Vikki VanSickle'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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's review
Aug 18, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction, women-s-interest, memoir

I was disappointed by this highly touted memoir by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. Although some parts of the book are extremely funny (especially any chapter involving her father or her memories of working in HR), overall I felt like this was an excellent example of how some people are great bloggers, but perhaps aren't (yet) skilled novelists. The book began strong, but Lawson did not succeed in holding my attention for entire book. Lawson was strongest when she was being understated or deadpan, but unfortunately she tended towards hamming or, worse yet, pointing out how funny/sad/pathetic she was in order to seem self-deprecating, which felt disingenuous. There is something very amateur about constantly telling your reader, "you're going to be shocked, or "you'll probably be offended," or "My editor thinks I shouldn't include this," especially when those scenes under-deliver.

Perhaps my reading experience was coloured by the fact that I also read Caitlin Moran's far-superior HOW TO BE A WOMAN which succeeds on every level and therefore makes the flaws in LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED glaringly obvious. Readers looking for funny, unbelievable and unforgettable memoirs about incredible things happening to ordinary people will have more luck with Catherine Gildiner's near-perfect books TOO CLOSE TO THE FALLS and AFTER THE FALLS, or the previously mentioned Caitlin Moran's HOW TO BE A WOMAN.

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