Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Book Review

Women scare me enough, but bloggers can be even more frightening to deal with. Most bloggers are emotionally unstable and are often awkward in social situations, which is why so many of us turned to blogging in the first place. Also, they are always looking for something to write about, so if you fuck something up it will be blogged, Facebooked, and retweeted until your death. It would be a lot like Lindsay Lohan spending a weekend with TMZ and National Enquirer, and I suspect that one day my gravestone will simply read: JENNY LAWSON: SHE WAS MISQUOTED ON TWITTER. – from the ARC of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened –

Jenny Lawson is anxiety-ridden, inappropriate, flawed…and outrageously funny. In her new memoir (released this month through Amy Einhorn Books), Lawson takes a no holds barred approach to memoir writing. She invites readers back to her childhood in a small town in Texas where her father (a taxidermist) routinely brought home wild animals like bobcats, and cooked animal skulls in a cauldron in the backyard. Together with her sister, Lisa, Lawson grew up bathing in water from a cistern and wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. These early years made an indelible mark on Lawson whose humor often borders on the dark and bizarre.

[…] my dad was always bringing home crazy-ass shit. Rabbit skulls, rocks shaped like vegetables, angry possums, glass eyes, strange drifters he picked up on the road, a live porcupine in a rubber tire. My mother (a patient and stoic lunch lady) seemed secretly convinced that she must’ve committed some terrible act in a former life to deserve this lot in life, and so she forced a smile and set another place for the drifter/junkie at the dinner table with the quiet dignity usually reserved for saints or catatonics. – from the ARC of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened –

Lawson includes hilarious entries from her journal when she worked in Human Resources, shares the story of how she met and married her husband, Victor, and shows readers the pain and devastation of several miscarriages before she was able to have her daughter, Hailey. Readers are also treated to the now infamous interactions Lawson has with her husband (I believe Victor must be a saint!) which have been blogged about on Lawson’s fabulous (and popular) blog, The Bloggess.

Lawson’s prose is often like a stream of consciousness – sometimes tangential, and frequently flitting between subjects within the same paragraph. Under the humor is a glimpse of the shy, insecure woman who worries about being a good mom, grows homesick for small time life, and grieves the loss of her dog (while fending off a flock of vultures with a machete). The title of the book – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – refers to those awkward human moments and the times when anxiety lurches from the pit of one’s stomach, all of which Lawson fearlessly reveals to her readers. Through the laughter, she shows us her vulnerability… like when she travels to California to meet a group of female bloggers. Prior to the trip she is filled with fear about fitting in, being dressed appropriately and making conversation. Once at the retreat, and despite her propensity to blurt out non sequiturs and bizarre tales of vampire cougars, Lawson discovers friendship and learns that some girls can, indeed, be trusted.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is the kind of book which will appeal to readers who share Lawson’s irreverent, remarkably inappropriate and sometimes profane sense of humor. I laughed my way through the book, often forcing my husband to listen while I read aloud certain sections. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a gut-busting vicarious ramble  for anyone who has ever wanted to blurt out whatever comes into their mind, or who has ever found themselves thinking outrageous thoughts in the middle of serious social events. Jenny Lawson lacks filters, and that is what makes her so very, very funny.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.

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  1. I watched an episode of Midsomer Murders with a taxidermist and that was creepy enough. This sounds an intriguing memoir anyway

  2. I love that first quote! I’m not normally a fan of stream of consciousness writing or memoirs, but I’m sure I’d find a lot to laugh at in this book, although I suspect a lot of it would be a little close to the bone.

  3. I love memoirs and this one sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait to read it!

    • Staci on April 14, 2012 at 05:27

    I think this sounds so awesome. I just hopped over to her blog and love her voice! Great review!

  4. The more I read about this… the more I want to read it 😉

  5. This sounds like something I should check out!

  6. I have been reading a lot about this book, and have just requested it from the library. I think I am going to have to cancel that request and just buy the darn thing. It sounds so amazing, and so like me! I love irreverent and weird humor, and have to say that I think this sounds like an excellent meld of real life and insane antics. Terrific review today!

    • The Original Lisa on April 16, 2012 at 13:11

    Her sister, Lisa, sounds fascinating!

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