Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson
This book has been on my TBR list for a while now, since I read Jenny’s blog sometimes and think she’s really funny. I figured I would like her book the same way I like her blog, and I was right. At one point (it might be the epilogue) she mentions that here she is writing about illness and poverty and depression, yet people call it a funny book. But it’s true: is is a funny book. I think this is one of those cases where she (and by extension, we) uses laughter as a healing and/or coping mechanism.
In any case, I find it hard to do a true review of a memoir. All of the things I normally discuss are different. (Maybe this is the case with all non-fiction books? I don’t review enough of them to really be sure.) Plot, character, and all of that aren’t nearly as applicable when they’re real people and events. (Granted, this is billed as a “mostly true” memoir, so…) What I can talk about, though, is the flow of the book. It has a natural progression, moving forward in a mostly chronological order. And it’s a logical flow. It almost feels like reading someone’s diary or journal, which makes sense because she’s a blog writer. And also because some of the chapters are literal journal entries (supposedly. That “mostly true” thing again).
What was my favorite part? Probably the chapter on Beyoncé the giant chicken. I’d read about that before, on the blog, but it’s still hilarious. Or maybe the part where she discusses her arthritis – her description of methotrexate really hit home about how some drugs work (or don’t) and have side effects which barely seem worth it.
As to negatives… I don’t really have any about this book. It’s more the genre in general. I find that I tend to read memoirs – even really enjoyable, well written ones – much slower than I read fiction. I seem to read them in smaller bites than fiction. For whatever reason, it’s easier to stop at the end of a chapter instead of continuing on until the book is done. So yeah, this book took me longer to finish than I felt it should have, given how much I enjoyed it. But it is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of The Bloggess, or if you need cheering up. One of Lawson’s commonly used Twitter hashtags is #depressionlies, and this book does back that up as well. If you – or someone you know – needs proof that they’re not the only ones going through depression, this might be a good book to read.
Rating: 5 stars