Book Review: “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson

furiouslyhappy-e1447179730363I’m sure y’all have noticed that I haven’t been my usual peppy self in a while. There’s a lot of really stressful things going on in my life between family situations and emotional situations on my part.

This is why I recently picked up Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson again. I read this book twice on release day. Twice. The second I finished with it, I flipped back to the front and read it all over again.

The subtitle to this memoir is A Funny Book About Horrible Things. And it’s true. There are a lot of horrible things in this book. Jenny talks about her miscarriages, about her struggles with depression and anxiety, about a whole bunch of other really depressing things. She punctuates these with moments of brightness in-between.

There are some dark times in this book. There are also some bright times. The problem being, Jenny’s humor is either going to win you over or it’s going to alienate you. If you check out the reviews for this memoir on GoodReads, a lot of people mention how her sense of “humor” (and they put it in quotes, not me!) turned them off the book. I think this is unfair to Jenny. She found a way to get through her illness, and she is trying her hardest to help others through theirs.

If you read her blog, you’ll get a good idea of what her brand of humor is. She’s snarky and sarcastic, but you can feel the anxiety peeking through. If you don’t have anxiety, you might not be able to see it. But it’s there. Honestly, reading through her blog and her memoirs made me realize that I finally know what’s wrong with me, and I’ve been getting help for it. My life is in a much better place than it was, although going to those therapy appointments are really stressful, too.

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If you’re looking for something to cheer you up, this might not be the book for you. Sure, there are some hilarious stories (like the time she goes to Australia and attempts to hold a koala while wearing a koala onesie), but they’re punctuation marks between the bad times in her life, when she hides from the world and tries not to cut herself. This book is not for everyone, and I’m perfectly okay with saying that in this review. That being said, I do hope you give it a try, and at least see whether it will work for you or not.

I give this book a strongly recommended rating of 4.5/5 stars. The amount of tears I had from laughing so hard has yet to be surpassed by any other book, save for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny’s first memoir. That one’s got a few dark things in it, too, but the good seems to outnumber the bad.

Also, there’s a taxidermy raccoon with googly eyes on the cover of this memoir. What more do you need?

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In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny’s mom says, “Maybe ‘crazy’ isn’t so bad after all.” Sometimes crazy is just right.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • Publication Date: 1st edition (September 22, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250077004

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Thanks to Hurricane Nate (or has it been downgraded to Tropical Storm Nate again by now?), I’m still at my parent’s house. It’s a really wet and miserable day, and the cats are very upset that we can’t turn the rain off for them. There was a tornado in Montevallo last night (where I live), so it’s a good thing I was here. I’m just hoping my apartment is okay.

I’ve also made some improvements in my own emotional self lately. I wrote this review several weeks ago (probably at the end of August), but I came to a realization a few days ago. I deserve somebody who puts as much effort into things that I do, and I need someone who has the same level of ambition and drive that I do. Life sucks, but you have to pull yourself through it.

Please know that if you ever need anything, or need anyone to talk to, my inbox is always open. Simply click on “Contact” at the top of the page and email me. Or comment. It doesn’t matter.

And as always, keep reading.

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