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

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True MemoirLet’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jenny Lawson is probably best known as The Blogess. This book is the first of her memoirs and it is, like many memoirs, essentially her life story. But Lawson has not had anything near a normal life. Not only was her family a tad on the unusual side, she has suffered from depression and anxiety disorders from a young age. (She is very open about her struggles on her blog.)

The book is funny, irreverent, touching, scary, and a whole host of other things. It is also in some ways a difficult read. Not because of the subject matter, but the style of the writing. It reads very much like her blog- a bit disjointed, rambling, and wandering in, around, and back on topic. The style works quite nicely in a short blog post, but gets a bit difficult to follow in a book. A story starts, goes off track for multiple pages of babbling, and comes back to the subject at a different angle. Timelines are jumbled and criss-crossed.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. Lawson’s quirky and often morbid sense of humor will be familiar to followers of her blog, and she doesn’t disappoint there. I found it easier to read it in short sections, as if each were a single post. She tucks in imaginary conversations and encounters that can be confusing. But throughout, you hear Lawson’s voice clearly.

This is not a book for everyone. A lot of people will be put off by the unconventional style and the scattershot approach to her life story. But there are gems here, and if you are already familiar with The Blogess, you may just find this an interesting addition to the blog.

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