I was hesitant to make this book my next review, mostly because this was a fairly popular memoir in the media and I just thought I would be repeating what others have talked about in their reviews, but it just kept bugging me, so, in short, I caved, and I hope that maybe my opinions will inspire you to give this story a chance.
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
taken from Goodreads.
I love and miss nonfiction books as you might’ve seen with Wednesday’s post. I run on facts mostly it’s weird things but with these kind of books, I generally enjoy learning one’s life up at a certain point. I have read quite a few in the past three years and I’m very proud of that, but I did not expect to say, Santa, I’d like to have “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy for Christmas, but it happened, and they got it for me. It is my first out of seven books I actually on that lovely morning!
When I first saw an advisement for this book, I was somewhat intrigued by the title – it is a very bold statement. I felt like this could be the next “Mommie Dearest” which was another memoir written by Joan Crawford’s daughter, Christina in 1978. I have to say, I’ve never read that book or have any real reason to in the future. Since we’re already comparing stories, I’ll just say right now that I don’t want to read Prince Harry’s “Spare” either. They’ve been talked about so much that there’s no point in it.
“I’m allowed to hate someone else’s dream, even if it’s my reality.
So, what made Jennette’s memoir so different?
The only live-action TV shows I watched on Nickelodeon were All That and Keenan & Kel. So very 90’s of me! The same goes with what was on Disney Channel as well, except for their Original Movies. By the time, Jennette made it on iCarly and Sam & Cat, it was only my sister who would casually watch it. And it’s because of this that I was able to dive into her memoir easier because I didn’t really know her that well.
Jennette’s life wasn’t your ordinary California girl, her home was full of different stages of hell, I’m still shocked she stayed alive all that time. Her mother was a force to be reckoned with and not in a good way. She was put through so much pressure to be everything that her mother told her to be, even if that meant doing stuff she didn’t want to do. like act. She restricted her diet, feeling guilty for eating something otherwise healthy, but then end up with an eating disorder. Life wasn’t about Jennette’s needs as a child, teenager and young adult, everything was about her mother, and I quickly understood the title, because I don’t doubt, she was thrilled to be rid of that kind of monster.
This book also makes you understand how the entertainment industry views young children auditioning for various roles. Jennette never had someone in her corner the whole time, and that is so sad! How many other child actors out there are pushed into acting by an overburdening parent? I hope someday in the future they will have better outreach programs for the young actors, even if it’s a secret thing to help them understand between right and wrong situations involving their families.
Have you read “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy yet? If you have, what were your thoughts on it?