Before I begin this review, I gotta say that I never voluntarily read non-fiction. It’s my greatest flaw*. I certainly don’t read memoirs. I mean, how are you even supposed to review them? When it comes to I’m Glad My Mom Died, I’m more or less just going to be sharing my thoughts on the format and what happened in the book. This story wasn’t written for me, though. It was written for Jennette, so she could have some kind of healing, and I want to be respectful of that.
*jk jk. it’s actually my biggest advantage! idk what it gives me an advantage of but-
TL;DR: A memoir written and narrated by Jennette McCurdy detailing her life. Age Rating: 15 and up.
Audiobook Thoughts: Jennette narrates it in her dry tone, which adds an extra personal level to the book.
I’m Glad My Mom Died is shocking. Every chapter feels like a photo: a capture of a snippet of one’s life. Jennette McCurdy’s writing is blunt, dry, and her narration is darkly humorous at times. I don’t know what kind of magic she wove but this is really a fantastic memoir.
First of all, some people might find the short chapters annoying. I had to remind myself constantly that this wasn’t a story but rather, someone else’s nightmare of a life. McCurdy writes in present tense the entire time and somehow manages to perfectly convey the voice of her child self (when discussing childhood memories) all the way to her current adult age.
For those who want a Nickolodeon tell-all book (who doesn’t) you’re not really going to get it here. This is about McCurdy, and what she went through as a person. Warning: there is pretty much every kind of abuse under the sun (not all detailed but still) in this book in addition to death and eating disorders. This isn’t a light, happy book, but it honestly makes me appreciate McCurdy’s acting all the more for what she went through her entire life.
Also the audiobook narration is spectacular??? McCurdy gets choked up only once, and it’s when she’s talking about the moment a therapist suggested that her mom may have, in fact, been abusive to her. It’s such a powerful moment that really reflects the title of this book and the foundation her entire life has been built in.
Overall, I broke listening to this narrative. This is the story of someone who has gone through so much pain, abuse, and gaslighting, and yet still manages to come out the other side with compassion, kindness, and hope for healing. And I truly do hope that Jennette finds healing with this book, because after reading it? Well, she deserves the world. This came out on August 30th, so be sure to order a copy, add it to Goodreads, and add it to Storygraph! Tell me: what’s your dream mashup of tropes/genres?
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