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.
“Smile for the paparazzi, Mom orders me.
Without even spotting them, a vacant puppet-like smile crosses my face automatically. My eyes are dead, my soul is nowhere to be found, but a smile is on my face and that’s all that counts.”
Not many people know this about me and it’s definitely not a secret but I love biographies/memoirs. Reading about someone’s life just fascinates me. The title brought me here and I stayed for the support.
Jennette opens up and doesn’t hold back as she tells us the good, the bad, and the downright heartbreaking parts of her life. She tells her life before and after her Moms death. The horrors she went through to please her mom. She knew that one little thing could set off her Mom, so she did every little thing to make her happy. My heart shattered at these revelations.
This was deeply moving and heartbreaking. I just wanted to cry after reading this. Jennette met the worst in her life and tells us in full detail how her mind worked during those times. It was deeply moving and heart-rending. I have so much respect for Jennette after reading this. I didn’t know much about her life before and now I do. She has my full support in life and is one tough cookie. I’m glad she had a friend in Miranda because I think she had a huge part in changing her life around.
I’m Glad My Mom Died was a phenomenal memoir and one I completed in just a few short hours. I couldn’t put this one down. You just never know what someone is going through and we are so easy to judge one another. This should open all of our eyes. If you read one memoir in your life, please make it this one.