I almost hate to write this review because I’ve never read a book by Jen Lancaster that I haven’t found anything redeeming about. I’ll admit the quality has fallen off a bit since her first few memoirs, but I’ve always enjoyed them. And her first two novels, while definitely Chick Lit, were enjoyable and fun. But Twisted Sisters? Yeah, Jen’s unmistakable voice is still there. But it was just, I don’t know, perverted somehow, into a version lacking the humor and keeping the meanness. A pale shadow of what Jen is capable of. Jen is great at writing awful women, herself included, but with Reagan Bishop she just goes too far. Reagan is a caricature of a real human, whose only likeable trait is that the rest of her family seems pretty awesome.
I have been so reluctant to write this post that I’ve actively avoided finishing it for over a month, which is really putting a damper on my blogging. For some reason I decided a while back that I wouldn’t work on more than one book review post at a time, and generally it’s kept me on track and focused. Not in the month of August, however. Work has been an epic level of busy for me all year, but August has been a level above epic, whatever the heck that is. Anyway. I finished Twisted Sisters so long ago now (back in early July) that most of the creative insults I’d come up with have been lost along with the details of the plot, so I think this is going to be a quick post. There was one thing I did enjoy about this book, and that was the character of Deva, who was also in Jen’s last novel, Here I Go Again, wherein she facilitated Lissy Ryder’s (that’s the Reagan Bishop of Here I Go Again) time travel adventures. Here she facilitates Reagan’s astral projection into the bodies of guests on Reagan’s self-help show in order to get quick results for an easily bored TV audience. If Deva is a recurring minor character in every novel Jen Lancaster writes, I will keep reading them forever. She’s just this hilarious ditzy mystical woman, and I think she’s wonderful to read.
And as for the aforementioned astral projection vehicle, I found Jen’s use of it a little disappointing. After Reagan gets done astral projecting into her patients, she does a few side trips into her sister Geri. (And Geri does some side trips into Reagan but that’s a spoiler so don’t read the last line of text. Ooops.) The time Reagan spends with her family, both as herself and as her sister, is the best part of this book, and Jen should have spent more time with the Bishops than she did with Reagan’s work situations. I think people would have liked it better. I know I would have.
So there you have it. A sort-of-maybe-kind-of-a-negative review of one of my favorite authors. The upsetting thing is that if Jen’s writing has taken a consistent turn for the worse I’m bummed out that I’ve purchased all three of her books that have come out since Twisted Sisters, and anything that I buy in hardcover I have to read…. It’s so unfortunate when silly personal rules of reading dictate our reading choices.