I was first aware of Jenny Lawson when the Fug Girls included a link to the hilarious tweets she started getting in reply to her own moment of embarrassment. I’d kind of heard of The Bloggess here and there, but had never clicked over to her blog before then.
And it’s a little weird to me to be reviewing the book of a fellow blogger (if I can even include myself in the same category as an award-winning blog and New York Times’ bestseller author which, let’s be honest, I can’t) because that puts her in a more attainable and relatable position than, say, ever meeting Stephen King or getting his attention in any way. I was a little afraid I might not like the book and then it would just be awkward. In my head, anyway.
But, thankfully, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was hilarious. It’s a (mostly true) memoir, which I barely ever reach for as I’m more of a fiction/fantasy/romance kind of girl, and I never would have read it if it hadn’t been for Sara Lily sending me a box of books including this one, and then I had to read it. Because she sent me a box of books. Side note: how awesome is that? Bloggers are awesome.
I don’t exactly know how to go about this review. Usually, I include a synopsis and then proceed to talk about the plot, but how do you create a synopsis for a memoir? And then review the plot of someone’s life? You don’t… really.
But, in the interest of coherency, I’ll quote the back of the book:
“When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father, and a morbidly eccentric childhood. 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.
In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprisingly 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.
For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.”
Let me just start with… this book was exactly what I needed to read right now. Feeling postpartum depression rise up as it does, reading the hilarious, morbid, dramatic, and witty recounting of several almost unbelievable moments in Jenny’s life was perfection. I will note that for those of you who don’t appreciate curse words, this is probably not an appropriate book for you. I personally don’t swear, and mostly think lives could do without it but it really didn’t bother me much. It’s humor, and Jenny never slanders someone with the colorful vocabulary she chooses.
I only wish I could write the way Lawson does — with some drama, matter-of-fact wit, and with a logic that is basically insane, but somehow brings you around to her side. As she tells the stories of her childhood, her father’s taxidermy and obsession with wild animals, the tub full of raccoons, the magic squirrels, the blithely innocent persona of her grandmother — who let them do whatever they wanted as long as they didn’t tell their parents — and the hilariously relatable arguments between herself and her husband Victor, she walks a fine line between “this woman is insane” and “I can totally relate.” I don’t know how she does it, but somehow I found myself nodding my head in agreement with a woman who claims to have been stabbed in the face by a serial killer.
Who was, in fact, their very fat cat and she was just dreaming.
I mean… she did get a bloody face, and it was the cat, but she was dreaming about the serial killer part. Not that her cat actually stabbed her… you know, you should just read the book.
I feel like reviewing this book will really do it no justice, so I will just leave it up to you to read it. But not if you are easily offended by swearing, or the mention of certain genitals (for humor!), or by over-dramatic retellings of situations that were already pretty dramatic in and of themselves. It was funny, sad, and real all at once, and I’m so glad Sara Lily made me read it.
Although, it would have been a little difficult to explain to my husband why I was laughing when the title of the chapter is something so innocent as “Married on the Fourth of July” yet it includes rattlesnakes, the middle of the night, and locking one’s husband out with a murderous animal.
As for the outfit, I went with mimicking the colors of the cover, and unintentionally copied Jenny’s picture on the back of the book in part with a few big victory rolls. Since her father was a taxidermist and there are quite a few stories about cats and other weird animals (cats are weird, don’t argue) in the book, I thought the hedgehog brooch and Chesire Cat shirt were both very appropriate.
Shirt (old) c/o Choies| skirt, shoes, brooch, belt, and scarf, thrifted | book, Sara Lily
To close it up, I can only say… I’m glad Jenny put her experiences into a book, Furiously Happy is now on my reading list this year, and I am definitely a new reader of The Bloggess. For life. When you find fellow misfits on the internet, you have to band together. Or at least stalk them on social media.