Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

Sarah Lentz, Staff Writer

Do not read Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)” in public. You will only embarrass yourself by laughing so hard you cry.

Lawson’s memoir is a quick and easy read. Her writing style is unorthodox but completely engaging. If you are easily offended, however, read with caution. At times, Lawson’s language could make a sailor blush and she doesn’t shy from stomach-turning tales. Her sheer hilarity and interesting prose more than makes up for it.

“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is all about Lawson’s strange life told through side-splitting anecdotes. All of the stories share the same central idea: the moments in life that are weird and embarrassing are the stories that make people who they are.

The majority of the book covers Lawson’s childhood growing up in a small, rural town in Texas. To say her upbringing was unconventional would be an understatement.

The Lawson family was poor and with a taxidermist father with a penchant for keeping wild animals as pets, there is an abundance of would-be embarrassing moments from the author’s childhood.

The best parts of “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” are the life lessons Lawson pull from those moments, like when she discovered she was much happier not caring about what people thought of her after her father’s semi-violent pet turkey followed her into her elementary school and destroyed it, or when she discovered the idea of keeping life in perspective when she got stuck in a cow in her high school ag class.

Lawson is very open about issues many would wish to sweep under a rug. She writes about her experiences with illness and mental health issues with the same humor she writes about everything else. Her outlook on the more difficult moments of her life is inspiring.

“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)” prominently displays Lawson’s confident storytelling. The fact that she doesn’t flinch from the messy parts of life is a breath of fresh air and thoroughly entertaining.