In her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, actress and singer-songwriter Jennette McCurdy recalls numerous traumatic memories from her childhood and adolescence, especially during the runs of the two shows. We get to experience the time when her mom got her into acting at an early age, and on to when she has to deal with the aftermath of her mom’s death and try to live a life without her.
Jennette McCurdy is best known for her role as Sam Puckett from Nickelodeon’s hit show iCarly and its spin-off Sam and Cat.
For McCurdy, these memories were a whirlwind as she dealt with childhood stardom, fame, narcissistic abuse, eating disorders, alcoholism, and then undergoing intensive therapy.
There were certain moments while reading where I felt both uncomfortable and shocked. Such as when McCurdy explains how her mom was present in and still showering her up until she was 16 years old, and also all the times her mom would yell at her if she didn’t get what she wanted. Another uncomfortably shocking thing to learn is that her mom got her into child acting by teaching her the method of calorie intake to get her to look thinner and smaller to book younger roles.
Additionally, she received numerous criticizing phone calls from her grandma when she went shopping one time at a Whole Foods after her mom’s death — similar to how her mom used to yell at her. As shocking as the grandmother’s behavior was, I appreciate McCurdy’s inclusion of a multi-generational theme, as it showed a significant and striking similarity between her late mom and grandma.
I was a huge fan of iCarly throughout my childhood and early adolescence. I sometimes used to dream of being famous and wonder what being a star was like. However, the mental aspects of childhood stardom, as explained by McCurdy’s experience and how it nearly destroyed her mental health, pulls back the curtains on the surface-level glitz and glamor of stardom.
It even saddens me to learn about her behind-the-scenes experiences with The Creator — also known as iCarly creator Dan Schneider — and how her mom at the time enabled his predatory behavior in hopes of McCurdy advancing her career. But this isn’t the only instance she goes into detail about these experiences from her own perspective. Throughout the book, she uses first-person writing to ensure the reader is in her shoes throughout every chapter, making the read compelling and gut-wrenching.
I’m Glad My Mom Died is innovatively emotional, raw and thought-provoking. It’s the best book I have read in a long while and I hope to see more fun reads by McCurdy.
If anyone can relate to McCurdy’s experience or is curious to read about the obstacles she faced during her acting career I’m Glad My Mom Died is the perfect read.
Edited by: Abbigail Earl and James Sutton