Review originally published on my Livejournal
.Why I Read It:
I love reading Lawson's blog The Bloggess
. This woman is hilarious. When I found out she was publishing a memoir, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
So let's get one thing out the way first: Jenny Lawson is a little out there. Her humour is crass and mostly offensive, so if that kind of thing bothers you, you may not enjoy this book. There's a lot more to this then JUST crass humour -- there are also some sad and touching parts -- so I do still urge you to give this a shot despite the outlandish sense of humour this book strives for.
But seriously guys, this book is FUNNY. The novel is structured as a series of anecdotes chronicling Lawson's life, starting as a small child growing in an impoverished rural area of Texas, to her adolescence and awkward high school years, to adulthood, where she chronicles meeting her husband Victor, her struggles with infertility, and her rise in internet fame (though she doesn't focus on being internet-famous really.. but she does talk about her blogging.) Actually, when I say it all like that I am not doing the book justice because that makes it sound BORING and it's NOT. At all. Lawson's life was zany and crazy and while I don't think I would have wanted to live through it, I enjoyed the hell out of reading about it. Some of my favourite anecdotes were: when her father buys some crazy turkeys and they follow Lawson to school; when Lawson had to inseminate a cow with a turkey baster; Lawson's acquisition of a giant metal turkey whom she dubbed "Beyonce" (which you can read about here
. Do it, it's worth it.) This is all just skimming the Funny though. There is so much funny to be had!!
As much as this book is funny though, there are bits here and there that are sound and/or touching. There's one chapter that deals with Lawson's struggles with infertility and I've never tried to get pregnant, nor have I ever miscarried or anything like that, but I still found myself choking up. Lawson also deals with crippling social anxiety and depression, and this had me nodding my head and thinking: "GOD YES, SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME." When I was 17 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and while it isn't anywhere NEAR as bad as Lawson, it still sucks. And I still get people all the time who tell me: "Oh, you have depression? You don't LOOK depressed! Do you have anything to be depressed about?" Me: "No, not really. But the chemicals in my brain are all messed up and I can't really help it." And then people look at me like I'm weird/nuts/etc. This book made me feel like "Whoa, someone totally gets it." And Lawson talks about it on her blog a lot
as well and does all kinds of things to raise awareness.
Getting used to Lawson's writing style may jar some people. She's renowned for going off on crazy long tangents, but they are almost always hilarious tangents, so I'm not complaining. Just hop on over to her blog and follow it for a week or so, or check out some entries to get a feel for how she writes (she started the blog initially to find her "writing voice", so the style of her blog is very, very similar to the book.) Her train of thoughts are also kind of weird, but again re: hilarious. So.Final Verdict:
This book has cemented my love for Jenny Lawson. When I first read this book, it was a borrowed copy (from work) but I have since bought my own pretty hardcover to sit on my shelf. Let's Pretend This Never Happened
is everything I love about The Blogess
and more: it's equal parts hilarious, sad, heartfelt, and touching. Except it's actually mostly hilarious. Her sense of humour isn't for everyone, but just visit her blog and see if you jive with her writing. I definitely did. I hope to God she writes another book.