Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson | Audio Review

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson audiobook cover
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Format: Audiobook (courtesy of Penguin Audio)
Genre: Memoir, Humor
Publication Date: 17, April 2012
When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

Lawson's long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments-the ones we want to pretend never happened-are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't normally review--or even read--memoirs. They're usually not my cup of tea. But on Tuesday (literally) I discovered The Bloggess' blog, and her post about Beyonce, the giant metal chicken, and I couldn't stop laughing. Then I read about her tiny stuffed ermine she named Ermione Granger, and it was like I was destined to come across her blog.

THEN, after spending an hour reading through her best posts and laughing my brains out, I realized that the book she wrote had only just been released, and that the cover seemed extremely familiar. Further contemplation reminded me that this was because I had been sent an audio copy for review a month ago! I had dismissed it after seeing the word 'memoir' on the cover, and had let it get lost in a pile of books I am going to giveaway on this blog sometime soon. I fished it out yesterday morning, popped the first CD in, and did absolutely nothing worthwhile all day long, except listen to the book, and laugh my head off.
This is a lesson I've now learned from.

Now for the review:
I have never been so entertained by a memoir before! It pains me to group all memoirs together like that, but it's the truth. I have tried reading memoirs before, and none have captured my attention in quite the same way that Jenny's has. She's got a certain eerie humor; the type that makes you cringe, but at the same time there's no way you can make yourself stop listening, because Jenny is a storyteller.

Certainly no topic is off-limits for Jenny, and even though I had sampled her blog before I dove into her memoir, I was still surprised at some of the topics she brings up. I was even more surprised that despite my disgust, aversion, or disbelief, for some of the stories, I still wanted to hear the full details; I still laughed like crazy. She's got a knack for picking the craziest, most funny, most unique, and ultimately best stories, to entertain and wow readers.

Throughout the book, she talks about a wide range of topics, including some of her personal problems with general anxiety, anorexia, and the loss of her first two pregnancies. Even with frequent hilarious asides, these are seeped with true peeks into her life, which bring a meaningful balance to the story, and enables listeners to connect with her through similar embarrassing or heartbreaking experiences.

One of my favorite things about the book is Jenny's hilarious conversations with her husband. Jenny has some unique quirks (which I think are awesome), and it's absolutely clear that her husband loves her because of them...even when that means he has to put up with some crazy stuff. Out of this comes some of the most hilarious arguments about utterly mundane subjects.

I will say that this is definitely not the type of audio that you'd listen to in the car while driving with the kids. There is a lot of crude humor, language, and truthful talk of mature subjects. While it is seriously funny stuff, that warning is not to be taken lightly.

This is a book full of personality and humor. It didn't feel like a memoir; it felt like a good friend telling me the most outrageously funny stories I have ever heard.

Temp. Guide
Like listening to your best friend tell her most riveting stories, Jenny tells it in a way that brings them all to life. I noticed a few quirks along the way (pronouncing words like 'appreciate' incorrectly), but I think they added to the rich personality of her story.

Read this if:
...you love juicy gossip-style stories about people who are more funny than you, and you have a strong sense of humor.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Lots of crude language, crude humor, lots of swearing, and talk of drinking and drug use.}

     P.P.P.P.S. Also, if you try to make a shrimp boil, but the bag of spices bursts, and so you just toss it in along with whatever spices you can find in the pantry, you can make homemade pepper spray--unintentionally. And everyone at your dinner party will run outside for the next hour, coughing and tearing up as if they've been maced, because technically they kind of have been, because mace was one of the spices I found in the pantry. I blame whoever makes spice out of mace, and I remind my gasping dinner guests that even if I did mace them, I did it in an old fashioned, homemade, Martha Stewart sort of way.
     With love.
-Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (quoted from the audio, so formatting may differ)
"You are using a frisbee as a plate!"
"Uh, what? I'm not using a--oh hang on, this is a frisbee. Weird."
Victor glared at me.
"Dude, calm down, I'll wash it afterward. It's probably dishwasher safe."

-Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (quoted from the audio, so formatting may differ)

One of my favorite conversations between Jenny and her husband, Victor, resulted in me creating this:

Purchase Let's Pretend This Never Happened:
Jenny Lawson:


  1. Replies
    1. It is so funny! I can't wait for you to read it. :)

  2. OMG I would love this.
    Cute, clever, funny, and includes great conversations with her hubby.
    I am SO adding this to my TBL (to be listened) list.

    I'm off to see if my library has the audio.

    Man I need a connection at Penguin Audio.

    Thank you for the awesome review!

    PS YAY! For audiobooks.

    1. Juju, I hope you get this one! It was so great to listen to. I look forward to seeing your review, if you do! :)

  3. I read memoirs from time to time. I'm all for dark funny observations.

  4. She came in at #1 on the NYT Best Sellers list for Non-fiction Print and Audio in her debut week. It was announced on her blog and by her publisher before the list has been made public. I think your fever meter can be revised ... she is ON FIRE!!! The book is FABULOUS!

  5. I agree! The book is fantastic, and I congratulated her on her blog when the list was announced. It is a very well-deserved spot on the list.

    As for my fever meter...I still stand by it, regardless of her spot on the list. I don't let things like that influence my ratings.


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Please note: The Reading Fever is an award-free zone. I am very flattered, but comments are all the thanks I need.


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