I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy has a title designed to shock and intrigue, and it does that well, but the content inside of the book lives up to the title. It’s a dark, humorous, and sad look into the life of an unwilling child star, one who a lot of us grew up with on kids channel Nickelodeon.
As soon as I heard about this one, I knew I wanted to grab it. I had heard some about how Jennette’s life had been, but this title meant I knew I would learn so much more. This is an incredibly in depth memoir, Jennette doesn’t hold back. She talks about how her mother’s controlling attitude to Jennette’s stardom impacted her career and her life, as well as her body and her mental health. But she doesn’t shy away from the mistakes that she made herself, making her very human to the readers eyes and for me at least this heightened how much I could empathise with her.
Jennette’s mother wanted everything from her. She wanted her to be a best friend, an eternal child, she wanted to live vicariously through her in child stardom and to dress her up like a doll. Jennette learnt early on how to react to make sure her mother was happy, no matter her real emotions.
McCurdy mentions being discouraged from writing when she was younger, because her mum thought it would take her away from acting. I’m glad that this has been a breakout success because her writing is fantastic! I was completely engaged throughout this book, unable to put it down. I read it over two days, and even then only because I had to go to bed (it was 3am to be fair).
Whilst those of us who watched Jennette as a child star will find it really interesting to learn about the behind the scenes of iCarly, I think those who didn’t know about her stardom will also gain a lot from this book. It discusses child stardom and child abuse in a way that is not specific to that one show, and is something that we still need to think about in this day of TikTok and YouTube channels that are dedicated to children and run by their parents. How would McCurdy’s mum reacted to TikTok if she’d had Jennette now?
On CAWPILE I rated this: Credibility: 10, Authenticity: 9, Writing: 9, Personal impact, 9, Intrigue: 9, Informativeness: 9, and Enjoyment: 9, giving an average of 9.14 and a 5* rating.
I always include trigger warnings, but this book is very heavy so please do check these out before diving in (highlight them to read them, they’re hidden for those who really oppose any sort of spoiler): eating disorder, child abuse, death of parent, vomit, alcoholism, cancer, body shaming, mental illness, grief, panic attacks, addiction, sexual assault, gaslighting, fatphobia, domestic abuse, schizophrenia, self harm, adult/minor relationship, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, dysphoria, rape, paedophilia, infidelity, religious bigotry, stalking, ableism, homophobia, misogyny, abandonment, classism, confinement.
This is a dark book in places, and not a light-hearted read. Yet McCurdy manages to make her writing so engaging and so personal that the impact isn’t so rough on the reader. This is one of the best written memoirs I’ve ever read and I’m so glad I listened to the hype and picked this one up.
Are you going to read I’m Glad My Mom Died? And did you watch iCarly when you were younger? I used to love the show!!
3 thoughts on “I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, a review”
Great review! I grew up watching iCarly and it was definitely one of my favourite shows when I was younger so I really need to read this book!
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Thanks! This is definitely really eye opening thinking about Sam Puckett and Jennette’s portrayal of her
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