Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.
According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."
"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"
Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?
I kept checking to see if my library was going to get this book in, and I realized if I wanted to read it so bad I should just support the author... so this is one of the few books I have bought this year.
I recommended this book to my bi-monthly book club and so we have our meeting about it at the end of September, but I picked it up almost immediately and loved every second of reading it. I really like Jenny Lawson, I read her blog and she makes me laugh so hard that I often cry and I have been needed that in my life lately.
This boowas both not what I expected and also what I expected all rolled into one hilariously deep book about mental illness and Lawson. I expected the humor and tales about Lawson and her life, I expected the chat about mental illness, I did not expect for it to be just what I needed when I read it.
She embraces her issues in a way that is comforting and writes about them in a way that is both encouraging and impressionable. What I think is really great about this book is that it is a little bit of everything- humor in the weird, sad, and ill but also an attempt to help others in a fun way.
Like I mentioned, this was both hilarious and deep and that juxtaposition really makes this book what it is - you get the Bloggess but you also get a self -help book (or a book that helps you understand - because we know everyone reading is not as messed up as we are, but could always learn more about illness). Some of the stories are a bit much and some hit very close to home. I really enjoyed it a lot and recommend it if you read her previous book and enjoyed it, enjoy her blog, or if you just need a pick me up.
I read online that some people read it and didn't 'get it' and as much as that upsets me, I also understand. This book will not be for everyone. If you suffer with mental illness I think that you will 'get it'; if you don't, it may be a bit overwhelming and over the top (but that also probably mean you have never read a book by Jenny or her blog either and you are missing out). She has a very strange sense of humor, she takes these very real things and spins them but is still able to address her issues and in a very roundabout way - cope.