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review 2018-05-09 02:20
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) - Jenny Lawson

Sometimes you want to forget very embarrassing things that happen in your life and a few of those times you’ll ask your friends to pretend it didn’t happen, now think about that being the majority of your life.  Jenny Lawson, aka “The Bloggess”, recounts her life from childhood through school, romance, marriage, and motherhood in her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir.


Lawson starts off the book by throwing the reader into the deep end of her humor and really doesn’t let them resurface until after finishing the book.  Beginning with her childhood in Wall, Texas, Lawson goes through her quirky life from one embarrassing moment to another especially since her own father was a quirky taxidermist whose business was in the backyard AND that was before she even started school.  Misadventures in high school—mainly dealing with a cow—and college follow, and it is in the latter where she meets her husband in which the most hilarious moments of her life begin.  And through her marriage with Victor, the birth of their daughter, and move out into Texas countryside the misadventures only continue with predictably hilarious, yet embarrassing results.


It’s hard to really evaluate a humorous memoir, except grading it on the content of its own humor.  Honestly, given how much I looked forward to reading this book each day and the fact I had to stop reading out of either laughing or just being embarrassed at the author’s own embarrassing situations means it succeeded.  Yet on top of that is Lawson’s faux notes from her editor(s) just add to the overall experience of the book.  And the added bonus chapter of the paperback of notes from her promotional tour is a cherry on top of everything.


Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a hilarious memoir of a woman who owns up to her embarrassing moments, cherishes them, and knows they made her who she is.  Though this wasn’t the first book by Jenny Lawson that I’ve read, yet now I can see why it became a bestseller and has led to a few more books by Lawson.

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review 2018-05-06 00:37
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things - Jenny Lawson

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

As Lawson clearly states in the beginning of this book, if you don't like funny books about mental illness, do not read this book. Pretty simple. If you are looking for a serious discussion on mental health and how to "fix" yourself, look elsewhere. This is not that book.

Now onto what this book actually is. This book is hilarious. Everything about it is so absurd and ridiculous. It is extremely funny and very entertaining. From arguments with her husband to weird childhood stories, Lawson takes the reader on a side-slitting journey to learn how she became furiously happy (and you can too!). 

Mixed into the hilarity are real discussions about her own mental health and serious talks about feeling alone, self harm, thoughts of suicide, and other dark times. But Lawson does something amazing with this. She makes people feel less alone. It's nice to see that other people feel that way too and, though her work, Lawson has created a sort of community of those struggling with mental illness. It's a fun sort of group that makes the world a little brighter. So even though this book is funny, she does get serious about certain things and makes the reader feel welcome, flaws and all. 

Lawson's humor is pretty intelligent. She starts off with something true, then twists the logic and semantics around in such a ridiculous way to end up with a crazy conclusion that actually makes a weird sort of deluded sense. It is highly entertaining and actually pretty impressive. Each chapter has a super weird title and it's almost like a scavenger hunt or a Where's Waldo page figuring out what the title refers to. When you get to the part in the chapter where the title comes from, you're like, "Aha! That makes a weird sort of sense." It makes for a very fun reading experience.

I didn't read Lawson's first book, but after reading this one, I'd like to go back and read it at some point. 

While I didn't necessarily agree with everything Lawson says and there are some offensive statements and jokes in the text, it is overall a funny story that is all about being true to yourself, saying "yes" to trying new things, and being furiously happy. 

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review 2018-05-01 22:30
WICKED RIVER by Jenny Milchman
Wicked River - Jenny Milchman


Books like this are the reason I don't go camping. Read it, and you might not be willing to go either!


Natalie and her brand new husband Doug have decided to spend their honeymoon camping in the forested mountains of the Adirondacks. At least, she tells herself they've decided. Mostly, it seems Doug has decided and she went along with it. Unable to read a map, Natalie's misgivings become even more bothersome when their GPS is lost and then they turn to outright terror when they come across a dead body. Little does she know that their adventure has really just begun. What happened to the dead man they found? Will Natalie and Doug make it out alive? You'll have to read WICKED RIVER to find out!


At first, I didn't think I would enjoy this story. Natalie is wishy-washy and what kind of woman doesn't stand up and say she doesn't want to sleep on the damn ground on her honeymoon? That's the thing though, all of the characters change and grow throughout the story and that had me rapidly turning these pages.


The only real problem I had with this book was with Natalie's 13 year old niece Mia. I think her sections only served to slow down the pacing. Also, many of her actions were just not believable. Everything else about this story rang true to me-the award winning couch sitter and non-camping extraordinaire that I am. Books like these only prove to show me that I'm correct in staying far away from the wilderness. I've read too many horror books for that.


I am so glad I tried something a bit out of my wheelhouse because WICKED RIVER was, (mostly), fast paced and WICKED fun!


Recommended to fans of mystery/suspense and thrillers.


*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2018-05-01 00:00
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan It's been two years since Polly moved to Mount Polbearne, and things are finally going well for her. She and Huckle along with Neil the puffin have moved into the old lighthouse, and she's managing the two bakeries and business is booming since Mrs. Manse retired. Then, everything seems to go horribly wrong. Tarnie's widow Selina returns to the island and befriends Polly, Polly really wants to be friends, but doesn't know how she can with the secret about her and Tarnie hanging over her head. Hucke's brother, Dubose, from America decides to visit, shirking his duties, which has repercussions for Huckle. Then, Mrs. Manse has a heart attack and dies, leaving nothing for Polly in her will. Mrs. Manse's sister Janet, sends her son Malcolm who pictures himself a businessman to manage both of the the bakeries. Malcolm can't tell the difference between Polly's hand-crafted artisan bread and the cheap fractory produced loaves and, he doesn't care. He's all about making a lot of money by having the bakeries run as cheaply as he can, by firing Polly. Huckle tells Polly about an idea of driving a van or food truck to sell her homemade bread to the locals and the tourists. While Huckle goes to America to deal with the repercussions of Dubose's visit, Polly finds a van and gets her new business running. The bakeries aren't doing very well under Malcolm's mangement and he thinks Polly has turned people against him so he tries to bring down Polly's new business as payback.

The characters are quirky, endearing, and some more lovable than others. The author gives us some subplots with unexpected twists and turns that all come together in a nice tidy way at the end of the story. The way the author used her descriptive writing you can picture the characters and the surroundings in your head as you read the story. I did find myself cheering Polly on in my head as she dealt with her problems. I did enjoy the epilogue because we discover that Neil is taking care of a nest with an egg inside it so he'll be a papa puffin soon and Huckle asks Polly a very important question.
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review 2018-04-29 19:51
Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han

Hmmm, I'm done but still don't know what the point of this third book in the series is. There wasn't really a definitive plot or real conflict or goal, not like the first two books which I really enjoyed. I feel disappointed but I guess my expectations were high and some people may like the way things played out just for the sake of having a trilogy. I still enjoyed reading about Lara Jean and Peter but I can't understand why this final book was needed at all. Ah well.

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