Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (from Goodreads):
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
When this book first came out, it was everywhere for me and I’ll admit, I was curious. I mean, a mouse wearing Shakespeare garb? How funny is that? (Answer: very). So it seemed like a funny read but I never got around to reading it.
In the last year and a half, I’ve really gotten into nonfiction reads, especially humourous ones I can listen to as audiobooks. When I needed to spend my last Audible credit, I wanted a really good book that I couldn’t easily get from my library. Turns out, this book is still super popular and comes highly recommended so it seemed like a no-brainer.
In this memoir, Jenny walks you through her life from a young child right up to the current day (well, current 2012). It follows a mostly chronological order but she does throw in random tidbits here and there or goes on little tangents. Her life has had some very interesting events in it that are highly entertaining and perhaps a little unbelievable (I guess that’s where the “mostly true” part of the title comes into play).
What I really appreciate about Jenny’s approach is that she never shies away from anything. She is completely open about her various mental health events and I really respect that. It takes a lot of strength to be able to reflect upon that as an individual, but to share that with people who may not necessarily understand, I think it’s great. It isn’t a large focus of the book, but she does mention it enough that the reader is fully aware of the circumstances.
The Writing / Audio Experience:
I felt like this book has a great flow to it. It’s basically one highlight of her life at a time and her narration and outlook on certain events is hilarious. I appreciate her darker, often cynical humour but don’t think that is all she has to offer. She definitely has a great sense of humour that most readers will find funny.
My only “problem” with this book is that it is really long! It clocks in at close to 9 hours as an audio CD, which is a long time to listen to anyone speak. I would have been more than satisfied if it was a little shorter but I did enjoy the entire piece, even if I did get a little bored of it by the end.
Did it Impact My Life?
Not necessarily, but it did remind me to cherish my childhood and all the memories and experiences I had, even if they seemed crazy or out there.
My Rating: 3/5
Honestly, I got a little bored near the end. I think fans of humourous memoirs will enjoy this. But if you like shorter audiobooks, maybe pick up a different one.
Read if You Like: memoirs, humour, female writers
Avoid if You: want a shorter audiobook
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
- Yes Please! by Amy Poehler