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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this exceptional memoir of her life as a child actor, Jennette McCurdy has taken her courageous one-woman show and turned it into a series of moving personal essays. From the highs of her first jobs and her breakout role on iCarly to the lows of anorexia, bulimia, addiction, and self-doubt, the former TV star gives us an engrossing window into her world in all its poignant and dysfunctional glory. It’s a gripping and emotional story, complete with a stage mother who was always there pushing her—until suddenly, she wasn’t. The emotion in McCurdy’s voice as she reads her story is unmistakable and moving. It makes I’m Glad My Mom Died a cathartic and powerful must-listen.
Lived up to the hype
I was a big iCarly fan and had seen all the hype, so I wanted to check it out. I went to school for writing, and for someone who didn’t attend college, Jennette sure writes better than some of the people I graduated with. It was an emotional read, yet still had moments of humor. Finished it one day because I couldn’t stop. 10/10 recommend
Funny. Engaging. Heart-wrenchingly good.
Adored this book!
She is incredibly witty, clever, honest, and insightful in both her writing and narrating of this book. I loved it. I just wish it were longer, I want more of her!