For fans of internet celebrity Jenny Lawson, her long-awaited first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) will be embraced with open arms and Kindles. Jenny’s fans number in the hundreds of thousands, and their love for her would extend to pretty much anything she put into the world- even taxidermy-themed mugs and t-shirts for sale in her online shop.
As a long time reader of Jenny’s, I couldn’t wait to get my copy for review. I was not disappointed, and I am sure her fans will agree it’s a fun, Bloggess-giggle worthy literary debut.
Does the book contain posts from her blog? Yes. But it’s fantastic to read them again in print; I still believe holding a book in your hand is a different experience than reading it in blogs posts or on a screen of any kind. Reading left to right trumps scrolling up to down, I say- so it’s a fabulous experience to read the Bloggess this way for the first time.
The book consists of 35 or so chapters, which are basically blog-post length, so readers who are used to consuming Jenny’s content ‘a bite at a time’ will be pleased- though they’ll undoubtedly gulp down all 35 delicious sections in a single helping. Consider this a 5-hour energy drink alert: you’re going to want to stay up until you finish the book.
Why will you love this book? Well, there are sweaters made of deer, vagina popcorn, squirrel corpse puppets and beyond. Jenny is like a mix of Jen Lancaster and Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey and Margaret Cho and Lisa Lampanelli and (insert name of your favorite girl humorist here)- but her voice is completely unique. Anyone who grew up in the 70s-80s-90s will appreciate her generational references (“my sister and I spent most of the 80s looking like the lesbian love children of Laura Ingalls and Holly Hobbie…”), and anyone who’s ever dealt with panic or anxiety or depression will benefit from her honest approach to mental health issues.
The book is like the voices in Jenny’s head are all talking to each other in some sort of Alice-in-Wonderland-tea-party fantasy scene, only instead of tea there is really good booze and Xanax.
I have to say, beyond the humor, though? My favorite parts of the book were insights into ‘the making of the Bloggess’- her childhood stories, family memories, and what shaped her. In addition to her hysterical writing style, it’s also really neat to get a peek of ‘what’s behind the Oz curtain’ of her wildly popular blog.
Jenny Lawson is far and away one of the best humorists (not ‘women humorists’) writing in America today. Don’t miss her first book; it’s as brilliant and funny as she and her blog are.