Review: Bitter is the New Black

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 by Jen Lancaster

Publisher: NAL Trade


Source: Purchased

From the cover:

This is the story of how a haughty former sorority gal went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment in less than two years.  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.

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, along with having one of the longest titles I’ve ever seen, was pure entertainment.

The book was everything the title promised it to be as well as being full of snarky and witty remarks. I’ll admit I was a little worried at first about how much I’ll enjoy this book because the beginning felt like watching a car accident. It was terrifying to read about the way she was screaming and yelling at people. I was cringing while she was making a scene at the airport, but at the same time I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from it. And as fun as it is to watch drama unfold right before your eyes (as long as you’re not on the receiving end of it), I was hoping that there was going to be more depth to the book. But the more I read the more I realized that her actions were pretty justified. As much as I hate to say this, some of the people on the receiving end of her snide remarks deserved it.

And before I knew it I was rooting for our tragic heroine. We follow Jen on a humorous and laugh out loud journey as she tries to keep a roof over her head and food on her table. After many lessons learned the hard way, she goes through quite a transformation as her values and wants quickly changes. Let’s just say what seemed like a must-die-for $7000 couch doesn’t seem worth it when you have to e-bay your shoes and purses to make rental payments.

After finishing the book, the first thing I wanted to do was pass it onto my cousin who recently graduated with a business degree, but is currently unemployed. But I’m not sure if the book would make him feel better or worse about his current situation. (hey, at least he has a roof over his head right?) Maybe it’ll encourage him to follow his dreams and do something he likes…. Let’s face it; we all know he doesn’t want a corporate job.

[ purchase from amazon ] [ visit the author ]


Posted on June 3, 2010, in 4 stars, book reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. All of Jen’s books are great! You really do feel like you know her after reading them 🙂 I am glad that you liked it!

    • i’m definitely going to be picking up her other books. it’s good to know that she wasn’t a one hit wonder and that her other books are good too.

  2. I’ve had this one on my TBR list FOREVER! Sounds like I need to get to it soon!

  3. What a great review!
    I love your blog voice.

    Thanks for stopping by Tales of Whimsy…

  4. I love that you call Jen our “tragic heroine,” because that’s totally how I see her! This book was absolutely hilarious and, as Jen’s situation became more precarious, she endeared herself to us all the more. She was definitely pretty scary in the beginning.

    I have three of her other books in my bookcase right now, just waiting to be read. I’m kind of saving them for a rainy day! They’re sure to lift my mood!

    • that’s a really good idea! i tend to devour books that i love, but that’s pretty smart to save some to cheer you up. i never thought of that.

  5. I definitely need to read Jen Lancaster! Your review really make it sound like something I would enjoy, and Meg has written such positive reviews of her books that I’m really curious about her!

  6. This book is on my TBR list. I have seen so many posts about this author lately, but I think this is her first one so I wanted to start there. Thanks for sharing!

    • yeah, same here. i saw a lot of posts about “my fair lazy” and figured it was about time i picked up a jen lacaster book and see what all the fuss was about. and boy am i glad i did.

  7. she’s one of my favorites! glad you enjoyed her too. i just finished ‘my fair lazy’ and while it wasn’t my fave it was entertaining. 🙂

    • i can definitely see how she’s one of your favorites. i’m definitely looking forward to her other books, but it’ll probably take me a while before i get to my fair lazy.

  8. What a fun sounding book!! Great review. I will have to see if I can get my hands on a copy of this!

  9. So glad you enjoyed this! I have this one on my to-read this month list.. and I have been trying to finish my current reads so that I can get to this book soon!

  10. I have her new one, and I will definitely need to pick this one up as well. It sounds great.

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