A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life. 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.
Reviews with the most likes.
CW: Eating Disorders, Codependency, Parental Abuse, Narcissistic Personality Disorder
This book is a stark reminder that abusers can look like well-meaning parents/significant others to everyone else, but it doesn't stop them from being abusers even after death. Parents should never be put on a pedestal just because they're parents because they're flawed just like everyone else. Yet, this book is also McCurdy starting the hard work of owning her truth, processing, and overcoming. What a powerful read that inspires grace and self-reflection.
This is a really insightful and well written account of a heartbreaking relationship. With the title of this book (which is a great title), I was expecting the entire thing to be just a scathing indictment of her mother, but its a lot more complicated than that.
The book is written in such a way that her mother's pattern of abuse and manipulation is obvious, but from Jennette McCurdy's perspective at the time when believing in her mother and making her happy was important to her (and still is to this day, to some extent). This was really revealing and deeply affected me, as McCurdy walks through key moments in her life and I had to try to understand how her mother could possibly behave in the way that she does and sympathize with McCurdy's inability to do anything about it.
I'm not necessarily a big memoir reader, but sometimes when I read them they are a bit scattershot, covering a lot of different areas of a person's life with varying degrees of interest. This book is a lot more laser focused on its thesis as described by its title, and I find that to be a lot more engaging.
Jeannette strikes the perfect balance between portraying her childhood innocence while reflecting on how impactful her abuse and trauma was as a child. She goes into detail about hard topics and brings inquisitive and funny insights into her life. The story telling makes this book impossible to put down and the topics make it hard to keep going. One of the best books I've read.
damn her mom, the ‘creator' and so many people in her life sucked... yikes. the writing was well done, I made me uncomfortable multiple times, Jenette had quite some issues on her own many developed because of the abuse, but wow... the acting industry sucks, especially fo children, I hate it. it sucks more because I liked Sam and Cat as a kid and seeing how much she was going through at the time is hard.