I’m Glad My Mom Died Review

This week for our pop culture media column, we are switching it up a little bit. Instead of looking at movies or tv shows, I’m going to take you into the world of books. This week on the docket we have I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. She is most famously known for her role as Sam Pucket on the hit kids show iCarly. This book is by no means a fiction novel, but an actual autobiography of Jennette’s life growing up, how her mother treated her, being a child actress, and finding her identity after leaving Nickelodeon. It is important to include with this review there is a trigger warning for extreme content, eating disorders, and abuse.

(photo from barnesandnoble.com)

(photo from barnesandnoble.com)

McCurdy’s memoir is raw and she leaves all her cards on the table. Her story is one for the books, no pun intended, and sheds light on the negative and harmful side of the acting career and societal pressures. She commences her story with her childhood. McCurdy’s mom always dreamed of being an actress and since she couldn’t do it, she in turn pushed McCurdy to accomplish that goal. Her childhood recounts show the abuse that McCurdy endured with her narcissistic mother and how that paralleled her experience as a child actor. At 11 years old, McCurdy’s mom encouraged calorie restriction in order to keep her small for child roles and auditions. This was the tipping point to her eating disorders that composed over the years.

McCurdy took this memoir as an opportunity to be brutally honest and never once glorified any part of her life. She was very matter-of-fact about her situation and didn’t dote on the details, making it more real instead of adding in unnecessary descriptive words. I don’t want to shed too much light on the memoir unfolding, it’s more of a “you have to experience.”

Her honesty is appreciated as many people will be able to relate to some topics mentioned in her memoir. She has managed to reach an audience that not many authors can and has connected with them. McCurdy has a true talent for writing. Nickelodeon offered her a $300,000 contract to keep quiet about her experiences with the channel, but she rejected it. That rejection eventually led to this book. With that being said, this memoir does not focus solely on her time at Nickelodeon, but more on a retelling of her life in sections.

If this short blurb isn’t enough for you to pick up the book, then let me give you a couple more pieces of persuasion. As I don’t think it is fair to rate memoirs or autobiographies, I rate them all a five, but McCurdy’s memoir is more than deserving. The courage it takes to put your heart and story out into a world where criticism is behind every corner is truly inspiring. If you have the choice between buying the paperback or the audiobook, then I recommend the audiobook. Hearing McCurdy narrate her own life is bone-chilling and emotional, but of course the paperback is just as good!

Stay tuned for next week to see where our pop culture media column will go next!