Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)

Be still my heart….finally someone who understands, finds humor in, and can articulate life’s little f-ed up moments that happen to us all…..well to some of us more than others!

The Bloggess is known for her sardonic quick wit and dark situational humor. She compiled a list of  “Things Most People Have Never Experiences of Could Have Ever Possibly Imagined, But That Totally Happened to Me” and woven these special little stories together creating a brilliant and hilarious novel.

This is a difficult novel to review, mostly because it is the kind of book you just have to read to understand how truly awesome this book is. It is truly a diamond in the rough.

This isn’t your typical memoir about some famous historic figure or glamourous celebrity….but a memoir about the average person. The socially awkward person inside of us all. This is the publics memoir.

I am absolutely in love with this book, not because it is eerily similar to my life, but because it is honest. I love Lawson’s ‘tell it like it is and if that involves a lot of cursing and inappropriate jokes so be it’ attitude and writing style. Lawson’s novel is a coming of age novel but it is also a novel about acceptance and learning to laugh in the face of life.

I leaned from birth that f-ed up sh*t just happens to me. PERIOD. And like Lawson I have ling since learned to laugh at myself and my life….I mean really, what else can one do? When I tell people stories of my life….most people look at me very bewildered, like you shouldn’t be laughing about things like taking rat poison (coumadin). But I do. This is why I admire Lawson’s guts and writing ability….she is unapologetic and I love it.

She begins with the most poignant moments in her life from toddler arson and casually moves on through to Guns & Ammo Childhood Edition and then into the high school (enough said), and finally into adulthood. It is clearly a coming of age novel aimed at tackling life’s biggest issues that most people would ‘pretend never happened to them’.

Many readers can identify with Lawson’s stories, let’s be honest….we all have awkward moments or we have at least witnessed someone else having an awkward life moment and we all pretend it didn’t happen, but not Lawson, she embraces it.

Her writing style is a little hard to follow at times. Some of the chapters and stories are a little disjointed and difficult to decipher what is going on and why….or how of it all relates to the story. And yes some stories are funnier than others but that is to be expected (we all find humor in different things)….but overall the humor and message shine through making it a powerful and moving read.

My favorite story? The workplace chapter hands down. I work in a public school. Dear God someone should make our office into a reality show, no joke. But I’ve had interesting jobs before public service (a dermatology nurse….enough said) and for years I’ve been saying I need to write a book…I could easily identify with her HR workplace chapter and appreciate the humor.

This book sets itself apart from other non-fiction memoirs because Lawson has lead a strange life yet somehow managed to find the humor in it all. She maintains a positive attitude and literally rolls with the punches. Her voice and story telling style is unique and refreshing….just what I needed when I picked this book up.

This book has been generating a buzz online, so I added it to my TBR list before it came out….mostly because her life stories sounded so bizarre! I didn’t follow The Bloggess before reading this book (I do now though!!) so I was not familiar with her stories, writing style, or humor. In essence, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but the description sounded promising and really who can refuse Hamlet Von Schnitzel on the cover?

This week I just needed to read something that would make me laugh and so I decided to give this book a go. From the intro I was like W-O-W this is going to be a kick ass read! And it was! I can’t count the times I laughed out loud and longed to meet this quirky woman just so we could exchange and compare stories. Bloggess…..if you are reading this WE MUST MEET :). OK I’ve had my totally ‘fan-girl’ moment now :).

The only thing that kept me from rating this book 5 stars was at times the stream of continuous thought was distracting. This is a difficult novel to review, mostly because it is the kind of book you just have to read to understand.

Lawson is an inspiration. Read it. NOW.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)

  • Kindle Edition
  • Published April 17th 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 2012)
  • ASIN B0065S8R38

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5 (a dark, quirky, hilarious read)

Genre: Non-fiction, biography, memoir, humor

Memorable lines/quotes:

It is exhausting being me. Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax (150)

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