by Jenny Lawson.
The good? I almost peed my pants reading this book, and I cried laughing so hard. I love that it’s that type of book that warns you you’re going to be offended. However I didn’t feel “offended” at all — and not that there weren’t offensive things in the book. It’s just that I went into the book with an open mind and a need to laugh. Which I did. Often.
I liked how Jenny isn’t afraid to share about her anxiety and the attacks that come with it, showing the progression from a kid in school to an adult who wants to hide in the bathroom at dinner parties. Although I don’t have the kind of diarrhea mouth or anxiety attacks she gets, I do feel social anxiety. I do worry about finding people to talk to, and what to say to those people. I worry I am too boring, I worry I don’t have enough to say, I worry they will walk away with distaste. So I enjoyed reading someone else who has a similar problem. I also liked how this was not the main focus of the book, but a side story.
She does tend to throw a story into the middle of the story, and she does talk about her dog when he’s alive after the chapter of when he died. But here’s the thing: she warns you. She gives a heads up, and I appreciate that. I hate when books (some I’ve seen in memoirs, some in fiction) just hop around with no warning, because it’s ‘artistic’, but really it’s confusing. Lawson lets you know what’s happening and it’s easier to follow along.
The chapter on the scorpions/animals in walls/mold issues WITH THEIR HOUSE was crazy and funny.
The chapter on the laxatives was funny.
The chapter on the death of her dog, which should be sad, was sad and crazy. And pretty funny.
The bad? Sometimes I felt like there were exaggerations. I mean, she’s a writer, and it’s her memoir, and she wants it to be funny. So there will be exaggerations. And it wasn’t anything in her childhood; I realized from the beginning what her parents (especially her dad) were like and so I was prepared for the outrageous. It was the little things — I wasn’t turned off by them, but I knew they were there. Like how she thought the GPS was telling her to turn on a road that had the word ‘dick’ on it … would you really think that? Does that make sense? Like I said, it’s not enough to draw you out, but it’s still there.
The last couple of chapters dragged a little, and weren’t as funny as the rest of the memoir. However, I’ve read a lot of memoirs, and at some point it’s going to drag. You can’t have a million hit stories, some of it will not resonate with everyone. I am glad that with hers, it was towards the end, and not at the beginning when I was trying to get into the story.
At GoodReads I gave the book 5 stars, because I was not expected to cry laughing when I first opened the book, and I felt like she had a strong voice as a writer. Whether you know her as the Bloggess or not, this book is a very funny look at her life and how it shaped her as a person.