Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a (mostly true) memoir by Jenny Lawson. This is her first book; I previously reviewed her second book, Furiously Happy.
Jenny has a fabulously quirky sense of humour. The book is packed with plenty of wildlife—alive, taxidermied, and otherwise.
The book starts off with a bang in the author’s childhood, with her ending up inside a dead deer carcass. Other adventures of her youth included catching armadillos for her dad to race and inseminating a cow.
If gross is a problem for you, this book might not be the best choice. I’m all for grossness, though, and fully agree with her variation on the five-second rule – if it’s dry toast it’s extended to a week and a half. At least, right?
Her quirkiness shines in a disclaimer for a chapter where she mentioned using drugs, as she warns young readers that “drugs will kill you and make your boobies fall off.” The book also presents a lot of hilarious dialogue between her and her more logical-minded husband.
Thrown in along with the humorous bits are mentions of her experiences with mental illness, including anorexia, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder. She didn’t go into much detail, but I thought it was a good way of showing that someone can be funny and still face mental illness. She also shared the difficulties she faced trying to get pregnant.
The book follows her life somewhat chronologically, and moves in and out of various adventures like acid-washed vests, a sex concussion, finger cancer, a dead squirrel in the wall, and the beginning of her taxidermy collection with a wild boar’s head from an estate sale. There are assorted joking threats between her and her husband, including post-it notes she left him saying, “If you leave wet towels on the ground again I will stab you.”
There are photos interspersed throughout the book, and I couldn’t stop laughing at a picture of a very large metal chicken standing outside the front door to her house with the caption “knock knock, motherfucker.” Needless to say, her husband was not impressed.
The final chapter is an add-on written at the end of her book tour. She writes: “Will you sign my chicken?” I have officially been asked this 364 times. It never gets old.”
If quirky makes you laugh, this book is definitely for you. If you’re worried that you’re not “normal” enough, this book will set your mind at ease, because Jenny’s got you beat.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
Jenny Lawson’s blog is The Bloggess.