Biographies, Book Review, Bookish Talks, Non-fiction

Why Is Everyone Reading “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy?

It’s written by a celebrity, it’s funny and has a catchy, shocking title! What more could you ask?

Well… It would be enough. But it doesn’t stop there. This book is very well written and it leads you step by step to personal revelations. Yes, it’s a celebrity’s memoir, but it is, paradoxically, very relatable!

Who doesn’t have parents who try to fulfil their own dreams by pushing their kids into careers they don’t want?

Who doesn’t have parents who don’t actually listen to what their child wants in the hurry to help them achieve what society expects of them?

all parents make mistakes

So…The reasons why we’re all reading “I’m Glad My Mom Died” are:

  1. The GENIUS title – Obviously!
  2. The celebrity factor – I was reeled in, though I never watched Nickelodeon!
  3. The exquisite and funny writing! – You might come for the title, but you can’t stop reading because it really is gripping, entertaining and inspiring!
  4. The blameless, therapeutic approach – it is honestly, refreshing!
  5. The relatability – as I said, everyone has a complicated relationship with a parent
  6. The gratefulness reinforcement – I feel better that, even though I’m not a celebrity, at least my childhood was awesome, compared to hers!
  7. Insight into another reality – Jannette McCurdy is a real person, who tells about real experiences. Her public image and the reality behind it create a fascinating clash.

What “I’m Glad My Mom Died” is actually about

Jennette McCurdy was a child actress. This is her memoir, the story of a young girl doing whatever she can in a constant attempt to please her mother, Debra. Jannette was 6 years old when she starts her story. She is smart and observant and, yet, she can never be enough of what her mother needs. Her reflections are sharp, funny and naive.

Her wishes always come on second place. She is forever unable to tell her mother what she really thinks. Her mother’s emotional instability leaves her incapable of sincerity for fear it would upset her. Her father is absent, constantly overworking. Her three brothers are in their own world, with no cares and no problems.

At 6 years old, to become responsible for the emotional well being of a parent is devastating. It leaves you unable to grow up, to form your own personality, to become independent. It’s heartbreaking.

Jannette’s story goes on through adolescence in the same way. Her mother is unwilling to let her grow up – she insists on doing everything together, she even showers her up to the age of 18. In these showers, she submits her to physical checkups she does herself.

When Jannette finally gets her period, she is overwhelmed by the idea that she’s growing up and that will upset her mother. She decides to start eating less and less, as her mother advises her it will stop her development. It does. She becomes anorexic and gets OCD from the emotional turmoil that surrounds food.

This is continued emotional abuse in its worst form. When Debra’s cancer comes back (she had overcome it once before), she practically moves into her daughter’s first “solo” apartment. Jannette is 18 at the time.

Jannette’s first boyfriend is a thirty something guy and, of course, that makes her mother enraged in every way possible. She condemns her daughter and insults her. She even starts talking about disowning her (while asking her for money). When she apparently forgives her, she starts talking about her funeral and how she wishes Jannette would sing “The Wind Beneath My Wings” there, in an attempt to make her feel guilty about everything.

Who is The Creator?

The Creator is never actually named in the book, but he is another character that makes her life difficult while filming iCarly at Nickelodeon. Fingers point to “the Creator” being former iCarly creator Dan Schneider. He has faced allegations of abuse and misconduct from former employees in the past and has left Nickelodeon since 2018.

too much

All this is just half of the book. The other half happens after Jannette McCurdy’s mom dies. Processing her death, dealing with life and grief alone, dealing with loneliness, anorexia, bulimia and all the emotions around food, dealing with lies her mother said, actually growing up in the end – all these things are written in a more serious note. They remain helpful and their message is positive.

My thoughts

I started this book because of the title, as everyone else. I continued reading it because I just couldn’t stop! I loved Jannette McCurdy’s writing style and her point of view. I loved that it’s like a confession and a therapy session – acknowledging and accepting facts as they happened, along with the emotional reaction at the time. Jannette McCurdy doesn’t blame anyone, she just remembers events and states her feelings about it.

Her life could easily be turned into a movie and that is so weird and sad and completely logical for a former child star. Her experience is so unique and relatable at the same time! Her processing everything was so unhealthy for so long, I was amazed and genuinely happy that she could recover and become so self aware. There were so many times reading this book I just wanted to hug her and tell her it was all gonna work out. Her writing simply touched my soul and I can’t recommend it enough!

Trigger warnings: The book contains sexual scenes. It also discusses bulimia and anorexia.

The video below will show you 10 quotes I loved in this book:

2 thoughts on “Why Is Everyone Reading “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy?”

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