Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson.
When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.
In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.
Goodreads Score: 3.92/5
Amyliabedelia score : 4/5
Okay, Jenny Lawson is one seriously funny lady. If you are looking for a book to escape the stress of college then this is a good one. There were moments reading this book when I was full on ugly laughing – doubled over and snorting and everything. Chronicling the events of her life (beginning with her childhood in Wall, Texas) all through her marriage and children, Lawson manages to treat everything in her life with a degree of irreverent humor and general attitude of ‘Whattaya gonna do?’. Sure, there were moments when I was reading this that I went ‘Okay, that is…messed up, to say the least’ but it didn’t matter, because I was far too busy giggling over the absurdity of what had happened to care. Fun fact: trying to stay quiet because it’s 2 AM and your roommates are sleeping is not as easy as it sounds.
Obviously the book isn’t perfect. There are moments where the stream of consciousness style Lawson invokes gets tiresome and babbly. There’s also a weird chapter where Lawson writes imaginary post it notes to her husband, which I found boring and unnecessary. Despite this however, Lawson manages to deliver an account of her life that is hilarious. While I wish she had spent more time on her childhood, which was probably the funniest part of the book for me, Lawson also manages to tactfully acknowledge her social anxiety, depression and rheumatoid arthritis in a way that managed to add some punch to the book. I wish that she had taken a step back with the jokes during those moments though. Yes, laughter is a good way to ease the pain – and Lawson is certainly good at invoking the giggles – but there were times when levity wasn’t required.
That being said, this book is a definite read again for me. I spent most of the days after reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened remembering stories from Lawson’s life and attracting weird looks because I was giggling to myself. If you’re looking for a book to cheer you up, then this is definitely a good one to go to. Just make sure that you don’t drink a lot of water beforehand.