Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Think of a roller coaster. You get into the seat and feel it inching up, up, up, knowing that at some point you’ll start flying downhill at breathtaking speed, blowing back your hair and facial skin while you scream at the top of your lungs in fear-filled, adrenaline-laced joy.

That about sums up Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson, aka The Blogess.

When I first started reading the book, I felt a little…confused. Was I reading an unedited ramble or comic genius? A West Texas native and the daughter of a taxidermist, Lawson describes an unusual life surrounded by animal blood and guts, among other things. Later, she meets and falls in love with Victor, who appears to be the “sane one,” with the exception of his Republican leanings (oops, there goes my political commentary again).

While Lawson takes us on the roller coaster of her life, I couldn’t help but notice that the wizard behind the curtain has managed a long-term marriage and motherhood, so I suspect that there’s a certain amount of cockeyed method to all the madness. If you noticed the mixed metaphor in the previous sentence, well, it somehow seems fitting when writing about this book.

Once I got used to the book’s style, I really enjoyed it and found myself reading passages aloud, gasping through my giggles, to hubby. I think it helps to be a blogger myself — we’re an odd breed, and I related to and understood much more of this book than I would like to admit. And, darn it, she made me cry, too, though I won’t spoil the moment for the rest of you. Let’s just say you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read that particular chapter. I also have had some experience with taxidermy in my home (don’t ask), though not at Lawson’s level, so when she describes her father’s eccentricities, I nod my head in sympathy.

For women “of my age,” Lawson’s free use of the f-bomb and ADD style may be off-putting, but I ended up having a good time with this book. Humor is hard to write well, and I think that for the most part, she succeeds. I admire that in a writer! Spend some time on her blog first so you get a sense of what to expect, and you’ll be fine. I started from scratch, which perhaps wasn’t the best strategy.

At the end of the ride, you’ll get up dazed and dizzy, but with a big, sloppy grin on your face. Enjoy!

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