on April 17, 2012
I was laughing so hard at some parts, I was crying and had a sore throat afterwards! Even as I was laughing, I was thinking, "Should I be laughing at this? I'm glad it's a book, because if she was telling me this story, I'd still be laughing, which may be inappropriate and embarrassing for both of us!"
Buy this book if:
- you like Jenny's website
- you're not easily offended
- you've ever worked in HR
Don't buy this book if:
-Cursing offends you
-You're easily offended
Also, another reviewer noted spacing problems with the kindle edition. I noticed there were problems on my kindle touch, but I switched to my fire because I thought the pictures might be in color (they weren't). This did solve the spacing problems, but that may be because I've changed the text size settings on my touch but not on my fire.
on April 17, 2012
Incredibly funny memoir that made me laugh out loud to an embarrassing degree. Read it in the privacy of your home because you will snort with laughter! Jenny Lawson is a gifted storyteller and a talented humorist. Her ability to make her readers laugh and bring them into the story with empathy and warmth impressed me. Well done Jenny, well done.
on August 19, 2012
I love memoirs, especially those of the quirky David Sedaris, laugh at my pain variety. Almost all the reviews were 5 out of 5 stars and the cover alone made me giggle. There were warnings that if you did not follow Jenny's blog that you may not get her. So I googled "The Bloggess" and realized that I had in fact read her blog before and wasn't a huge fan but forged ahead.
While her awkward mishaps do make for great storytelling, you soon realize that these laugh out loud anecdotes are rooted in some serious issues. That's what I wasn't prepared for. It's like when, let's say an overweight person, makes a joke at a dinner party about their size, and everyone laughs and then they make another fat joke, and you sort of shift uncomfortably, and then another joke comes, and you're like, wait, this isn't funny anymore, this is just sad, and this person has issues. Imagine 400 pages of that, as Jenny glosses over her anorexia and mental health issues. Not to mention her cutesy style of rambling through her thoughts with plenty of non sequiturs, may actually be a manifestation of her anxiety and OCD and you stop yourself and say, am I chuckling at someone who may legitimately be insane?
Perhaps I am one of those people who should have just read through her blog first and purchased the book later. I truly do appreciate that she can write about issues that are so personal with a smile and laugh, and perhaps her writing is a form of therapy for her. As a reader, I do think that you should be prepared, as this is not a Tina Fey, Sloane Crosly, Hilary Wilson type memoir. It's a bit heavy with a laugh or two on the side. Wishing Ms. Lawson the best.
on May 8, 2012
I've waited for this book with bated breath for months, and even more so after it was published a few weeks ago, and I had to wait for the shipment from the US to arrive. And then it came here. And I laughed so much. I laughed so much I cried. And then I cried at the sad parts. And then I laughed some more. And then I forced unwilling people in my surrounding to listen to parts of it. And then they laughed too. And then I decided anyone who doesn't like this book, can't be my friend.
*warning* Language is not suitable for kids (i.e., some swearing), and not everyone will appreciate this form of humour. Which makes me suspect you might not have a sense of humour. Because who doesn't like taxidermied animals and big metal-chickens named Beyoncé?
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) is written by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, author of one of the funniest blogs (if not the funniest blog) on the Internet. I've been reading her blog for a few years now, and she never fails to crack me up. This book is no exception. From the craziness of her childhood, to penis-stories from her time in HR, taxidermied animals, big metal-chickens, the danger of towels left on the floor, etc., Let's Pretend This Never Happened is laugh-out-loud funny.
But being funny doesn't keep The Bloggess from dealing with more serious topics, such as a series of miscarriages, and her battle with depression, general anxiety etc.
This book is for all of us, who are just a little bit crazy (and who would probably benefit from letting our crazy out a little more often), and for whenever you need a good laugh, a giggle, or to think "it's not just me then." Best book so far this year, and I'm very very happy to have a hardback copy, because it won't be the last time I'll be reading it (and I almost never re-read books.
on April 17, 2012
If we're all a figment of someone's imagination (and who doesn't hope that's true), I'm pretty sure that "someone" is Jenny Lawson. In her Mostly True Memoir, Jenny pops open her skull and takes readers on a tour of her memories by way of a kind of genius that leans precariously close to insanity. "Let's Pretend..." is a roller coaster of little stories constructed from run-on sentences, rabbit trails and footnotes, but you absolutely have to ride it because the people getting off are smiling creepy-big smiles while they're puking and it's clear they won't hesitate to stab you for your place in line.
It's the kind of book you pick up because there's a Shakespearean mouse on the cover and can't put down because the literary taxidermy on the inside is an even more compelling blend of the real and the unreal. Her humor comes as much from the way she tells her stories as the stories themselves. Jenny isn't for the squeamish, though, which is another way of saying she writes without filters or a net. This is a good thing, because her family's stories couldn't be told any other way. By the way, her family is nothing like your family. And yet, after reading the book, you'll wonder how she managed to reveal your family's secrets anyway.
"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" will prompt more than a few embarrassed laughs, but that's kind of the point. We should all laugh embarrassed laughs at least twice a week.
Lots of readers will probably compare Jenny to David Sedaris and Tina Fey, and these are reasonable, polite and generous comparisons, but Jenny's voice is ultimately her own and entirely unique. It is as confident as it is uncertain, as broad as it is intimate, as raw as it is refined, and it is because of these paradoxes that readers will feel safe here.
The only negative thing I can say about the book is that it didn't come with a box of kittens. Then again, it didn't give me cholera, so those two sort of cancel each other out.
Highly recommended for anyone with a sense of humor, an open and/or warped mind, or a box of kittens.
on July 3, 2012
I like the bloggess. Jenny Lawson is witty, warm, and delightful, and can be clever as well. Not that you'd be able to tell by this book. Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a rambling collection of anecdotes from Mrs. Lawson's "crazy" upbringing, and some of the stories are amusing, and pitiful, but lordy, she steps all over her punchlines with her absolute, undying need to point out just how wacky it all really was. Just tell me the story and let me decide, okay? If I think it's funny, I'll laugh. You don't have to cue me. It's like how Jay Leno has to ruin EVERY joke he tells by explaining the punch line in detail. We get it. You're now making it less funny. I retract my laugh. Thank you.
I respect Mrs. Lawson too much to suggest that her editor required her to pad the book for a greater word count, but it does tend to feel that way. Stories that might have been funny (might, not a given) if left to their own devices are weighed down by the author's assertions that Yes! My childhood was just THAT effed up, ya'll! I really wanted her to stop doing that. Over and over. And on that point, exactly how many times can you read the F word before it loses its power of emphasis? It is not used sparingly. I am a cusser, so I was not offended in the least, but it did get distracting. I started to wonder at her unvaried vocabulary a little bit.
The stories themselves are hit or miss. It was difficult for me to tell if I wasn't laughing because it wasn't a funny story or if the stories were just interrupted too much and overly interpreted for me by the author. I also had an unconventional upbringing, and it's possible my opinion is skewed on that account, but I felt that many of these "crazy" scenarios just weren't that weird. She just kept telling me that they were. It's like when someone tells you a story and they say, "I haven't even told you the crazy part yet," and you're like, right, I know, because nothing remotely strange has happened within your story, but they just keep talking and it never gets interesting. It never does.
I didn't hate this book -- I doubt I could hate anything by the bloggess -- but I felt that the editors did it a disservice by not assisting more in the streamlining process. This is the author's first book, and while she is responsible for the content and, well, all of it, what is an editor for if not to help make the book readable? There was just too much that didn't fit here.
I will continue to read her blog and will read her next book, whenever that might be, but I'll be reading it with an eye toward looking for improvements over this one. For the record, I borrowed it from the library. I highly recommend the library if you're considering this title.
on February 6, 2013
Her blog fans must be very loyal for this book to be as well rated as it is. I forced myself to finish because I kept thinking it had to get better at some and just found myself more and more annoyed with every chapter. She uses the word "totally" on nearly every page. A good three quarters of the book is made up of oddball animal or taxidermy vignettes. The rest is a hodge podge collection of anecdotes likely ripped right from her blog that are probably cute and amusing on an individual basis but in no way do they make a coherent book. I am actually angry I wasted my time reading this and wish I had given up in the first 20 pages like I wanted to. This was just horribly written and so completely uninteresting. The author should stick to blogging. Totally.
on June 19, 2015
Oh dear...this book is one of the worst I've read. I really struggled to get through it, hoping it might improve, but that never happened. I'd rate it 1 1/2-stars. The first two chapters were funny, quirky and enjoyable, giving me high hopes for the rest of the book. If it weren't for those 2 opening chapters, this would have been a 1-star review. It was all downhill from there. I'm quite familiar with Jenny's blog, which can be really humorous at times, but it can also be tedious and really miss the mark. For me, this book totally missed the mark. It just wasn't funny where it was meant to be--and the added pathos simply did not work here. The author comes across as whiny, selfish, self-indulgent, immature and she tries far too hard to be funny, while, at the same time, trying to make the reader pity her and her circumstances (her bouts of depression, illness, etc.). The result is just strange...odd...and not in a good way. Her book made me feel uncomfortable. I had wanted so much to like what she'd written but, instead, found myself really turned off by her juvenile writing style. Her editors should have tried harder to help Jenny make this memoir read better, rather than allow her to ramble and be repetitious, tedious, and painfully unfunny. I've loaned the paperback to several friends. They couldn't even finish the book because they thought it was so poorly written.
on June 29, 2012
Let me first preface my remarks by saying that I love the Bloggess, Jenny Lawson. I think she's hilarious. That being said, the book itself isn't that funny. Sure, there were a couple of chapters that made me laugh, and a few others that made me smile, but overall, it isn't "hysterical", to quote the book's jacket.
Anyone who is a fan of Lawson's blog, The Bloggess, will enjoy this book, which is written in her familiar, rambling style. However, those who are unfamiliar with Lawson's blog may want to skip this one, because the writing style does tend to take away from the story being told at times.
Even though I'm a fan of Jenny's, several of the book's later chapters have already appeared in some form on her blog. The chapter about the giant metal chicken, for example, was taken word-for-word from the blog. Even the earlier chapters had a ring of familiarity to them, simply because of things Lawson has mentioned in her blog in the past. So even though I haven't read Jenny's early blog entries, I wasn't surprised by some of the things mentioned in the book either.
Will I buy Jenny's next book? Probably. I just hope that the next one actually lives up to the "hysterical" label.
on June 19, 2012
It started out being one of the funniest things I've read, but then seemed to drag and felt really forced. Much better as a blog than a book.