Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I requested to read this book for review, I didn't realize it was The Bloggess' book. I had heard of The Bloggess and that she had a funny book, and I'd even read one of her more popular posts (about Beyonce the metal chicken), but I didn't know what the book was called or that this was it. I just read the description of a funny, witty, gritty memoir and thought getting paid by BlogHer to read and review it would be cool.
Let me tell you, if the only post of Jenny/The Bloggess that you've ever read is the one about Beyonce (or, I'm guessing, any one post independent of any context), you're missing out, because that shit makes SO much more sense now that I've read Let's Pretend This Never Happened. And if you're offended by my use of the word shit, you can leave now, because this book is NOT for you.
I'm going to admit, I don't tend to follow the über popular bloggers (or even most of my friends who blog, because I suck at remembering to read blogs), and when I started reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened, I kind of expected it to be over-hyped. The dedication page seemed to have some depth to it, but then as I began to read, I thought, "great, the most meaningful part of this book is going to be the dedication page, and the rest is going to be contrived vulgar humor that isn't even that funny." And that was true for maybe five pages.
Reading about Jenny's childhood was a little traumatizing. I can't imagine how, having lived through it, she manages to be sane enough to blog, parent, and go on a book tour. SHE WALKED INSIDE A GUTTED DEER, Y'ALL.
Trauma aside, I can't even count how many times I laughed out loud reading this memoir. Jenny's humor is often crass, her language often vulgar, and her text often SHOUTY, but all of that just adds to her charm. Most importantly, you can hear the real person inside it all, the one who has lived through pain and love and grief and loss and friendship, and whom you suspect may have been saved only by that laughter.
At the very end of this memoir is a "reader's guide." When I got to that page, it turned out to be one that made me laugh out loud, because here was this very serious, academic set of "book club" questions about this book that was full of dead animals and hard drugs and the word fuck. Jenny doesn't seem to take herself too seriously, but by god, the book clubs will! Take themselves seriously, I mean. I think it's impossible to read this book and then take Jenny Lawson too seriously.
It's also impossible to read it and not love and adore her and wish that she were your BFF. Now excuse me while I go stalk her blog.
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