DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Jancee Dunn

Dunn I just finished Don't You Forget About Me, by Jancee Dunn, which has been close to the top of my TBR pile for a while. It's about Lily Curtis, a thirty-eight year old woman in Manhattan whose life is kind of stuck – job where she isn't challenged, unchanging routines, and comfortable marriage. Her life is upended when her husband unexpectedly tells her he wants a divorce. After a few months wallowing in depression, she decides to take some time off and go stay with her parents in New Jersey.

Don't You Forget About Me is basically an homage to Lily's high school years, with which she is obsessed. Upon her return home, she excavates her childhood room, uncovering momentos, photos, and music from the 80s and her tumultuous high school years, which were characterized, like everyone's, by waxing and waning friendships, parties, and crushes. Because her life is basically at a standstill, and with her 20th high school reunion looming, Lily starts living in the past, driving by old boyfriends' houses and rekindling friendships that fell by the wayside.

I enjoyed this book at lot. First, I loved all the 80s references, from Firenza skirts and Soloflex posters to Squeeze "Singles" and Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers. Lily and I are only a year apart in age, so her high school memories weren't all that different from mine. Dunn is an entertaining writer, and the book was perfectly paced. I laughed out loud several times while reading it, and didn't want to put it down.

This is definitely a light read. The lessons Lily learns at the end of the book aren't earth-shattering. Lily's relationship with her high school boyfriend, whom she sees at the reunion, is predictably flawed. But I really did enjoy the book, and I recommend it, especially to those of us who have a tendency to romanticize what were basically pretty unhappy years.

8 Comments

  • November 8, 2008 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    You are so right about the way we romanticize those high school days! Big hair and “reuniti on ice, that’s nice” Ugh!
    Great review; I might enjoy this for a trip down memory lane 🙂

  • Darby Lohrding
    November 8, 2008 - 4:12 pm | Permalink

    GWAD, do we have to go back there….ugh!!!!!
    This book is not only your story yet mine as well…ugh….
    Stuff from that time pops up at the strangest times in my house…..I can relate to Lilys room!
    Thanks for the review at first I thought someone did a book about me!
    Darby
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  • mari partyka
    November 8, 2008 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    This book is also on my TBR list. I listened to an interview with the author over the summer and it is loosely written from her sister’s situation (returning home). She asked her to journal for her.
    I’m curious to see if there are authors notes or a written interview at the end of the book.

  • November 8, 2008 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

    i read her memoir and it was great.

  • Amy Weiswasser
    November 9, 2008 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    Will take it on vaca. You had me at Firenza!

  • November 10, 2008 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I read this book a couple of months ago and enjoyed it too. I’ve edited my review of it to link here to yours – hope you don’t mind :-)!

  • Kiki
    November 10, 2008 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Gayle–I felt the same way–only a years difference in age too. Love those Bartles and Jaymes!

  • November 15, 2008 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the comments on this post. Florinda – I don’t mind at all! I think I linked to you in my original post.

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