Tuesday, April 16, 2013

REVIEW: Let's Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Let's Pretend this Never Happened 
(A Mostly True Memoir)
by Jenny Lawson

“You should just accept who you are, flaws and all, because if you try to be someone you aren't, then eventually some turkey is going to shit all over your well-crafted facade, so you might as well save yourself the effort and enjoy your zombie books.” 

It is difficult to discribe this book, so I will give you the Goodreads description: "For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text."

This. Book. Is. Insane. I loved it. It was like listening to your crazy best friend tell weird stories for hours and hours. Jenny's misadventures include a bathtub of raccoons, getting her hand stuck up a cow's vagina, the day her family's pet turkeys followed her to school and got in the cafeteria, having her father throw a bobcat at her boyfriend as a joke, and hundreds more stories you have to read to believe. All of them are highly entertaining.

It sometimes goes off the rails. She has arguments with her editor in the text, and tangents upon tangents (much like talking with your friends!) Sometimes I wanted her to get on with it, and sometimes it was part of the charm. And while initially I was frustrated with the "mostly true" warning in the title, I ended up being incredibly grateful for it, because I was able to choose which of her stories or actions to believe (see the chapter "A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to my Husband" and you will see what I mean). 

And it is not all fluff and hyjinks. Jenny struggles with generalized anxiety disorder (which does not mean that she has a vague sense of anxiety; it means she has anxiety about everything.) Her chapters describing her panic attacks, hiding in the bathroom (and in wooden chests) and her stress-induced word vomit are both hilarious and strangely comforting for those of us who suffer similar ailments. 

In the end, after the dust has settled and the mischief is managed, it is a book about the crazy people and events in our life that make us who we are. And more often than not, we are better off for it. 

1 comment:

CGriff said...

Yeah, I'm going to need to read this book immediately.

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