While memoirs have never been a go-to genre for me when I heard about I’m Glad My Mom Died, I knew it was a must-read. I am a 90s and early 2000s kid and am familiar with many of the child stars from shows on Nickelodeon and Disney. While iCarly came out towards the end of my kid show-watching days, I vividly recall the first few seasons. Sam Puckett was my favorite character from the show, and I thought she was hilarious. Young me always felt stardom would be exciting, but this book proves all that glitters isn’t gold.
As a small child, Jennette McCurdy started attending acting auditions to fulfill her mother’s dreams. She would do whatever it took to make her mother happy. She was put on restrictive diets, given unnecessary makeovers, and was even washed by her mother until she was 16 years old. In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette shares her childhood stories of living with a narcissistic mother and what it takes to be famous. She recounts her experiences as a lead character on iCarly and Sam & Cat. Once she discovers therapy, she quits acting and pursues the life she truly wants.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Child star Jennette McCurdy tells all about being forced into acting by a controlling and abusive mother. She shares her story of reflecting on the traumas of her childhood and what life was like before and after the death of her mother.
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This is the first review I have struggled to write because this book left me speechless. It’s hard to fully put into words how proud I am of Jennette for opening up and being vulnerable. This memoir is filled with private traumas, painful moments, and is wrapped up with personal growth that is hard-won. I hope writing this has helped her find peace and happiness.
I must admit, as curious as I was about this book, I considered passing on it due to the title. Before reading, it seemed cruel. But it only took me until page 50 to understand, and by the end, I felt it was completely justified.
I devoured this book in two days. I went back and forth between reading and listening to the audiobook. Jennette narrates the story, which lends even more emotional impact to hear her recount these true segments of her life.
Jennette is a great storyteller. The book chapters are set in chronological order, and each centers on a memory. We get a look into her life from age two to the present. The chapters are short, which made for a fast-paced flow while reading.
The blurb describes I’m Glad My Mom Died as “heartbreaking and hilarious.” I did not find any humor while reading it. It was impossible for me to do so when the words were filled with so much trauma. Heartbreaking, on the other hand, is dead on.
It hurt my heart to remember the times I laughed while watching iCarly. I will never view the show the same. It is an eye-opener and a harsh reminder that we never know what someone is dealing with.
This memoir did tremendous work toward showing the horrific truth of Hollywood for child stars. It raises awareness of issues in the industry that desperately needs to be fixed. I don’t have much hope for change, but I do hope this helps other child stars step forward with their stories.
As a mom, I cannot fathom not simply wanting happiness for your child. This has further instilled in me the importance of making sure that the mental health of my children is a top priority. Jennette had her childhood ripped from her. I wish her the very best in fully taking control of her future.
I not only support the hype for this book but am thrilled to see it get the attention it deserves. I recommend this to all readers, not just those familiar with Jennette McCurdy. But I also want to give a careful reminder to check trigger warnings before reading it. I didn’t plan to rate the memoirs I read, but this is worthy of five stars. Jennette telling her story is incredibly impactful and necessary. I hope she continues to thrive as a writer, and I look forward to more of her work.
Now that I know I can enjoy this genre, I need more to add to my shelf. What memoirs would you recommend?