If you think you won't be captivated by a preternaturally manipulative little girl who holds out for lobster at ten dollars a pound for her eighth birthday dinner, you'll think again with the first few pages of the hilarious Pretty In Plaid. Not only is she demanding but also fashion conscious. It was a chilly evening when Jen, her parents and her brother, Todd, went out for that dinner and her mother wanted her to wear "a ridiculous pair of maroon tights." No way! As she says, "...I balked because my sweater is red and I refuse to clash, particularly on such an auspicious occasion."
And, that laughing readers, is only the beginning in this flat out funny memoir following Lancaster's highly successful Such A Pretty Fat. Yes, there are weight issues to be faced again but she primarily focuses on her growing up years, each period remembered by her must-have apparel of that time.
We begin with her days as a Junior Girl Scout - not only would there be camping and outings but she absolutely loved the green uniform. What was the all important accessory for that uniform? A sash laden with badges, of course. Only problem was you were supposed to earn those badges. Such details didn't stand in our Jen's way as she is soon sporting an eye-popping embellished sash.
What a romp it is to revisit those early years with her as she goes from that childhood triumph to college co-ed where she learns the hard way that a rush party described as casual does not mean a jean jacket and that a Coach handbag is an absolute necessity and why another rushee "with streaky blond hair from a suburb of Detroit called Grosse Pointe" looked so smug. There was so much for her to absorb in college, and further lessons learned when she didn't make her grades.
Later, she was ill prepared to find a job but that she did, and discovered what talents she possessed. No questioning her talent for writing a frank, funny look at her past which gives all of us some things to remember and lots to laugh about.