Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Can I confess something?

I put off reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson until now for lots of reasons. Having been let down by blog-to-books in the past, I didn’t want to read it just in case. I mean, sure! She’s funny online! But would it translate to book? Could she possibly keep up the funny for 366 pages? Would I be horribly let down and thus fall out of something akin to blog-crush?

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After buckling down and agreeing to read and review the book with the BlogHer Book Club, the answers to my questions are yes, yes, and no.

Though I’m kind of perplexed.

You see, quite frequently in the beginnings of the book, Jenny talks about this minority of people who don’t a) get their water from a well, or b) know how to gut a deer, or c) only have have one gas station in their towns. Well, you see, I grew up in a town with two gas stations… though one eventually closed. We didn’t even have a stop light until after I moved away. I KID YOU NOT. When I tell people that, they are horrified. I shrug. And yes, we grew up with a well, though we didn’t have a radon infested well. That I know of. And… that whole deer thing…

Well, my dad wasn’t a hunter. His friends would receive permission from both my parents and grandparents to hunt on the Back 40 — which anyone with a large amount of acreage knows isn’t necessarily 40 acres. I didn’t eat venison until I was in middle school and only because a good friend tricked me into it; yes, it tasted like beef but I was still so mad at her. I swore I would never marry a hunter.

I also swore I’d never live in Ohio.

Yet, here I sit. In Ohio. Married to a hunter. There are four deer heads in the family room in the basement. When my husband texts me photos of dead deer in the last week of November, it is a cause for cheering, not for vomiting, because it means we will have meat for dang near a year. I know how to cook it — to the point that you won’t know it’s venison. And yes, Jenny is right; deer blood has a smell. I can agree with that even never having worn a deer sweater.

I think Jenny was attempting to poke fun at small town life at the beginning there, but I kept cringing a bit, thinking, “Oh wait. That’s me. That’s us. Oh dear. Oh my. We’re the kind of people that people make fun of, aren’t we?” And then I laughed the deep laugh of someone who understands, who gets the joke more than the other people in the room.

Because if I’ve learned anything from being different over the years, being the kid of people that others like to make fun of is almost always a good thing. Almost always.

I enjoyed Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but if you’re my mother-in-law, please don’t read it. There’s far too much cussing for you.

The BlogHer Book Club is reading and discussing the book right now. The first discussion asks what your favorite funny childhood memory is; I’m still thinking of my answer as there are too many to choose from!

 

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

2 Comments

  1. I get it. We didn’t have a stop light in our entire county. Signed, married to a hunter in Iowa.

    Reply
  2. I read it over the summer. I couldn’t relate to the small town stuff. My thought was mostly that it seemed like a bunch of blog posts printed out with a cover slapped on top (and there were several sections that actually were her blog posts, like the Beyonce chicken thing). If I wanted to read her blog, I could just go read her blog. I expected something different and more cohesive from her book. It wasn’t bad, but didn’t give anything extra than what I had already from her blog.

    Reply

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