Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

photoI had seen this book before. Sometimes on the bus, sometimes in waiting rooms, I’d see someone turning the pages of the book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Granted we should not judge a book by it’s cover, but I was curious as to why there was a mouse acting as Hamlet.

I finally caved and took out Jenny Lawson’s memoir, her personal story about being raised in rural Texas, among various animals her father would find and raise while working as a taxidermist. Her childhood is extraordinary in its own right; she reminisces about feeling ostracized in school and how her quirky and unconventional family would never allow her normalcy.

I have to praise Lawson on her voice. Writing for comedy is incredibly difficult and she’s able to make the reader laugh with her sharp wit and her proclivity for the vulgar (FYI she curses a whole lot). She started as a blogger who raked in a huge fanbase, which I think allowed her to get this book off the ground. She has a knack for storytelling and although the stories in this book come out of order (something she’ll even point out in the book) her life story is easy to follow.

While Lawson has a great voice, I didn’t enjoy this memoir as much I thought I would. And here’s why:

Lawson has a penchant for making strong statements which make the reader want to press on. She titles her chapters in a unique manner. I mean, when you see a chapter entitled And Then I Got Stabbed in the Face by a Serial Killer, you wonder what the following story will be all about. Instead, it’s something much less crazy. In that way, Lawson has a great ability as a storyteller and getting people’s attention.

But I sympathize for Lawson and the strain that comes from meeting people and making friends. I cheered for her when she took the plunge and joined the blog conference. While I rolled my eyes when she announced a cougar almost attacked her, she means well. If you’re not sure if you’ll like her work, check out her Blog and read a few entries. If you like her style there, then check out this book!