Jennette McCurdy lecture

Jennette McCurdy answers questions about her book during a lecture in Schwab Auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 in University Park, Pa.

Actress and writer Jennette McCurdy’s new memoir is not only an in-depth look into her life but a commentary on important issues like eating disorders, child abuse and addiction.

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” spans McCurdy’s life from 6 to 26 years old. It’s an unflinchingly honest tale in which she comes to terms with her traumatic childhood and young adulthood — primarily due to her mother.

“Performing feels inherently fake,” McCurdy said in the memoir. “Writing feels inherently real.”

While most audiences have come to know McCurdy from her role as Sam Puckett on TV shows “iCarly” or “Sam & Cat,” she writes this book to clearly differentiate herself from her past.

The memoir serves to share a rare intimacy with the audience as McCurdy details all of her struggles with stardom. After reading the book, one can’t help but feel as though they share a bond with her.

Early in her memoir, McCurdy makes it clear that acting was never her dream, but rather her mother’s. Being 6 years old and cherishing her mother’s happiness above all else, how could she not comply?

Continuing a career she never wanted in the first place for so long may seem outrageous to many, but I think McCurdy had a very real understanding of the emotions behind this.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to feel good at something,” McCurdy said in the memoir. These moments of intense sincerity are what make her writing so enrapturing.

Also, it’s clear in the format of the memoir that McCurdy knows how to keep an audience’s attention. Making most of her chapters only about three pages to not overwhelm her reader shows her understanding of keeping someone entertained and engaged.

Being able to write this way keeps even casual readers hooked, while more active bookworms like myself are able to unconsciously speed through it.

While the memoir is obviously specific to McCurdy and her struggles, there are also many reflective moments that can foster passionate responses from the reader.

“But life happens. Love happens. Loss happens,” McCurdy wrote. “Change and growth happen at different paces for people, and sometimes the paces just don’t line up.”

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” is an extensive and impressive testament to what McCurdy had to traverse in pursuit of her own dream for her life — writing.

Although I loved watching McCurdy as Sam in my childhood, I love watching her grow into her own, independent artist even more.

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