Let me start by saying I should have written this review months ago, so if you could all just close your eyes and pretend it's still early June, that'd be greeeeeat.
(Er, except for the closing your eyes part.)
(Wow, I did not think this plan through.)
Nearly three months ago I received a most amazing gift from Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess:
What. I'm not crying. YOU'RE CRYING.
I don't know Jenny personally, but sometimes we trade tweets, and our overlapping readership gives me that cozy "friend-of-a-friend" vibe. I adore what she's done to help destigmatize (which IS SO a word, spell check) mental health struggles online, and every day I aspire to Jenny's level of honest, shocking hilarity.
Jenny's first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, is akin to comedy crack. It's potent, exhilarating, best ingested in small doses, and may result in a bad taxidermy collection. I read it in two sittings back when it first came out, which gave me the literary equivalent of a wine slushie brain freeze: too much, too fast. So if you haven't read Let's Pretend yet, DO - but give yourself breaks.
By contrast, Furiously Happy allows a more breath-able pace. Jenny has shifted the focus more inward here, sharing her personal struggles and revealing some serious health issues that she's only hinted at in the past. And in classic Bloggess style, she'll have you howling with laughter over the most horrible, cringe-worthy things. Like passing out - with much moaning and flailing - during her Pap Smears, or how her body straight up tries to kill her every time she falls asleep. (At least, that was my take-away.) Then there are the scary ambulance rides in the middle of the night, hospital stays and surgeries, and even some accounts of self-harm that come with a necessary trigger warning.
Without exception, though, Jenny's sense of humor prevails. She never delves into self-pity; she never asks for your sympathy. If anything, you'll be envying her strength and bravery and outrageous antics. (Not everyone has the guts to stick a realistic third nipple on her stomach while being prepped for surgery.)
This book is Jenny's victory march. It's her defiance, her resolve, and her pride. And it is beautiful.
There are also plenty of conversations with Victor, Jenny's long-suffering husband, plus tales of more bad taxidermy, home remodeling, thoughts on the TSA, a memorable travel log of her trip to the Australian outback, and so much more. The chapters are short, zippy, and perfect for quick (in)sanity breaks. If you already know and like Jenny's blog, buying this book is a no-brainer. If you don't know The Bloggess, then go read this post right now, and THEN buy her book.
Did I mention the cover has sparkly gold confetti all over it? With a happy dead raccoon? 'CUZ IT DOES.
Furiously Happy releases on the 22nd of this month, and the hardcover will list for $26.99. Pre-order it now at your local bookstore, or you can find it here on Amazon for about $16.