• STAR RATING:  4 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 320 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: August 9th 2022 
  • PUBLISHER:  Simon & Schuster
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Eating disorder, Child abuse, Emotional abuse, alcoholism
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson


Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

I’m going to be real with you on this one — I have no idea how to format my thoughts on this one. How do you review such a heartbreaking memoir? The guts it took to write this book, to lay it all out there — the good, the bad, and the just plain awful — I just…I am in awe of Jennette McCurdy. Let me tell you, though, this is not an easy book to read, emotionally. If you have any history of disordered eating at all, you will struggle with this one. But McCurdy is very clearly far down her path of recovery by the end of it, and my heart soars for her.

So why did I pick this one up? Well, it’s been lauded every since it was released a few months ago, and I was a fan of iCarly growing up. Sam was usually my favorite character — sometimes tied with Spencer — but watching the show you could never tell how absolutely miserable McCurdy must have been. She genuinely looked like she was having a good time. I can’t imagine going through abuse her mother put her through just to get a shot of second-hand fame. It’s horrifying — especially when McCurdy describes her mother basically handing her an eating disorder. Honestly, my stomach twisted every time her mother was mentioned. What an awful woman.

But in I’m Glad My Mom Died, McCurdy lays her life story down, not quietly, not gently, not apologetically. She just tells it like it was, period. I can’t imagine reading a more flowery version of this. McCurdy’s life doesn’t need embellishment. I hope writing this book was a form of catharsis for her. I hope she is now happy, that she is living a life that she wants to lead, without anyone else telling her what to do. She deserves it.

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