Title: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)
Author/Narrator: Jenny Lawson
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Book Review: I think it’s sort of hard to me to review Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson because I may not be the target audience for this book. I’ve never been a regular reader of Lawson’s very popular blog, The Bloggess, so I can’t really remember why I decided to make this book one of my first Audible purchases except that everyone who does read The Bloggess seems to really love her. Still, I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the book.
And you know what? I’m not exactly sure what I thought of the book, other than that I enjoyed the time I spent listening to it.
Despite all of the hype that Lawson is totally hilarious, I didn’t think the book was laugh out loud funny. But I also don’t have a tendency to be a laugh out loud kind of girl for the kind of in-your-face humor that Lawson seems to love. I don’t want to call her humor vulgar because the jokes aren’t really offensive, but Lawson does love to talk about her vagina a lot.
In addition to the humor, Lawson also spends a good amount of time talking about some more serious issues like her severe social anxiety and challenges with her family. There is a little unevenness with the book, trying to balance the humorous and the serious, but I think on the whole it works more often than it doesn’t. There are other female writers in this sort of humorous essay genre that fit a little better with my sensibilities, but on the whole I liked this book.
Audio Review: I have very mixed feelings about the choice to have Jenny Lawson narrate this book. On the one hand, I totally understand that the people who are regular readers of Lawson’s blog would want and even expect her to read her own book. There’s just something so distinctive about her writing voice that almost demands she do the narration herself. Frankly, I’m not even sure the book producers had a choice on this front.
However, I didn’t always feel like Lawson was doing her book justice as a narrator. She has a really distinctive drawl and way of dropping syllables in words that I found a little grating after awhile. She also speaks really, really fast and sort of seems to muddle through some sections of the book. Since I’m not familiar with Lawson’s blog, I wouldn’t have noticed or minded a more experienced narrator, but if you know The Bloggess, the novelty of hearing Lawson narrate will probably overcome what I perceived as shortcomings in the style.
If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!