REVIEW: ‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’ – Jenny Lawson

Let's Pretend This Never Happened Book Cover Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Jenny Lawson

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humour in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.

There’s no doubt that Jenny Lawson has had some hilarious moments in her life – many involving various poultry or wild animals. However, instead of turning these anecdotes into a witty memoir, Lawson decided to write her biography in a jumbled, word-vomit way. For me, that really ruined it.

While I found myself smiling at the ridiculous stories, I more often found myself frustrated with endless run on sentences, and Lawson’s babbling. It seemed to me that she was insecure about where she came from, almost nervous and over-compensating with a false sense of bravado. I also found the ‘Editor’s Notes’ rather trite and forced; they didn’t add anything to the story, being included in the way they were.

From a formatting point of view, I found the footnotes frustrating, as on an e-book they all just show up in a list at the end of the text, so are fairly useless. Perhaps something for authors to keep in mind, given the ebook market is flourishing.

Overall, I think what could have been a very entertaining read was spoiled by a lack of editing, and a decision to write so loosely. I personally hadn’t heard of Lawson before reading this, and can’t say that I’ll go looking for more of her work now. That said, from other reviews I have read, many people seem to enjoy what she has to say… and if you don’t believe me, feel free to find out for yourself. Check it out here or here. If nothing else, there’s an amusing mouse in a cape and with a rapier on the front cover!


Literary-Junkies-ButtonAnd now for this month’s Literary Junkies Question Round-up!

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!

To be honest, I was a little late finishing Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – I only finished it this morning! So I haven’t started anything new yet.

2. What books are on your bedside table at the moment?

There are no books on my bedside table… my mother holds firm that a house isn’t clean unless it looks like nobody lives here (she doesn’t actually say that, but it’s true – our house is crazy tidy). So, no books lying lazily around!

3. Amazon recently released the 100 books to read in a lifetime. What did they miss that you would add?

I think their 100 books are a pretty good start! Having read it, I’ll be adding a few to my list of Books to Read Before I Die – and there are some on my list that Amazon missed!  Check mine out to see what I think are the must-reads.

4. Are there any books being published in 2014 that you are anxiously awaiting?  If so, what are they?

I’m looking forward to The Little Beach Street Bakery – Jenny Colgan, and  the paperback edition of Quintana of Charyn – Melina Marchetta. I’m one of those crazy types that need all of their books to match, so I have to wait for the paperback to be released! Other than these two, there are plenty of books I’m waiting for, but I have no idea when to expect them!

5. Name the next 3 books in your To Be Read List (the ones you will be reading next on your list.)

First on the list is the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth; I have to read them before the movie comes out! Then, I’ll be reading and reviewing Bangkok Transit – Eva Fejos for Fictionella. After that, I think it will possibly be Blind Spot – Terri Persons, but that’s a week or so away yet, so I may have changed my mind by then!

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  • BlushandBarbells

    I’ve read the first two books in the Divergent trilogy – still waiting for the third to come available at the library!

    • Annabel Krantz

      Did you think they were amazing? I’ve heard so many good reports – I’m worried they won’t live up to the hype!

  • Taylor @ Pink Heels Pink Truck

    I’ll have to check out The Little Beach Street Bakery. Thanks for linking up!

    • Annabel Krantz

      Thanks for stopping by! If you get around to reading it before me, you’ll have to let me know if you like it 🙂

  • Christine Newhook

    The synopsis makes this book sound like a lot of fun to read but then your review has made me think otherwise. I can read a bad story if it’s written well if I have to but I can’t read a good story that is written poorly. I get too frustrated and always end up stopping. Let us know what you think of the Divergent trilogy!

    • Annabel Krantz

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to plow through a poorly written story! It took me a loooooong time to get through this one. But I always hate giving any bad reviews! If you ever do read it, I’d love to hear what you thought!

  • Bre @ Peacoats and Plaid

    I attempted to read this on my Kindle as well. I think I lasted through the first 3 or 4 chapters before I couldn’t get over the fact of how ridiculous it all sounded. It read like a never-ending blog post, which in short spurts isn’t bad, but in a book format I just couldn’t keep going. Anywho, I also stopped by to thank you for linking up with The Collective for February!

    • Annabel Krantz

      That’s exactly what I thought! A fun blogging style, but overdone in a book format. Thanks for visiting!!