I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
“Not many people rise to her level of fame or are so deeply abused, but McCurdy’s narrative will feel familiar to anyone who has navigated poverty and trauma. Taking advantage of the store discount at your dad’s retail job, tuning out screaming matches between parents, avoiding calls from debt collectors … this is what childhood is like for millions of Americans. Like many, I recognized myself in her words.”—Sabrina Cartan, Slate
“Unflinching…This year’s most candid book…I'm Glad My Mom Died made me laugh; it made me cry. It's such a funny, dark, moving, honest, real, uncensored book, and it's unlike anything I've ever read.”—Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon
“[The]number-one New York Times-bestselling memoir that has also achieved pop-cultural phenomenon status…I'm Glad My Mom Died is more than source material for a deluge of headlines about Grande and the slimy advances of a Nickelodeon svengali McCurdy calls simply ‘The Creator.’ McCurdy distinguishes herself from standard-issue celebrity memoir fare with a vivid, biting, darkly comic tone and an immersive present tense.”—Michelle Ruiz, Vogue
“For McCurdy, this book isn't just her writing debut. It's a reckoning with guilt and grief after her mother's premature death. It's healing from multiple eating disorders and processing decades of trauma. It's finally doing what she wants for the first time: not acting. Writing…Healing from trauma looks different for everyone: For McCurdy, writing this memoir symbolized empowerment over her narrative. And understanding that it's OK not to forgive her late mother provided her peace.”—Jenna Ryu, USA Today
Publisher: Simon & Schuster