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Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny LawsonTitle: Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)
Author: Jenny Lawson (Website)
Format: eBook
Length: 336 pages
Genre(s): Memoir
Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam - April 17, 2012
Source: publisher

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(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)

If you are not familiar with Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, you are missing out. Jenny is witty, hilarious, sweet, giving, and definitely one of a kind. She’s just an all-around wonderful person. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, readers get more of the same hilarity that is found on her blog, and more importantly, some insight into how Jenny has come to be who she is today.

Book summary from The Bloggess:

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. 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.

Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to 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.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.

In the Introduction, Jenny states:

When I read these stories to friends I’m always shocked when they stop me to ask, “Wait, is that true?” during the most accurate of all of the stories. The things that have been changed are mainly names and dates, but the stories you think couldn’t possibly have happened? Those are the real ones. As in real life, the most horrible stories are the ones that are the most true. And, as in real life, the reverse is true as well.

I have been reading Jenny’s blog for some time now, and I have no doubt that everything she writes about has actually happened. I have asked myself that same question–’Wait, is that true?’–time and time again, but I have never truly doubted Jenny’s sincerity.

In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, readers will find out why Jenny is so obsessed with taxidermied animals (and their clothing); how she and her husband met, along with the stories of their subsequent courtship and marriage (and more of their hilarious conversations); the unbelievably funny situations she went through while working in human resources; the heartfelt story of her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter; and many, many more great stories about her life. Jenny’s blog has given me some of the best laughs over the past couple of years, and also some of the most bittersweet tears. Reading her book was no different.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a quick, quirky, wonderful read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is already a fan of The Bloggess, and to anyone who enjoys a good memoir. You will laugh, and you might cry, but you will thoroughly enjoy yourself in the process.

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • thetruebookaddict April 18, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Wonderful review, Heather. I will definitely check out her blog. I am oddly fascinated with taxidermy myself, ever since seeing the film, Dinner for Schmucks.

    I’ve decided to visit your posts immediately upon receiving them in my inbox. That way I don’t save them for later and then forget to go back. ;)

    • Heather April 18, 2012, 8:14 pm

      Oh my goodness, Michelle, you are going to LOVE her blog and this book. Both will give you some much-needed laughs.

  • Mollie Player April 18, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the review. Your specificity is helpful. I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love and it is just awesome …

  • Amritorupa Kanjilal April 19, 2012, 1:35 am

    Hello Heather,
    Thank you for introducing me to a really good blog. I am now very eager to read Jenny Lawson’s book, because dark humour is the sort of thing that really attracts me.
    It’s my first time on your blog, and I totally liked your style of reviewing, as well as your taste in books. Following you now!
    I’m a bibliophile like you, and I have my own book blog. Please do visit me at https://riversihaveknown.wordpress.com/
    And if you like it, please follow. Would love to get your feedback and suggestions on my reviews.
    Thank you!

    • Heather April 19, 2012, 7:02 am

      Thank you for the wonderful compliment and for taking the time to check out my blog. Welcome!

      I’m following your blog with Google Reader now, and I look forward to reading your reviews. :)

  • jennakathepickygirl April 19, 2012, 1:56 am

    Cassandra at Indie Reader Houston reviewed this one today, too.

    Like I told her, I’ve followed The Bloggess for a while. I’m listening to her book, and I’m about an hour and a half in, but it’s just not all that cohesive. She’s funny, no doubt about it. But it’s hard for me to listen for any sustained time because it jumps around so much and is so anecdotal.

    I’m going to stick with it, but after awhile, it just feels like a bit much. But the blog is hilarious, so I’m pushing through. Glad you liked it so much.

    • Heather April 19, 2012, 7:05 am

      I hadn’t thought about this before, but now that you bring it up, I’m not surprised that her writing style doesn’t do well on audiobook. She uses a lot of parentheses and asides, and that probably doesn’t work well for listening. There are footnotes, too–how do footnotes work on an audiobook? I’d be curious to know.

  • bundleofbooks April 19, 2012, 3:18 pm

    The blog is hilarious! Looks as though the book lives up to that.

    • Heather April 20, 2012, 9:14 pm

      It really did. In fact, it kind of reads like an entire book of Bloggess blog posts. So much fun!

  • Brenna (@LitMusings) April 20, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Everyone is reading this! I feel like the kid who sits alone at lunch because I don’t have a copy.

    Glad you liked it! I’ve heard nothing but good things so far.

    • Heather April 20, 2012, 9:13 pm

      Don’t worry, Brenna–as long as you have a book, you’re still one of the cool kids to me. :) Haha!

  • ProfMomEsq April 24, 2012, 3:55 pm

    This is the next book on my list — so excited to read it. I just started Jeni Decker’s “I Wish I Was Engulfed in Flames.” So far, it’s a funny, touching recount of a mother’s experience raising two children with autism.

    • Heather April 24, 2012, 4:37 pm

      That does sound good–I’ll have to look into that one. Thanks!

  • Allana Lake June 2, 2012, 10:24 pm

    This book reminded me of another memoir called “The Imperfect Enjoyment” by Dewan Gibson, though not as funny. Still, it’s good to see bloggers getting more notoriety and MONEY!

  • Jenny, Bloggess March 17, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Furiously blushing. Thanks!

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