Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #20: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

I’ve been putting off writing my review of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened because I had a lot of feelings about this book and not many of them were good. I can’t say that I really enjoyed this memoir, even though I really, really wanted to, having been a long-time (off and on) reader of The Bloggess.

There were stories I enjoyed immensely. By and large, these were not the stories I’d already read on her blog. Maybe this is my own fault, but I completely missed the memo that there were previously published stories in the book. Since I paid for the book, I was a bit disappointed that there was so much material that I could have found in her blog archives. This probably makes me a cheap bastard but I don’t care (mostly because I am a cheap bastard).

(On the other hand, she’s been providing me with free entertainment for years so maybe it’s a draw?)

Before I go any further, I feel like I should be completely honest, especially before someone claims that the reason I didn’t triple heart love this book is that I’m jealous of Jenny Lawson. Well, I can tell you right now that DUH OF COURSE I’M JEALOUS OF HER. She’s not a traditional mommyblogger (ugh, I hate that term) and yet has grown a significant, mommyblogger-esque following. And then she got to write a book, based solely on the power of the irreverent and hilarious stories on her blog! Who wouldn’t be jealous? (Not to mention, we both have the same first name, the tendency toward hyperbole, an obsession with the zombie apocalypse, backgrounds in HR, the annoying overuse of the word “totally,” and long-suffering husbands. Where’s my book deal?!)

There are things I love about this book, her blog, and The Bloggess in general. I love her openness regarding her struggle with anxiety and depression, her unique childhood, and her ability to pull people together to help those less fortunate. I love her traveling red dress project, the way she’s learned to accept herself, and the way she talks about her family. I wish this book had included more about that and less about giant metal chickens. I already knew she was good at torturing her husband, I wanted something more (I’m greedy).

Judging by the reviews I’ve read, I seem to be in the minority here, so maybe it’s my fault that I didn’t enjoy it more? I went into it thinking it was going to have a cohesive narrative and not just be a bunch of random stories. I may read it again in a few months, with that in mind, and see if my opinion remains the same. You guys, I really wish I had liked this book more! Jenny Lawson seems like such a funny, genuine, NICE woman, someone I’d like if I knew her in person, and I don’t like saying negative things about people I like, so I’m going to stop. There were bits of the book that I really enjoyed, like the idea of her having a taxidermy alligator on an airplane. The stories about her childhood were the most interesting, I thought, but then again, I just like to hear stories about how others grew up, especially if they involve the person shoving her arm inside of a cow. Mostly, I just want to have a drink with Lawson, share HR horror stories, and discuss the upcoming zombie apocalypse. But I’m not sure I’d want to read about it in Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: Beyonce Strikes Back.

PS: I just watched a few videos of Jenny Lawson reading from this book and thought it was much funnier than it was in my head when I read it. So maybe I need the audiobook experience?

PPS: My Goodreads review says I gave this two stars, but I would have given it 2.5 if I could have. I really wish there was an option between It Was OK and I Liked It. Actually, I wish there was an option for “My feelings are too confusing for me to rate this book. Ask again later.”

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2 thoughts on “Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #20: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

  1. I have very similar feelings. Especially this: “I went into it thinking it was going to have a cohesive narrative and not just be a bunch of random stories.”

    I actually almost gave it three stars, and I might go back and change it now actually. But I had the same niggling doubts you did. I think maybe I was just in the right mood to enjoy it. (I also read it as soon as I bought it and hadn’t had people telling me it was the BEST BOOK EVER for weeks on end.)

    I wish she would write an actual memoir. I think it would be kind of great.

  2. This: “I also read it as soon as I bought it and hadn’t had people telling me it was the BEST BOOK EVER for weeks on end.”

    I think that had a lot to do with it, honestly. I came out of it all kinds of confused, like I was broken for not enjoying it more. I’m not sure I’ll read it again. I might just reread Bossypants.

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