BOOK REVIEW: I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
“I yearn to know the people I love deeply and intimately—without context, without boxes—and I yearn for them to know me that way, too.”
If you haven't heard about Jennette McCurdy's memoir, I have no idea where you've been hiding - maybe nose deep in a book? I've been anxiously and impatiently waiting for this book to become available at the library and when it did come in, I had too many books checked out to download it so I said sayonara to one of the books I hadn't made it to yet, just so I could download this book. I was not disappointed - well I was, but only in Jennette's mom and Hollywood.
In I'm Glad My Mom Died, Jennette shares her life growing up with an abusive mother that she idolized (it wasn't until after her death that she understood much of her relationship with her mother to be abusive), a career as a child actor, and her struggles with addiction, eating disorders, and codependency. There are many, many triggers in this book - including emotional and sexual abuse - but if you're able to read Jennette's book with these triggers in mind, it was a gut-wrenching book full of dark humor (which honestly has been a staple in my life to get through some of the most trying experiences I've gone through) and a self-awareness that just really makes you feel for Jennette.
While reading Jennette's memoir, it is just appalling to know what her mother put her through - including encouraging her daughter to become anorexic at the age of ELEVEN!! - and how sheltered she kept Jennette, despite her being a child actress and enveloped in the world of Hollywood. Jenette's telling of her journey of coming to terms with realizing and acknowledging her abuse is a candid look into the lives of people who have/had abusive parents and how complex that relationship can be.
In regard to Jennette's life as a child actor, I read a review that states "praying that Jenette makes more from this book than Nickelodeon could've ever offered with their hush money" and y'all, I 1000% agree. While Jenette doesn't name names, and instead calls the abuser The Creator, we all know who she is talking about, and the abuse and power that this person had is beyond disgusting. And without a protective parent in her court, Jenette was even more exposed to the abuse of The Creator.
Although I'm Glad My Mom Died is full of hard to read experiences, it's refreshing to see someone talk so candidly about their mental health and what a struggle it is to work through mental health issues and how that is a constant in your life, full of ups and downs during the journey. Jennette is such a strong and brave woman to not only face these issues head on in therapy, but also to share these experiences with the world.
Overall, I gave I'm Glad My Mom Died four and a half stars (four on Goodreads because they still haven't made half stars an options *rolls eyes*). Jennette's writing is clear and concise, yet hard-hitting. This is one book that definitely lives up to its hype.
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