‘By the Numbers’ by Jen Lancaster

By Carly Gaba

“If laughter is a great tonic for the spirit, then Jen Lancaster is a double dose,” said USA TODAY.

New York Times best-selling author, Jen Lancaster, brought forth her usual personality in her newest fiction novel, “By the Numbers.”

Published on June 21, “By the Numbers” was this summer’s beach page-turner. With 304 pages of sarcastic wit and quirk, it will have you laughing out loud.

“Lancaster is in a master class when it comes to infusing books with wit and charm,” said Sarah Pekkanen, also a New York Times best-selling author.

This novel is very relatable to young women in connection with growing up.

The protagonist, Penny Sinclair, is an actuary who lives her life through rational decisions based on logical odds and minor uncertainty. Penny is ready to move on from a painful divorce with her cheating husband and embrace being an empty nester.

But then, life happens. Just as she finally launched her profile on match.com, her children, her ex and her parents all come flying back to her.

“By the Numbers” is both amusing and dull. A quick smooth read that seems to lack a jaw dropping plot line.

The novel is very well written and easy to follow. I personally enjoyed how each chapter began with emails for the audience to read. Flashbacks are placed throughout the story in numerous occasions and are very relevant to the story. They help the audience put pieces together.

Stuck in Penny’s rambling head, she is often at times relatable, but aside from her occasional sarcastic comments, she is plain, dull and a pushover. Penny is easily likeable, but she simply did not take enough action, causing a sudden lack of interest.

Lancaster is a New York Times bestselling author of eight memoirs and four novels, and has sold well over a million copies.

She has appeared on ‘The Today Show,’ ‘The Joy Behar Show’ and NPR’s ‘All Things Considered.’ She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their ever-expanding menagerie of ill-behaved pets.

Other titles include ‘Twisted Sisters,’ ‘I Regret Nothing’ and ‘The Best of Enemies,’ which was recently published in August 2015.

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