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I'm Glad My Mom Died
Cover of I'm Glad My Mom Died
I'm Glad My Mom Died
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

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.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

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.
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About the Author-
  • Jennette McCurdy starred in Nickelodeon's hit show iCarly and its spin-off, Sam & Cat, as well as in the Netflix series Between. In 2017, she quit acting and began pursuing writing/directing. Her films have been featured in the Florida Film Festival, the Salute Your Shorts Film Festival, Short of the Week, and elsewhere. Her essays have appeared in HuffPost and The Wall Street Journal. Her one-woman show I'm Glad My Mom Died had two sold-out runs at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre and Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. She hosts a podcast called Empty Inside, which has topped Apple's charts and features guests speaking about uncomfortable topics. She lives in Los Angeles.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    March 1, 2022

    Currently president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, Leahy gives us a sweeping view of U.S. politics as he tells his story as the country's longest-serving senator in The Road Taken (75,000-copy first printing). A leading light in film and television, also featured in four Broadway shows, Lewis (The Mother of Black Hollywood) recounts personal experiences encapsulating the vagaries of modern life while highlighting what she's learned about Walking in My Joy (125,00-copy first printing). In Deer Creek Drive, AWP Award-winning novelist/memoirist Lowry recalls the particularly vicious 1948 murder of society matron Idella Thompson near where she grew up in the solidly Jim Crow Mississippi Delta, with neighbors protesting the conviction of Thompson's daughter even though her claims about a fleeing Black man proved spurious. Proclaiming I'm Glad My Mom Died, actor/director McCurdy relates what it was like to be a child star (iCarly) wrestling with an eating disorder, addiction, and a controlling and aggressively ambitious mother (75,000-copy first printing). In a memoir rejecting the standard resilience trope, Nietfeld chronicles traversing a childhood encompassing a mother who put her on antipsychotics, icy foster care, Adderall addiction, and homelessness to arrive at Harvard, Big Tech, and Acceptance--crucially, of herself. Award-winning critic/novelist Tillman relates a life taken over by Mothercare after her mother was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (after several wrong assumptions), leading to seven surgeries, memory loss, and total dependence on her daughters.

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 23, 2022
    In this explosive debut, former iCarly star McCurdy recounts a harrowing childhood directed by her emotionally abusive stage mother. A narcissist and “full-blown hoarder,” McCurdy’s mother, Debra, pushed her daughter into acting at age six in 1999, doling out her scarce affection in tandem with the jobs McCurdy booked (while weaponizing her breast cancer—which eventually killed her in 2013—for good measure). After McCurdy hit puberty around age 11, her mother steered her to anorexia via “calorie restriction,” and later began performing invasive breast and genital exams on McCurdy at age 17. As she recounts finding fame on Nickelodeon, beginning in 2007 with her role on iCarly, McCurdy chronicles her efforts to break free from her mother’s machinations, her struggles with bulimia and alcohol abuse, and a horrific stint dating a schizophrenic, codependent boyfriend. McCurdy’s recovery is hard-won and messy, and eventually leads her to step back from acting to pursue writing and directing. Despite the provocative title, McCurdy shows remarkable sympathy for her mother, even when she recalls discovering that the man she called Dad while growing up was not, in fact, her biological father. Insightful and incisive, heartbreaking and raw, McCurdy’s narrative reveals a strong woman who triumphs over unimaginable pressure to emerge whole on the other side. Fans will be rapt.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2022
    As a child actor, McCurdy tried to make herself fit her mother's version of perfection. Bit by bit, she whittled herself down into her mother's idea of how she should look, act, and perform, and eventually landed a recurring role on the Nickelodeon show iCarly. McCurdy brings us into her world of television sets and casting calls, shadowed by the ever-present weight of her mother's approval. When her mother was diagnosed with a recurring cancer and had to leave for treatment, McCurdy found a semblance of freedom, until her newly acquired independence created even more tension, causing her mother to berate her for gaining weight and to attempt to control her from afar. After her mother succumbed to her disease, McCurdy struggled to find her own way. Describing the hoops she jumped through to survive in her own household, where she suffered psychological and physical abuse and coercion into disordered eating, McCurdy asks readers a question: When and how does one rid oneself of the cage created by others and walk freely? Her stunning debut offers fierce honesty, empathy for those that contributed to her grief, and insights into the hard-fought attachments and detachments of growing older.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2022
    The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood. In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease's recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how "my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me." Insistent on molding her only daughter into "Mommy's little actress," Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained "desperate to impress Mom," while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter's physical appearance. She tinted her daughter's eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of "calorie restriction," and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra's cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. 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. The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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