Kat Engh's Reviews > Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny  Lawson
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Aug 23, 12

Read from July 19 to 31, 2012

I'm somewhere between 3 and 4 stars on this one, but because it really has made me laugh a lot, I'm rounding up. If you are the kind of person who likes reading blog-style writing page after page, then you will certainly love Lawson's jokey stream-of-consciousness style writing. I found this approach refreshingly different and clever for about the first two chapters before I began feeling like her constant digressions really kept me from following the story line, and I often found myself flipping back a few pages just to remember what exactly it was that she was actually talking about in the beginning. Lawson is smart, funny, and certainly clever, but the whole upside of being able to edit the written word is that you can either cut out or re-arrange those ramblings that so often show up in verbal storytelling to keep the written story linear. Suffice to say, it would probably be a much shorter book without the paragraphs of off-shooting stories.

That aside, there was one particular part of the book that hit home for me and furthers my reason for giving this admittedly hilarious book 4 stars. When Lawson begins to talk about how she came to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it struck a cord with me. As someone with a little-understood autoimmune disease myself, I wish that I could print out this chapter of the book and keep stapled copies on hand for every person I meet who either says "But you don't look sick" (groan) or "But you're so young, how can you have a disease like Lupus already?" (What are you even saying with this?"). If I were this book's publicist, I'd excerpt this chapter and send it to every magazine and newspaper, every doctor and nurse, and every person with an illness that nobody seems to understand.

This is definitely a great beach read, and digressions aside, it's a quick read, too. I wouldn't recommend it to literature snobs, but I think the average beach reader will have a tough time not laughing out loud.
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