Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir


This generally hysterical, F-Bomb laden memoir covers the childhood and adult (if you can call it that) life of Jenny Lawson, who gained internet fame as the author of the Bloggess, a humor blog detailing her life. Jenny grew up and came of age in small town Texas (tiny would be more accurate, as her hometown doesn’t even have a stoplight. Even my Grandma’s town has a stoplight…).

She details the antics of her eccentric father, who has a morbid enthusiasm for road kill and live wild animals, and her endlessly patient mother. They raised Jenny and her sister in what is often a chaotic, blood filled environment that would make most elementary age girls squeamish. Stories include being followed to school by marauding turkeys, attacks by raccoons dressed in handmade shorts, taxidermied squirrel puppets, and under the table work that violates most of the child labor and safety statutes currently on the books.

I'm not sure if this mouse is real, but it could be...

I’m not sure if this mouse is real, but it could be…

Jenny certainly has a flair for the dramatic, and she clearly takes liberties with exaggeration. She acknowledges that plainly in the first few pages, by addressing the fact that is only “mostly true.” She leaves the reader to ponder what pieces are the true ones, and there is much that is open to interpretation. Yet, this reader must admit that she does find a way to make the sad tragedies of life into a macabre, train wreck that you just can’t help but watch.

This is certainly not a book for people with weak stomachs who prefer clean language, but if you have a morbid sense of humor, and an appreciation for making fun of the absurd, it will be right up your alley.

It certainly made me laugh out loud, which was sometimes quite awkward as I listened to this as an audio book while walking on the trail. People walking in the opposite direction must have thought I was a bit loony; wandering down the trail chuckling to myself (wouldn’t be the first time I guess, I must look really strange during those books where the dog dies at the end and I’m blubbering all over myself…). I guess my only gripe would be that the book is a little too long; too meandering and with too many attempts to beat the already dead horse into the ground… Which ironically, makes me realize that a dead horse is perhaps the only road kill her father didn’t bring home.

Mom: Don’t read this to Grandma…  Or do – maybe she’d like it – with a beer…

Have you read this? Do you follow her blog?  What did you think?

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

  1. I laughed when I read this book – then felt guilty because it was so “out there, on the edge”. Her new book is out and I’ll read it too!

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