Monday, October 31, 2022

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeannette McCurdy

Rating: 4 of 5 stars 
Pages: 320 pages
Published: August 2022

I’m not gonna lie. When I first read the title of former child star Jennette McCurdy’s book, I’m Glad My Mom Died, I thought it was a little harsh. Who really thinks that? Who actually says that? Who writes that down for all the world to see? Well, apparently, Jennette McCurdy does. And after reading her memoir, I’m less judgey about her title. Honestly, I’m kinda glad her mom died too. 

McCurdy grew up in a dysfunctional household with a manipulative narcissist for a mother who coerced her into child acting well before the age of 10. Many parents and their children grew to love her as she played the character of Samantha Puckett on Nickelodeon’s iCarly and spin-off Sam & Cat sitcoms. I do not have children, and I was too old to watch these shows at the time they aired, but what seems like a fun thing turned out to be a grueling career - especially for someone so young. 

I think McCurdy did an excellent job with the writing in this book. She presents her autobiographical information in such a way that the tone and thought processes align with her age at the time being described and not her synthesis of it as a young adult. I think this made the book very engaging and also allowed the reader to feel the emotions she was feeling. There were so many times when I just wanted to give 6-year old Jennette a big ole hug. The first third of the book is dark, the second third is very dark and the last portion of the book offers some hope and much-needed light. The reason for my less than five-star review is that I felt that some of the stories jumped around a bit and often made it difficult to follow the timeline. Having said that, if you don’t get caught up in those details and just focus on the emotion and challenges, I don’t think it takes too much away from the story. 

I took away so many things from McCurdy’s story, but one of the main things that is still troubling me after completing the book is the use of child actors for such graphic shows and films. For example, do we really need to be employing and featuring child rape victims on Law & Order? Yes, I get that those situations and storylines are a reality, but do we need to subject real children for fictional stories to satisfy our need for entertainment. Additionally, I think every child actor should have a third-party advocate that stands to gain no financial benefit from his or her career but rather be put in place to guard against children basically being forced into a career with grueling schedules like McCurdy faced. Overall, we must work to protect the physical and mental well-being of children. 

Recommendation: This was a difficult but necessary read. I pray blessings and continued growth for McCurdy. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book at a dark time in your life as it is very depressing in certain parts, but I would encourage everyone to read it - especially mothers. And take it in bite-sized chunks. This is easily accomplished with the short 91 chapters in 320 pages. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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