Let's Review "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Memoir" by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson is a super-popular blogger known as "The Bloggess." Last year, I read and reviewed her second book Furiously Happy. This Christmas, my husband bought me a signed copy of her first book Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Memoir. It's been a damn rollercoaster, but I finished up Let's Pretend This Never Happened and am happy to say Jenny Lawson is a talented writer who you should be following.

Lawson is a Texas gal born to a taxidermist and his long-suffering wife. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, she takes us through some often hilarious and sometimes worrisome misadventures with wild creatures–both alive and in various states of death. I say states of death because dead animals, in Jenny's household, could be dead, disemboweled or reanimated as a cutesy wall or desk ornament. She is both horrified by and okay with the live random bobcats and turkey stalkers as well as large animal corpses hanging out around her house.

Jenny Lawson has about as many health problems as an inbred show dog. That's not to say that she's inbred, though she is from Texas. (Come on. Low-hanging fruit!) You can't help but feel sorry for her as she navigates her way through rare disorders, mental illnesses and even rheumatoid arthritis. If she ever gets a break, it's probably going to need an x-ray.

Somehow, in spite of the wacky family, or maybe because of it, Jenny Lawson is able to pull through an eating disorder, failed pregnancies, being a human pincushion to have a baby, a marriage with some kind of financial professional,  being a mother, having OCD and even vultures trying to eat her zombie dog. Her memoirs show that sometimes strong stuff is made of chipped and cracked glass. They prove that even women without pajama sets can make friends with other women. They make you feel like trying harder because if Jenny Lawson can have a popular blog, bestsellers and a driver's license, you can definitely get off your ass and take that cooking class.

Now, all I want to do is praise Lawson's bravery in baring her soul for the world to see, even if she does exaggerate. However, I would be remiss if I didn't warn you that this Let's Pretend This Never Happened goes a million miles a minute, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I can't even imagine what it looked like before an editor got his hands on it. You have to work hard to keep up, but that's okay. It's worth charging through the author's thought process to get to the tales of laughter and woe that lie beneath.

Shelly Barclay

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