Trigger Warning: eating disorders, child abuse, alcohol abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse
I usually don’t write individual book reviews for the books I’m reading. I try to just focus on other books and posts. But after reading this book, I feel the need to write a review about this book. When it was announced, the title left a lot of people shocked that McCurdy would make such a bold statement. Who is happy that their parent has died? It seems almost cruel and callous, yet after listening to this audiobook it is so clear why she felt this way.
For those who don’t know Jennette McCurdy starred in Nickelodeon’s iCarly in the late aughts and early 10’s. She then was given a spinoff show with Ariana Grande called Sam and Cat. However, after the end of Sam and Cat, she stopped acting. Now, after years of recovery, McCurdy is sharing her story and how deeply her mother’s abuse affected her life.
The book is split into two sections: before her mother’s death and after. It starts when McCurdy is 6, detailing what her life was like living in an over-cramped home filled junk her mother felt that they needed to have. In each chapter she shares little snippets of her life. From her mother forcing her to become an actress, to one incident where her mother manipulates her into staying in acting even though she is unhappy.
The book really opens the door to what the life of a child star is like. This is especially abundant in the fact that McCurdy was not always a willing participant in the decisions around her career. Her mother wanted to be an actress and forced her to live the life that she wanted. The memoir includes many instances of her mother’s abuse and the hostility of Nickelodeon show runner Dan Schneider referred to as the creator.
She describes in great detail how her eating disorder controlled so much of her life. She explains the steps to recovery and set backs she faced. It is truly a beautiful memoir. At times I felt like a voyeur when listening to her describe some of the worst aspects of her life and I find her strength to be commendable. It’s hard to accept that your issues can’t be ignored any longer.
She writes with such maturity, clarity and reflection. She knows how to write about herself in a way that doesn’t justify her past choices or condemn herself for being in the thick of mental illness. It’s hard to say that she has a happy ending, because the catalyst for this change was the death of her mother, but it’s clear that she is in a much better state. In the last chapter of the book, she writes about visiting her mother’s grave after all of the work she had done to become the best version of herself. It’s deeply reflective and makes my heart ache.
While I don’t rate memoirs, I felt the need to share how poignant and moving I found it. McCurdy left no stone unturned in the retelling of her life. In an interview she did as promotion for the book she mentioned fiction novels she plans to write and I look forward to reading it.
I’m Glad My Mom Died is out now. I will link places to purchase the book below.
Until next time!
NEDA: Call or Text (800) 931-2237
National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline 1-800-662-HELP(4357)
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belladonna-adalyn-grace/1140276393
Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Im-Glad-My-Mom-Died/Jennette-McCurdy/9781982185824?gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0bvGtpD_-QIVOdSzCh0xkA1cEAQYAyABEgIcifD_BwE
Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Im-Glad-My-Mom-Died/Jennette-McCurdy/9781982185824