Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson [TSS]

Title: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)
Author: Jenny Lawson
ISBN: 9780399159015
Pages: 336
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Essays
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

In this memoir, popular blogger Jenny Lawson (also known as “The Bloggess”) chronicles her hilarious and incredibly unique upbringing in rural Texas. She discusses her most embarrassing and memorable experiences growing up, as well as covers her life as an adult with her husband, Victor.

Review:

If you are at all familiar with Jenny Lawson, whether through her blog, Twitter account, or somewhere else entirely, you know that she is absolutely and completely nuts, in the best possible way. She has an obsession with taxidermied animals (which she actually explains in her book) and a crippling fear of large groups of people. Her memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened explores the origin of her complete wackiness while also giving the reader a taste of her insane thought processes.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is absolutely hilarious. Jenny’s childhood was so strange and crazy that readers will almost be in disbelief as they read through her engaging memoir. She does exaggerate in some stories, but I agree with her when she says the most out there stuff is what she could never make up – who could? I found myself gasping and laughing out loud while reading this book. I loved this peek into Jenny’s world, though I am very glad I had a normal childhood, especially compared to what she went through.

That being said, the reading experience of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened left something to be desired. I have the book on audio as well, and actually wish I’d consumed it that way. The memoir is written very conversationally; Jenny thinks of how she’d tell a story, and then writes it out in the book. There are tangents and asides everywhere, which is normal if you’re telling a story out loud. It makes sense. But on the page, it seems scattered and difficult to follow. Reading this book is what it feels like to be in the head of someone with ADD, though the essay-style format does make it easier to read than if it were a continuous story.

That being said, I did enjoy Let’s Pretend This Never Happened very much and highly recommend it, but as an audiobook. I’ve talked to people who’ve listened to it on audio, and they agree – the memoir just works much better in audio, as it seems as though Jenny is right there, telling you about her incredibly weird childhood. If you haven’t been exposed to The Bloggess, I highly recommend checking out her blog, as you’ll get a sense of whether her sense of humor appeals to you. Either way, I’ll definitely be reading her next book and hope she’s saved some stories for it.

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Comments

  1. Yes, I listened to this on audio and I loved it. It sounded like she had just plopped herself down in your kitchen and gave you an earful. I cannot imagine how it would translate to the page, but think your advice is right on target. I loved that she actually narrated her own book. Nobody else could have even come close to delivering it in the spirit in which it was intended.

  2. Yes, I listened to this on audio and I loved it. It sounded like she had just plopped herself down in your kitchen and gave you an earful. I cannot imagine how it would translate to the page, but think your advice is right on target. I loved that she actually narrated her own book. Nobody else could have even come close to delivering it in the spirit in which it was intended.

  3. I wish I’d experienced this on audio or read it in bits in pieces. It got old for me before it was over.

  4. I wish I’d experienced this on audio or read it in bits in pieces. It got old for me before it was over.

  5. I wanted to read this book until I found out that Jenny Lawson read the audio version herself. At that point I cancelled my request for the book at the library and got myself on the waiting list for the audio version.

    Your review has reinforced that I made the right choice.

    I just got the email from the library today that it’s ready for me to pick up. I think it’s going to be my next audiobook.

  6. I wanted to read this book until I found out that Jenny Lawson read the audio version herself. At that point I cancelled my request for the book at the library and got myself on the waiting list for the audio version.

    Your review has reinforced that I made the right choice.

    I just got the email from the library today that it’s ready for me to pick up. I think it’s going to be my next audiobook.

  7. Sandy lent this one to me on audio, and I can’t wait to get to it. It’s the next audio on my list, and I’m so excited. It sounds like a really strange and original memoir. Glad to see that you liked it too!

  8. Sandy lent this one to me on audio, and I can’t wait to get to it. It’s the next audio on my list, and I’m so excited. It sounds like a really strange and original memoir. Glad to see that you liked it too!

  9. From what I read here, this reminds me of Mary Karr’s “The Liar’s Club” also about a crazy Texas childhood and I loved it so I’m really considering giving this a look. It’s being reviewed next week on The Book Report — a very cool literary AM talk radio show that’s arrived here in Boston on WNBP AM. I checked The Book Report’s website (where they also stream the shows) and saw this book listed as an audiobook spotlight for next week and I’m anxious to hear that review versus this one.

  10. From what I read here, this reminds me of Mary Karr’s “The Liar’s Club” also about a crazy Texas childhood and I loved it so I’m really considering giving this a look. It’s being reviewed next week on The Book Report — a very cool literary AM talk radio show that’s arrived here in Boston on WNBP AM. I checked The Book Report’s website (where they also stream the shows) and saw this book listed as an audiobook spotlight for next week and I’m anxious to hear that review versus this one.

  11. Allana Lake says:

    This book reminded me a lot of “The Imperfect Enjoyment” by Dewan Gibson, though a bit less funny. Still it’s definitely worth a Kindle download.

  12. Allana Lake says:

    This book reminded me a lot of “The Imperfect Enjoyment” by Dewan Gibson, though a bit less funny. Still it’s definitely worth a Kindle download.

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