Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

5 Stars

Fair warning, yet another book that you shouldn’t read around your co-workers or strangers unless you want to get really strange looks as you laugh so hard your tea comes out of your nose.  This book isn’t meant to be a comedy or a humor book, it’s a memoir.  But you truly can’t help yourself.  There are times where you know you shouldn’t be laughing, but it just bubbles up and bursts out.

Jenny takes you through her less than normal upbringing in a very small Texas town.  It’s funny stuff, there are serious issues she raises, like poverty, but they are approached in a way that you smile at how her family pushed through and thrived.  Bread-bag shoes and all!  And her parents are definitely NOT the normal parents that you and I probably grew up with.  Did your dad come into your room at night with a magical talking squirrel?  How about throwing a live bobcat at your fiancée?  Having your father explain that he’s not making stew but he’s boiling skulls to your future in-laws?  What about a taxidermy shop?  Yeah, didn’t think so!  It’s amazing that Jenny and her sister survived at all!

Jenny doesn’t shy away from anything and talks very candidly about her life, the good and the bad.  She talks about miscarriages, suicide, mental illness and dead animals.  Her candor and her self-awareness is amazing and her ability to speak about subjects that many of us would simply bury and hide away is something that I find amazing.  She has shown that mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of or to hide from the world.  It helped shape who she is and she’s sharing her world with us and it’s amazing.

At one point I was tempted to switch careers and go into Human Resources.  And the chapter names alone are worth the price of admission!

I would definitely recommend Jenny Lawson’s books to anyone who wants to sit down and read vignettes about real life and how we deal with it and how it effects us and those around us.  I really can’t accurately describe this book in any meaningful way because it’s a memoir about a real person.  She’s not a historical figure, mega celebrity, etc.  She’s a perfectly abnormal human being and this is the story of her life so far and how she got to this place.

I recommended Jenny’s books to my daughter, who suffers from severe social anxiety and depression.  She was brave enough to go to a book signing and had the privilege of meeting Jenny and one of her most prized possessions is the book that Jenny signed and the selfie that she was allowed to take.  She was able to see that she’s so much more than her mental illness and she doesn’t have to let that illness define who she is or take away her happiness or her life.  Let’s Pretend This Never Happened lets the reader know that it’s okay to be broken, we’re all a little broken and that’s okay.  What’s important is to never give up and live Furiously Happy (had to plug her other book, which was amazing too!).

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Filed under Biography/Memoir, Humor

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