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Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

May 3, 2012

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a memoir of sorts by Jenny Lawson, also known as The Blogess.  Told in a non-linear fashion, it features stories from her childhood and stories from her marriage.  It also includes conversations Lawson’s had with her husband, sister, and others, as well as diary type entries and notes she’s written to her husband.  Written in Lawson’s breezy, irreverent, and somewhat bawdy style, the book is a quick read.

Lawson had quite a childhood.  Shy and occasionally anxious, she grew up in Texas with her taxidermist father, cafeteria worker mother, and younger sister.   Money was tight but for the most part, they were happy.  Her father’s taxidermy business was right next to their house and he was always dragging dead animals home, so there was never a dull moment for the girls.

I was drawn to this book from the start and found it laugh out loud funny but, for me, it started to lose steam about half way through the book.  Lawson’s trademark, if you will, is that outrageous things happen to her and it seemed she ran out of things to write about, so she had to create drama, and things started to feel a little forced to me.

I really wanted to love Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – a memoir written by a blogger seemed like a perfect combination to me – but I ended up just liking it.  Lawson’s conversational writing is entertaining and humorous and also quite crude.  I think I must be too old for it, because I’m definitely in the minority here, but, after a while, it grew old.  I also didn’t appreciate the way Lawson and her husband spoke to each other – I found it mean-spirited rather than funny.

I think I might have enjoyed the book more if I’d read it in short bursts, much like you would a blog.   Even though I didn’t love Let’s Pretend This Never Happened I think fans of Lawson’s blog will.

Challenges: Amy Einhorn Challenge

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
38 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    May 3, 2012 6:50 am

    I listened to this on audio, and I had almost the opposite reaction. When I started out, I was scratching my head and trying to figure her out (I read her blog, but not regularly, but I didn’t know her back story). By halfway through, I couldn’t stop listening. Holy cow she is funny. I decided that she could make MY life seem wacky. She is just that kind of person…she is a storyteller and her life will always be full of drama and exaggeration. But behind the stories are kernels of truth which is scary!!!

  2. May 3, 2012 6:58 am

    I was curious about this one and yours is the first review I’ve read. Sounds like it has its moments, and the cover looks fun as well.

  3. May 3, 2012 7:52 am

    At one point, I used to be a big fan of memoirs in conversational tones, now I can barely stand them because the tone starts grating on me soon. I doubt I will enjoy this one too much either.

  4. talesofwhimsy permalink
    May 3, 2012 7:55 am

    Great review. Thanks for the warning. I want to try it on audio.

  5. May 3, 2012 7:57 am

    I’m listening to the audio now on my commute to/from work and it’s hilarious. It’s quite the production!

  6. May 3, 2012 8:09 am

    I think audio was the way to go on this one, Kathy. I just finished the audio myself, and I thought it was hilarious! I missed the pictures, but her delivery more than made up for it. Sorry the print version didn’t keep you laughing all the way through, but I can see how reading it like you would a blog, in short bursts, would make sense. Great point.

  7. May 3, 2012 8:56 am

    Since you say fans of her blog would like this…I’m still gonna give it a shot. I’ve sporadically read her blog and really enjoyed it so maybe if I read it in short bursts, like you recommend, I’ll be giggling throughout!

  8. May 3, 2012 9:07 am

    I’m not sure if this one would be for me, but I’m curious enough to want to give it a try.

  9. May 3, 2012 9:43 am

    Snady just lent this one to me on audio, and I am anxious to get to it. It seems like it would be something that is just weird enough to entice me. I might nt have the time to get to it for awhile, but I am wondering what I will think of it when I do. Thanks for the honest review. It was much appreciated.

  10. May 3, 2012 9:51 am

    I listened to it over a few days time. It started slow but once I got the hang of her humor I found it entertaining although a bit raunchy at times. The story about her dog was hilarious, and really, should I be laughing about a dead dog? Not! Some of it fell flat for me too but overall I liked it.

  11. May 3, 2012 10:06 am

    Sorry to hear you didn’t love this as much as you hoped. But I do enjoy her blog, so hopefully the book will work for me.

  12. May 3, 2012 10:32 am

    I think I’ll try it on audio, too. I’m listening to A.J. Jacobs reading his own new one, Drop Dead Healthy, and he’s doing a good job!

  13. May 3, 2012 10:55 am

    I had no idea who this blogger was…I think the time away from the computer as softened my blogging world knowledge. Sounds like a good book…sorry you didn’t love it, but it sounds like it was still worthwhile.

  14. May 3, 2012 10:57 am

    I fear the same thing would happen if I ever wrote a memoir. There are some really great stories but at some point, I’d run out of material.

  15. May 3, 2012 11:06 am

    Great review! When a book starts to lose steam halfway through, it does shift from a “love” to a “like,” doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  16. bookingmama permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:20 am

    OK. I still want to read this one, but I’m thinking I should try the audio or read the print version in small doses.

  17. MonieG permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:27 am

    I really enjoyed the book but thought some of the incidents were too over the top to be believed.

  18. May 3, 2012 12:08 pm

    I’ve been curious about this one. I have an audiobook credit I was going to use to get this. I think the audio format works better for these conversational type of memoirs. And since I listen to them in small doses it might work better for me. Sorry you didn’t like it more.

  19. May 3, 2012 2:13 pm

    Kathy, thanks for your concise and honest review of this one. (The cover is hilarious!) You always know how to sum things up perfectly.

  20. May 3, 2012 3:12 pm

    I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and I often wonder how bloggers-turned-authors will shift their writing style from short, snappy blog posts to full-out books. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ll have to see where I fall with this one!

  21. The Word Jar permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:21 pm

    This was a great review! I haven’t read Lawson’s blog, but I enjoy humorous memoirs (and absolutely adore this cover). Since you said it might be best read in short bursts and I like to get a little reading done between frequent shouts of “Mom!”, maybe it will work out better for me. Thanks for your review!

  22. May 3, 2012 3:56 pm

    I did check her blog..once, I really should see what is out there

  23. May 3, 2012 4:38 pm

    You answered my question. I wondered what life would feel like having a father who worked as a taxidermist.

  24. May 3, 2012 4:54 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts on this Kathy. I think if I do wind up trying it it will be in audio format. Its lawn mowning season… a good laugh works well when I am mowning my yard for three hours a week 🙂

  25. May 3, 2012 5:52 pm

    If I get to this one, it will be the audio. I’ve only visited her blog randomly, and not really often but each time I’ve left laughing. We’ll see.

  26. Patty permalink
    May 3, 2012 5:58 pm

    Hmm…not sure about this one at all but I always appreciate your thoughts!

  27. May 3, 2012 8:00 pm

    Just came across this title for the first time, the other day. Looks like it could be hit or miss for me.

  28. May 3, 2012 8:40 pm

    I don’t really get who she is, even though I read her blog! Maybe this book would help!

  29. May 4, 2012 12:34 am

    The parts about the taxidermy dad are what interest me the most, but I have been concerned about being turned off by the profanity because I do find it mind-numbing after a while. I think that my opinion of this one may end up being close to yours. I’ll just have to wait and see (I’ll get it on hold from the library eventually).

  30. May 4, 2012 6:29 am

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this one, Kathy, because I was on the fence about reading it.

  31. Beth F permalink
    May 4, 2012 7:38 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said read it in short bursts. I loved the book but it the humor is best read a little at a time, otherwise it could grow a bit old.

  32. May 4, 2012 6:59 pm

    I’m always curious about bloggers making the transition to books. Sounds like this was fun … for awhile. It might make a difference if you read her blog daily and really got to know her.

  33. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    May 4, 2012 8:33 pm

    I’m currently listening to this one on my iPod so I listen in spurts, maybe that’s why I’m enjoying it so much!

  34. May 4, 2012 8:49 pm

    As a memoir reader I think I would like it (crude humor and all), but perhaps listening to it is the best way to enjoy it?

  35. May 5, 2012 6:05 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this blogger or book before, but suddenly it’s everywhere- even on the bookshop shelves in Australia, I noticed yesterday. It does sound a bit appealing if my reading schedule wasn’t quite so full already.

  36. May 6, 2012 2:28 pm

    I think I’ll pass on this one, but I do love the cover!

  37. avisannschild permalink
    May 7, 2012 11:56 pm

    Sorry to hear this didn’t totally work for you. I’m still hoping I’m going to love it!

  38. boardinginmyforties permalink
    May 31, 2012 5:52 pm

    I’m thinking something like this is best in small doses at a time.

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