Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

LetsPretendThisNeverHappenedBook Review:

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

By Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is more like a series of short stories rather than a traditional novel. Blogger Jenny Lawson tells story after story of her life, from her childhood through adulthood. There’s no plot – just a bunch of random stories and a lot of humor.

Review/Recommendation: When a friend recommended this book to me, I thought I’d love it. I thought it would be similar to Bossypants, which my husband and I both enjoyed. I later read that this book would also appeal to fans of David Sedaris, who I’ve also read and enjoyed.

Unfortunately, I found Let’s Pretend This Never Happened to be very different than Bossypants and a Sedaris book. The best way I can describe the writing and style of the book is raw… it’s pretty much 300 pages of unfiltered stream of consciousness. It was filled with cursing, misspellings, and bizarre tangents…. it very much felt like a personal journal or diary, or the blog entries I imagine Lawson writes (I’ve never read her blog). While the stories were funny, this style made it difficult to become and stay engaged in the book. Instead of devouring chapter after chapter, I read only a chapter at a time, with another book or two finished before I returned to this one.

That being said, this book was very funny – I laughed out loud several times. In fact, I’ve told my science fiction-loving husband that he had to read it – I was truly amazed at the amount of mentions of a zombie apocalypse, considering the book was a memoir. I actually had a hard time believing that most of the stories were real. I kept thinking hoping that there was far more exaggeration in the stories Lawson described than she actually owned up to, because she frequently came across as a complete lunatic (at least to someone who had never heard of her or followed her writings).

Would I recommend this book? Perhaps. It definitely has a certain appeal, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

Grade: C+/B-

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