I’m Glad my Mom Died, Just Kidding…Here’s a Book Review


Emma Cubberley, Yearbook Editor-in-Chief

**This article will contain spoilers. 


Jennette McCurdy’s debut memoir displays a startling title on bookshelves everywhere; that’s if it’s not sold out of course. Published in August, I’m Glad my Mom Died has been a hit. So much of a hit that it became a New York Times Bestseller and sold out within 24 hours of release. Possibly because of its shocking title, this book sure pushed some boundaries on writing a memoir.


McCurdy begins her memoir by her unwrapping a gift wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper in the middle of June. McCurdy makes sure to not rip any of the paper, as that is how her mom likes it. She then explains that her brother describes her mother as a hoarder. A small house with trash strewn everywhere is what Jennette grew up knowing. Her Mom was diagnosed with cancer when Jennette was only 2 years old, but at the time this memoir begins she is in remission. Jennette’s mother was rather attached to her childhood even as an adult. This led her to decide to sign Jennette up for acting at the young age of 8, which was something her mother was never allowed to do.

When Jennette started to develop breasts, her mom suggested calorie counting to slow it down so that she could keep getting roles (which started her long, horrible journey with eating disorders). McCurdy struggled to get lead roles in the early days of her acting career, but then she caught her break: ICarly. ICarly was one of Nickelodeon’s most popular children’s shows. McCurdy played sarcastic, food-driven Sam Puckett. Jennette’s mom had the drive to live through Jennette. She attended every taping of ICarly while her health was okay, but once her health declined she stopped attending. For once in her life, Jennette was starting to make her own decisions.

She started to meet boys, have sex, and get into drugs. McCurdy developed a bad addiction all the while her mom’s health was declining. When she moved into her first apartment, practically begging for life alone, her mother decided to move in. This caused strain on Jennette and prompted many secrets between her and her mother. Her mom started to lash out, but she eventually moved out because her health continued to decline. After Jennette’s mom passed away, she was left with an infinite amount of turmoil and a boyfriend who wanted her to get help. He gave her an ultimatum: either get therapy or leave. She sought out therapy, but that was short-lived. She still struggled with addiction and an eating disorder. Later, she sought out a medical doctor to help stop her bulimia. This took effect. Slowly but surely it did. In the end, she found peace within herself, even though still had a long road to recovery. 

McCurdy takes readers through her heartbreaking memoir. Immediately you feel immersed in the assault she withstood, including the mental, verbal, and sexual trauma.

She finds a way to address her childhood from a viewpoint that does not blame her juvenile self but also acknowledges what she was yet to find out. It is honestly brilliant.

I would recommend this triumph of a memoir to anyone, whether you like non-fiction or not.