Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson Book Review

My husband often tells me I have no sense of humor. I just don’t laugh at things most people find funny. When browsing through the “funny pages” I might give a little smile and agree a comic strip is funny, but my sides don’t exactly bust at the seams because I’m laughing uncontrollably. This week I learned that I do indeed have a sense of humor, but that it takes a very special brand of humor to get me giggling.

I became aware of blogger Jenny Lawson because of this post about Nathan Fillion. I hadn’t realized at the time she was a NYT bestselling author, or that she had a rather large following for her blog and on Twitter. The post amused me, but I forgot about the blog until my book club pretty much unanimously decided to read her book, Let’s Pretend This Never HappenedSeriously–there were three or four of us that all tried to nominate this book, so it came as no big surprise when we all voted for it. It was chosen for our “Humor” category, and I found the book after sifting through pages and pages on Amazon looking for a book that sounded appealing to me. I ended up having to choose something else since so many other people also wanted to nominate this one. Anyway, it won the popular vote, probably by a landslide.

This is not the first blogger-turned-author book that we’ve read together, but it’s my favorite of the two we’ve read. One of the things that will most certainly enter our discussion on Monday is how relatable Jenny Lawson is–and I’d be stupidly shocked if anyone can relate heavily to Jenny and her life. For one, the beginning of the book might sound as if she were raised by a serial killer; her father is a taxidermist and therefore has a twisted idea of funny pranks to play on his children. There are people out there who are going to find it sick and horrifying. I know that if I had a father who was a taxidermist and he’d pulled a “Stanley, the Magic Talking Squirrel” on me, I’d probably have never recovered. What’s even more, I adored Jenny’s niece Gabi for unknowingly getting revenge with a raccoon in a cereal box. I realize you are probably asking yourself, “WTF are you talking about? That doesn’t make sense.” Yes, it does. I’m just not going to spoil the fun of my favorite stories for you. Go buy the book, and you’ll find out for yourself on pages 26-29 (hardcover edition).

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is more than just a 300+ page collection of bizarre, nightmarish childhood anecdotes, however. Jenny also talks about falling in love with her husband Victor, the emotional trauma of making it through a miscarriage, and finally getting her own dysfunctional version of “happily ever after” when their daughter Hailey is born. Jenny may not come across as the perfect wife or housekeeper, but no one can argue that there is never a dull moment in her life or marriage. Jenny certainly had some interesting childhood experiences, but instead of letting herself be traumatized by them, she chooses to have a sense of humor about them.

I dare you to read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and not laugh. How can you not with chapters entitled “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane”? That was my absolute favorite chapter of the entire book. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. So, dear husband, I do have a sense of humor–but unfortunately I don’t have any proof of this since I didn’t record myself reading this book. Because that would just be weird.



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