Book Review: I’m Glad My Mom Died


I’m Glad My Mom Died is a memoir by writer, director, and former actress famously known for her role in ICarly, Jennette McCurdy. It is McCurdy’s first book and was published on August 9, 2022. Jennette McCurdy never wanted to be an actor, but her mother insisted that she does. She started working as an extra before going into commercial work and going on to star in “iCarly” and “Sam and Cat.” She goes into detail about her complicated relationship with her abusive mother up until her death from cancer in 2013.

Jennette McCurdy’s mother, Debra McCurdy, was a hoarder. She filled their house with objects the family could not afford and forced Jennette and her brothers to sleep on floor mats instead of beds. McCurdy quickly goes into her child acting days. Her mother forced her to do this and controlled her all the way into her teenage years. Debra McCurdy physically showered and dressed Jennette until she was around 16 years old. She also homeschooled her, isolating her, and planning their whole life around her acting schedule. Jennettes mother decided everything for her. She decided what roles she auditioned for, what she wore, and even how she would act. When she landed her first huge role in iCarly, she recalled only being happy because her mother wanted her to get it. On the set of iCarly, she felt like she was being put in a chaotic environment. And all at the hands of the creator everyone knows as Dan Schneider. It has been investigated and shown he was verbally abusive to cast and crew. She mentions how many toxic environments she was in, but never realized it at the time. As McCurdy got older, she was not able to land roles for younger children. Her mom then starts her destructive behavior, trying to keep McCurdy young. She would try to keep her body small with a calorie restriction which made her severely underweight for her age. After Jennette’s mom died, she felt lost and seeked therapy, which immensely helped her recover from the issues her mother created. But when it was mentioned to her for the first time her mother may have been abusive, Jennette shut down. She continued to grow over time and heal. Now in the near decade, she had been able to process all of this, and she has completely quit acting but plans to keep writing and begin directing films.

Here are some reviews of the book from popular reviewers:

“A truly incredible and hard-hitting memoir. I think Jennette did a great job recounting the events of her life. I especially appreciate how she recounted her childhood; she really nailed writing from the perspective of a naive child who doesn’t realize how awful her mother is.”

“It’s a moment of hilarity and heartbreak. On one hand, the utterance is a punch line, unexpected and sharp, just like the book’s title. On the other, it starts to signal one of many instances of mental, physical, and emotional abuse that McCurdy suffered from her mother. For the reader, the moment also encapsulates what they’ve signed up for: a layered account of a woman reckoning with love and violence at once.”

“While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.”

“Regardless, the book is a fantastic read, especially with how brave McCurdy was to even release this, and even more given the knowledge that her life is ongoing; it makes sense for her to have an open-ended ending. How could her life be finished when it’s still in progress?”

“Though McCurdy can still find it uncomfortable to reflect on her past, it also makes her hopeful to focus on the present and to see the friends and colleagues who are part of her life because she alone chose for them to be in it.”

Personally, I am not a person who reads very much. But this book really caught my eye, and I do not regret reading it. It was an emotional rollercoaster from her childhood story all the way up into her adulthood. I read it in just under a week and could not put it down. I thought it was a great read and would 100% recommend it to anybody to read. I greatly enjoyed the experience of reading this book and I definitely would rate it a 10/10.