her.)

Seriously, you will love to hate her.

Jen is refreshingly unapologetic about who she is and the hard work that earned her her status as a "thousandaire". (After all, she was a VP.)

Jen takes the reader on shopping trips, shamelessly name-dropping high end designers and relishing in the fact that she lives in a penthouse suite while the rest of her subjects are contentedly basking in her shadow.

In light of the current economy and the universal hatred of the gluttony of Wall Street, "Bitter" maintains its credibility and provides a therapeutic release. There are plenty laugh out loud moments and times when a tear might be shed with its brutal honesty. I cheered out loud when one of the Corp. Com. execs got an earful of Jen's exiting monologue and cried when Jen & Fletch were evicted from the slums.

In the end, I found myself being incredibly proud of this woman who isn't afraid to show the world who she really is.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I liked that in this book the character goes through some hardships but doesn't remain as shallow at the end as she began.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a great book that made me laugh out loud multiple times and had me pulling for the main character Jen the whole time. I cannot wait to read the next book.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
loved this book, funny, witty and sarcastic all rolled into one. definitely a book I would recommend!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Hysterical! Jen Lancaster kept me in stitches throughout the book.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really thought I'd like this book, but the dry, sarcastic schtick got old after a couple of chapters. I listen to talk like this *all day*...why would I want to read about it? I understand that she got what was coming to her by the end of the tale, and I did cheat and read the last few pages...but even then, she is not someone I'd want to know in real life, before or after her downfall and eventual rise. Bleh.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I loved this book. She is definitely sarcastic and you may not like her at first, but give the book a chance. It's worth it. Very funny if you like people with dry, sarcastic sense of humor.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is totally hilarious! I loved it :)
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I loved this book! Jen Lancaster is sarcastic and pokes more fun at herself than anyone else.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Jen Lancaster is funny and sarcastic, but she can also be annoying. Overall the story is easy to follow, but even with the humor, humbling and ultimate (sort of) redemption, she still comes across as someone who over-indulged in her own self importance and selfishness and then adopted a "woe is me" mentality when she hit financial difficulties. It was not easy to feel sorry for her, or root for her success when she eventually had to make sacrifices most of us deal with everyday.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A really fun & funny read! I enjoyed it, especially the way Lancaster could laugh at herself so well. And I really enjoyed how the book turned out. I intend to check out her website; I like her writing!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I laughed so hard my husband came running from the other room to see what the problem was. Jen Lancaster has done a fabulous job of truly making us care. I love that the character grows so much and we get to see her do it.

I borrowed this book from the library but will be adding it to my âkeeper shelfâ and will make all my friends and family read it.

Warning...Do not read this book in public as you will get strange looks when you start laughing out loud.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A fun book that anyone who has ever been unemployed can relate to.Witty,sarcastic and well written,a good read!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a pretty good book! Very funny contents in book! Good easy read!
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Helpful Score: 2
I really didn't think I was going to like this book. Jen starts off very whiny and egotistical. Love me! Love my highlights! Love my Prada bag! You know, it's my world, you're just living in it! Yes, we KNOW you were a VP of a major corporation. You mentioned it every chance you got! I've learned through my years of being a secretary (excuse me, administrative assistant), the higher up they are on the ladder, the more helpless they are. This book kind of reminded me of the Shopaholic series, although that main character has absolutely no clue. But something happened half-way through the book. Jen started to grow on me because she was going through her own transformation. She realized her past actions and consumerism was the reason why she and Fletch (her husband) were in the predicament they found themselves in. No job, no health insurance, no 401K, totally broke, car repossessed, etc. When Jen packed to move the first time, her eyes finally opened to all of the crap she had accumulated and realized ... WTF?! I will now be reading the sequels, thanks to the public library! And, yes, even Jen realized she should have utilized the public library more! I say, plow through the first 100 pages and it'll be worth it!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great book! Very funny.
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Helpful Score: 2
A witty, funny book. The title says it all! I enjoyed laughing out loud at this one.
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Helpful Score: 2
I read this book in a few days time. I didn't think it was all that funny but there were funny parts where I did laugh out loud. This book to me seems believable because I can be as outspoken as the main character in this book. Not quite as loud mouthed though. I think you will enjoy this book.

This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quartermillion dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment....
It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which the control character, called a large protagonist or here, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
OK, I figured out how to get through this book: skim the first few pages of chapter one, then skip over the following 150 pages. No, I'm serious.

The author's writing is repetitive and her attitude is disgraceful; her behavior pre-unemployment is the class-A stereotype of a boorish American yuppie. Don't get me wrong, I like unlikable characters if the story is told in a compelling way. For example, I lovingly followed Scarlett O'Hara, a narcissistic borderline sociopath, through over 1000 pages of Gone with the Wind. Ms. Lancaster is no Margaret Mitchell. Actually, Ms. Lancaster is sorely in need of a good editor - were 212 snark-based footnotes really necessary? Could the author not work this hilariousness into the storyline?

When Lancaster has been unemployed for a while, and her get-presents-quick marriage scheme has come and gone, the interesting part of the story finally comes. Lancaster begins to morph into a human as she moves to the ghetto, sells her stuff, lets her roots grow out, and finally gets evicted. Lancaster starts rejoining society with the rest of the heathens around the same time she starts giving a darn about the well-being of folks (and animals) other than herself. The closest she comes to redeeming herself is an episode where she comes to the rescue of her bedridden husband, who is paralyzed by depression and unable to help himself when he can't afford to continue his meds.

This book is about 200 pages too long, but I did enjoy the last 3rd of the story. Like other readers, I recommend checking out Lancaster's blog to get a better sense of this author before investing in any of her books.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I liked this book so well I'm going to buy copies for my sister, daughter and a couple of friends. It's laugh-out-loud funny. At 56, I was afraid I was the wrong generation to enjoy this. I thought it might be full of Gen X and Gen Y cultural references that I hadn't heard of, but that wasn't the case.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Even when Jen Lancaster is being a snob, there is something to love about her. She's over the top and says what everyone else is thinking, but would never have the gumption to say. (As if it never crossed your mind to call a whore a whore. I, however, wouldn't be surprised if said whore slapped me for actually verbalizing my observation. But I get the distinct impression that Jen would be caught off guard and wonder why anyone would feel the urge to strike her.)

Seriously, you will love to hate her.

Jen is refreshingly unapologetic about who she is and the hard work that earned her her status as a "thousandaire". (After all, she was a VP.)

Jen takes the reader on shopping trips, shamelessly name-dropping high end designers and relishing in the fact that she lives in a penthouse suite while the rest of her subjects are contentedly basking in her shadow.

In light of the current economy and the universal hatred of the gluttony of Wall Street, "Bitter" maintains its credibility and provides a therapeutic release. There are plenty laugh out loud moments and times when a tear might be shed with its brutal honesty. I cheered out loud when one of the Corp. Com. execs got an earful of Jen's exiting monologue and cried when Jen & Fletch were evicted from the slums.

In the end, I found myself being incredibly proud of this woman who isn't afraid to show the world who she really is.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
When I first read what this book was about I was unsure if I would like it or if I would be annoyed about a self-centered, egotistical character, but I was wrong! I loved this book! The character starts out as so clueless to what real life is, but by the middle your cheering for her.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was just not interesting to me. I'm not opposed to "smartass" personalities (as she calls herself), but this woman is just irritating. I definitely agree with others who recommend checking out her blog first to get a sense of her writing style, before wasting your money (or a credit). I wish I would've done that!
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Helpful Score: 1
I found this book laugh-out-loud funny! Looking forward to reading more from this author!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was just not for me. I was a little upset that I didnt like it. But mostly because it had been on my wish list for a long time on PaperbackSwap, and I had been excited to get it. And now I wish I hadnt. The main character was just a picky, finicky woman who I would use a stronger wording for but I am trying to remain PG. Now I suppose to some people that might be funny. But to me it was just pointless. I almost stopped reading but by the time I was going to I was almost half way through. And at that point I had used enough time on it that I didnt wish to stop. So at least the book counts for my 2009 Challenge but that is about all it counts for. If you want my opinion skip this book, you will save yourself some trouble.
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Helpful Score: 1
I did not think it was laugh out loud as many people had reviewed, but it was definitely entertaining. I enjoyed the book overall and am even planning on lending it to a friend.
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Helpful Score: 1
When I started this book,I wasn't too impressed the first chapter.Quickly,Jen Lancaster brings you into her style of writing.I even loved the footnotes!! This is her story as she is laid off from a high-paying job. By the end of the book, I couldn't wait for the next installment.Can't wait to visit her blog!
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Helpful Score: 1
A little slow to start, but by the middle of this book I was laughing out loud - somtimes with tears streaming down my face. I found Jen Lancaster to be a very relatable author. I will definitely read more from her!
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Helpful Score: 1
Cute book.
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Helpful Score: 1
Jen Lancaster is that funny friend who says everything you wish you could say. Love her stuff!
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Helpful Score: 1
My friend loves this book and I don't understand why. I hated this book. Pointless to waste my time reading about someone else's almost prideful bragging about her actually miserable manner of living. Oh well... different people enjoy reading different things.
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Helpful Score: 1
I am just finishing this book and although somewhat entertaining, am tempted not to finish it. The story gets old - picture a self-centered arrogant 30-something who lands six figure paychecks in the boom days of the advertising industry - who then gets laid off, stays at home to watch the Price is Right, almost loses the luxury apartment that defines her self-image, applies for jobs for 2 years and complains the whole time about how everyone is wrong about her. Inspired by her endless free days and her frustration for being rejected by seemingly every employer for 2 years, Jen creates a website in which to bitch and complain online...the one interesting part of this book is the letters she receives from readers of her blog - but near the end, even these don't redeem this boring read. If you want to read about how the rich and self-congratulatory live and how they can plummet from the top to the bottom in mere minutes (which is actually a little funny), this is the book for you. Otherwise, read Bridget Jones for amazingly, a more substantial read.
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Helpful Score: 1
Jen Lancaster has a marvelous gift for storytelling. She is witty, sometimes bitchy, but always funny. Her stories are not only funny but easy to read and relate to (on some level, we don't all lack the internal filter that Jen has a gift for ignoring).

Overall, an excellent debut and one that has kept me wanting more even after I completed the fourth book. Highly recommend anything she writes!
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Helpful Score: 1
Unbelievably funny. We have all been in some of the same situations!
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a light, chiclit summer read in every aspect. If you're looking for a few laughs, light non-thinking it's perfect.
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Helpful Score: 1
Jen Lancaster rocks!!! Love, love, love everything she writes!! She says so much of what I feel alot of people think but don't say
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Helpful Score: 1
This is without a doubt one of the funniest, real-life accounts I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Jen Lancaster has the wit and sharp tongue to deliver punch-lines and downright rude comments that leave you either agog or in splits from laughing so hard. Even my husband thought it was funny whenever I read him a few lines here and there because I just HAD TO share!!!
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Helpful Score: 1
Jen is incredibly funny!
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Helpful Score: 1
cute and fun read. got a little boring towards the middle - but overall enjoyable.
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Helpful Score: 1
I am officially addicted! I have wish listed every Jen Lancaster book - her snarky comments and slightly scornful point of view on life is hilarious and keeps you turning the pages throughout the whole book. By the time you've reached the end, you get upset because it was over too soon!!!!!!!!!! If you're offended, upset or confused by the title, put the book down - you will not appreciate this book as it's meant to be or enjoy it like it should be. Otherwise, READ IT and I'm sure you'll rate it 5 stars, just like me!!!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was not at all what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised. When the book starts out, you think wow this lady's a total bitch, but by the end of the book you end up emphasizing with her. Great read highly recommend!
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Helpful Score: 1
Jen Lancaster is my hero.
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Helpful Score: 1
I kept reading, even though I should have given up on this book. Jen, the protagonist, is such an awful, immature, loudmouthed, mean, shallow person, I had a hard time feeling any sympathy or compassion for her. Really, this is an exercise in how NOT to act. I was hoping to see great redemption of character, but I was disappointed to see it was minimal.
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Helpful Score: 1
Funny read.
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Helpful Score: 1
After the first couple chapters, I was prepared to ditch this book because Jen was so annoying. She was exactly the sort of obnoxious person that I loathe. But, happily, I stuck with it and ended up loving her! This is a great book. It is funny and snarky. It is also heartwarming and thought-provoking. It turned out to be better than I expected.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is hysterical. A good look at how the mighty fall hard and then pick themselves up again!! Highly recommend!
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Helpful Score: 1
Lancaster's memoirs are fun to read. This is her first and her introspection reminded me of many of the conversations I've had in my own head. She does a great job of setting the context of where she started... so we can see how far she falls and appreciate her struggles to climb back up.

Through it all, she maintains a self-deprecating sense of humor, yet also learns a lot about herself. I highly recommend it.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was our first book club pick...it was the only book that all of us could agree on after reading the back cover! Jen Lancaster if HIlarious! I also read Bright Lights Big Ass and it was good too, but this one was the best! Her adventures in this book were so funny...I especially liked when she went to the fitness fair to pick up something for a friend and started eating a candy bar right in front of all the skinny b*tches! She has a new book coming out in May and I can't wait!
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Helpful Score: 1
very funny, laugh out loud reading
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Helpful Score: 1
Good book, especially since the book is a memoir. I really liked the way the author takes you through her materialistic life to her realization that life is not all about money and possessions.

Fun to read.
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Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED this book! I annoyed my husband by reading parts aloud that I thought were especially funny. Quick read but very enjoyable.
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Helpful Score: 1
I think Jen Lancaster may just be my long lost sister. Though its a little scary to actually admit that. Whatever... Long live bitter women!
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Helpful Score: 1
Very cute, fun book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I read the second book and loved it. So, of course I had to read her first book. I didn't like it as much as the second book but it was still very good. I love her honesty and sarcasm. I'll definately read all of her books, because she is totally awesome. I'm pretty sure she is the long lost sister I never had and always wanted.

This book is definately worth your time and money.
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Helpful Score: 1
ChickLit, a fun read. Supposedly a memoir--a rather smart-aleck woman loses her job in cut-backs. This is her rather funny story of the way down, and the way back up.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was hilarious!!!! I laughed so hard.
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Helpful Score: 1
The perfect beach read that will keep you guessing and wanting more!
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Helpful Score: 1
HILARIOUS!!!!
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Helpful Score: 1
This was a delightful and irreverent book about the time a young woman spent unemployed. She had previously had lived a charmed life, but financial circumstances helped her learn some of life's lessons. The story has a nice ending and I was surprised to find that the story is based on real experiences. To: jen@jenlancaster.com Your husband sounds like the perfect man!
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a really funny account--which purports to be true--of the author's plummet from the high life into unemployment in the post-9/11, dotcom-bust period.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. She is real and it made your life not look quite as crazy.
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Helpful Score: 1
Cute story. Quick read.
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Helpful Score: 1
Funny - the character is outrageously mean and sarcastic but she develops nicely.
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Helpful Score: 1
What a fun, bitchy read! Be careful, the sarcasm is contagious!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is for non-fiction what Shopaholic is for fiction. Jen Lancaster is not only funny, but SO on point about her observations about life. She apologetically writes about her maturation from a clothes and status obsessed, overpaid dot com VP to a mature, witty, yet still wittily-caustic wife and writer. This book is funny, laugh out loud, poke your husband to wake him up and, "listen to this!" funny!
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Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED it! Very funny read - I was laughing outloud in every chapter!
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Helpful Score: 1
Fun read.
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This book was just okay for me. I thought it was kind of funny in parts, but I didn't laugh out loud like I was hoping. Jen Lancaster just comes off like a spoiled brat and quite pathetic just because she loses her job and a few of her luxurious items had to be sold on Ebay. I didn't feel very sorry for her and I can't believe there are people out there that actually act like she did in this book. I guess, it's called Karma, Miss Lancaster....AND, I don't think I will be reading any of her other books if they are like this one. Too negative and way too bitter without the humor to back it up. Don't waste your time. Glad I didn't actually buy this book and I can't wait to send this one on.
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Great book. Quick, easy and fun read. I wss prepared to hate her and the beginning of the book had me heading down that road. But what a nice surprise it was to end up on her side and rooting for her. I laughed out loud so many times reading this book. You won't regret picking this one up.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Not as funny as her first one, but I did laugh out loud a few times.
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I laughed out loud so many times reading this book! It is a great summer read.
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I thought this was a good book, BUT...... her book Such a Pretty Fat is MUCH better... anyone struggling with weight issues (and who isn't) will relate.... and you'll laugh out loud!!
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Another awesome, let-it-all-hang-out book by Jen. I don't care if she's completely self-absorbed. I'd totally hang out with her and can't wait to read Pretty in Plaid.
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This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. It puts such a comic relief to the reality of losing one's job and facing the emotional baggage attached to it as well. Despite the topic, the author has managed to keep one turning the pages to see what crazy thing she will say or do next.....entertaining read.
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AMAZING! I could not get enough of Jen Lancaster. This book has led me to pawn over anything she writes and even keep up with her website jennsylvania. She's a total trip, brutally honest, and more often than not a total bitch. Can't wait to read the rest of her hysterical memoirs!
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I literally laughed out loud throughout this whole book. Reading this book is like sitting across from her in a coffeehouse and having her tell you this story face to face. Her humor and personality may not be for all, but I can't wait to read more of her stuff.
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Irritating, annyoying and tough to get through -- visit her blog insted jennsylvania.com
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Laugh out loud good.
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I tried to read this book. I couldn't get past the third chapter. I realize it's supposed to be a funny read but wow...it stunk. The footnotes were annoying and the story was not moving along at all.
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This is the first book of hers that I have read. I definitely look forward to reading more.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Great read!! Light, Funny and at times Sad......enjoyed it very much!!
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very funny
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Laughed until I cried.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
SO VERY FUNNY. MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Very funny, enjoyed the hilarious footnotes throughout the book. Can't wait to read the rest of Jen Lancaster books.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 11 more book reviews
I really loved this book. Easy fast read.
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Funny, funny! I can't believe this is a real person, who acts like this?
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
Jen Lancaster is a breath of sarcastic and awesome fresh air. She says what every other awesome woman living in this day and age is thinking and puts it all together into a book for our awesome enjoyment. I appreciate her wit and humor. She may not be for everyone though. Those that take life a bit too seriously, may fail to find her work worthy of their time. For the rest of us, she is a nice escape from our own woes. This book is best read with a glass (or bottle!) of wine!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
enjoyed it, very amusing
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 29 more book reviews
Started it, hated it, couldn't read it. Every page has a footnote. She tries too hard to be cute. My humble opinion is that it is unreadable.
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She's a bitch with a superiority complex and doesn't care. That is what I love about the protagonist/author. I guess I can relate on some level. Though I am a milder version. The story is witty and funny. Quick chick-lit read. I enjoyed very much!
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Hilarious!
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very funny
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I really could not get into this book. I was annoyed with the author's voice and really couldn't feel any compassion for her troubles.
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Fantastic book. Really brightened my day when I was having a bad day. Jen Lancaster is hilarious. She is so staright forward in her writing. She is bound to get a laugh out of anyone.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on
This is one of the best chick lit books I have ever read. It was hard to like the character at first, but she grows on you. Just keep reading. The writing is great and it's a good story. It's easy to relate to if you have ever lost your job. The part about the health fair made me laugh out loud!
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This is laugh out loud funny! It is a perfect read for this time in our world. Many are going through the same sort of situation, most are not going to fall so far as Ms. Lancaster or do it with such a snarky sense of humor. I literally read this will working at my temp job! Highly recommend!!
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I thoroughtly enjoyed this book. The first few chapters, I kept thinking what a shallow self-centered b*tch the author was, but as I followed her on her lay-off journey, my opinion of her changed completely.

Love the sarcastic sense of humor, and look forward to reading more of her books.
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Book Overview
I usually don't like to use the blurbs on the back of the book to do my story overviews, but the one on this book is just too good to pass up:

This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter of a million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment. It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words, the bitch had it coming.

In many ways, this is a classic Greek tragedy -- if you use Greek in the sorority sense and tragedy in the sense of "spending and not saving leads to a complete change in lifestyle once the dot com boom falls apart." At the start of the book, Jen Lancaster is living the dream -- a well-paying job, a to-die-for apartment in a ritzy section of Chicago, a live-in boyfriend, Prada handbags, designer shoes, regular highlight appointments at a trendy salon -- in other words, the lifestyle that many bright young people enjoyed during the dot com craziness when money seemed to grow from trees.

Then things start to fall apart. First, Jen is laid off for reasons that remain somewhat murky -- but seem to be due to the fact that her boss doesn't care for her straight talk and competence. Seeing this as a minor blip, Jen doesn't realize the gravity of the situation at first. Surely someone as competent as her would be able to get another job easily. But the jobs seems to dry up overnight -- and not just the executive level jobs she's enjoyed in the past. All jobs. She can't even get hired for a retail position.

Despite her increasingly lower standards, no employment opportunities come her way -- despite daily efforts to locate another job. So she starts a blog (which I suspect was a rarity back in the good old days of 2003) and starts writing about her life and job search efforts. (Eventually, her smart ass comments about companies that reject her actually cost her a shot at a job.) The years go by and nothing appears. Money is getting tighter and tighter -- and her former lifestyle of "easy come, easy go" money begins to catch up to her. Selling her handbags on eBay barely stems the increasingly hard to meet rent payments. So Jen does what any good woman would do -- gets married in order to get lots of gifts!

Yet even the wedding doesn't pull her and her new husband Fletch out of an increasingly dire financial situation. They face the inevitable -- a move to a less expensive neighborhood. But then even Fletch loses his job and falls into depression. Things gets worse and worse, and they begin contemplating the unthinkable: moving in with the parents. But at the last moment, Fletch manages to secure a job. And, at long last, Jen finally receives a job offer and -- almost simultaneously -- inquiries about her writing. (Her blog Jennsylvania has grown quite popular and some publications and a literary agent take notice.) She faces a classic dilemma -- take the job that will offer financial security or pursue her dream of writing? What to do? What to do? The fact that Jen Lancaster just released her fourth book -- Pretty In Plaid -- answers this question nicely.

My Thoughts
Putting aside my intense jealousy of her writing success and the fact that she "rose out of the blogosphere," I must admit that I loved this book. Jen Lancaster's writing style is funny, brash and in-your-face -- the reader can totally see why her blog became incredibly popular. And her use of footnotes must be admired -- I've never seen an author since Dave Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius make such good use of this underused literary device. Treating herself almost as a larger than life protagonist, Jen Lancaster is a person you would want to hang out with -- but maybe not work for.

Her stories all have the ring of truth but come off as so dramatic and hysterical. She has a knack for self-depreciation mixed with smartassedness (not sure if that is really a word) that makes what might be a boring story in lesser hands turn into comedy gold. Her story of trying to discover which neighbor is stealing her Wall Street Journal is a stellar example of this. If a less talented writer had written it, it might go something like this:

Someone is taking my Wall Street Journal. I decide to find out who and set up a stakeout to find out. The guy in 3F seems like he might be the thief, but he takes USA Today instead. The lady with the big boobs from 2C walks right by. But seeing her drink her coffee reminds me I have to pee really bad as I've already had 6 cups of coffee.

In Jen Lancaster's hands, it sounds more like this:

Wait, I think I see something.....The guy in 3F has just left his apartment -- WHY DON'T YOU PICK UP THAT GODDAMNED TRASHBAG --and is heading down the catwalks. I grab the phone while holding the binoculars steady, fingers itching to dial 911. Aha! He's stopping to grab a paper! Thief! Thief! You are so busted, motherfu--Oh, damn. He took USA Today. At least that proves he's a moron. And I still really have to pee. However, I'll ignore the physical discomfort because I'm committed to seeing this through.

Uh-huh, here comes President Jugs out of 2C, bouncing down the stairs. Boing, boing, boing. She just bought an Audi convertible and still has her Mercedes. You'd think with all that extra cash she could afford a bra with decent support. She pauses to take a pull from her travel coffee mug. Oh, please don't drink that. Can't stand the idea of more liquid. Am crossing my legs at this point. But I must focus to catch this criminal. And jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, she's headed for my paper ... and walks right past it. She heads out the door and I see her drive away. So she's innocent. For now.

Let us all be happy Jen Lancaster decided to pursue writing instead of taking another high-paying corporate position. This way, we're all the richer for it ... not just her.

My Final Recommendation
Fun and filled with attitude, this book is a fast read that will leave you wanting more -- good thing she wrote three other books after this one! And underneath all the humor, snarkiness and wit, there are some important reminders about what is really important in life -- and guess what, it isn't a Prada bag. I will definitely be reading more by this author. If you want to get a feel for Jen Lancaster, I recommend a visit to her blog Jennsylvania.
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A great, laugh out loud book
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I read the second book before reading this one so the sequence of events was a little bit out of order, but still enjoyed this book quite a lot. How Jen and Fletch manage to make it through all the adversity in their lives and come out of it still together provides many hours of entertaining and laugh out loud reading.
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Good book
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What a waste of my time, and energy. It is just awful. The rantings of an immature, spoiled brat.
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This is a hilarious book. I went between rolling my eyes at the author, to laughing at (or with) her. And, sometimes, I could relate. I would recommend this book.
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I couldn't really get past the first part of this book though I read many reviews that state that the second half is very funny.
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If you want to see a snooty sorority sister get her comeuppance and learn how the rest of us live, this is the book for you!
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It's OK. And kudos cause she did write and did get published. But other than that, it's a rather ordinary experience...in a rather ordinary, self-serving book. I didn't think it was funny...more tongue-in-cheek. It didn't suck. I actually read the whole thing...but it has no real purpose, even as entertainment, IMO. If like me, you happen across it for free, it might be worth a read...but surely you can find something better.
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fantastically funny...great chick lit!
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Well, it is just what it claims to be. I am pretty sure that I worked with the clone of this person...she was laid off...go figure.

Materialism at it's finest.
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This book is absolutely hilarious! Her denial of accountability and slow decline of reality mixed with a wicked sense of humor, make it a laugh out loud book. Only a true sarcastic person can appreciate this read.
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The first of Jen Lancaster's books, it's so funny, yet you really feel what it's like to be just barely hanging on after both Jen and Fletch lose their jobs.
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Amazing book. I absolutely LOVE Jen Lancaster! I have read all her books and they are all wonderful. She has a great sense of humor and you will laugh out loud when you read this book. A must read.
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Jen has a weird sense of humor that makes this a fun read. She truely is a female dog through most of the book.
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this was a quick read - one day, at the most. i saw a lot of myself in this woman, and i saw a lot of qualities that i hope that i don't have. i laughed, i snorted, and i enjoyed. quick sunday read.
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I so totally enjoyed this read, very fitting title and totally laugh worthy. I'm eager for more.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 15 more book reviews
Funny chick lit, book is written in the form of a blog.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 37 more book reviews
funny, smart, and actually full of good sense that we, or at least i, can use in my own life. loved this book.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 16 more book reviews
Loved, loved, loved this book - my only criticism (of myself) is that I read Jen Lancaster's "Bright Lights, Big..." first. It kind of spoiled some of this material for me, but not enough to detract from my love of her totally honest, self-effacing and hilarious written accounts of her own ridiculousness. Humorist essays at their finest!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 2 more book reviews
An enjoyable and engaging read. I really enjoyed this.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 49 more book reviews
It kept me entertained. :)
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 33 more book reviews
My niece is a big fan of Jen Lancaster which is why I wanted to read some of her work. I have to admit there were a few times that I laughed out loud reading this book which is something I very seldom do. I would definitely recommend this book!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 16 more book reviews
LOVED her inner-monologue footnotes!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 22 more book reviews
so funny!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 68 more book reviews
This was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. The fact that it is true (I think) makes it even better. Jen Lancaster is a great writer and if you just want a fun romp, read this book. About 3/4 of the way through, I couldn't put it down because I wanted to see how it ended (if she ended up living back at her parent's house)........
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 473 more book reviews
Laugh out loud funny!!!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 22 more book reviews
Laugh out loud funny!
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 11 more book reviews
Fun Read. It gets a little long but it is an enjoyable read.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 9 more book reviews
Laugh out loud in parts.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 11 more book reviews
I wanted to find the author and throttle her. She's bitter, all right, but not in an especially funny way.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 10 more book reviews
While i could understand the situations in this book i got lost in the name dropping. What good is knowing what name brand or designer the main character is wearing? Please put more meat to your stories and less focus on the clothes.
reviewed Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office on + 52 more book reviews
hated it