Book Review: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy

Photo courtesy of Simon and Schuster


Ellie Curtis

I’m Glad my Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy is one of the most jarring books about young stardom in Hollywood. Jennette McCurdy, one of the most popular child stars of the 2000’s and 2010’s, tells the story of her rise to fame and the influence her own mother had on that fame.

McCurdy’s story starts out with her as a young child, growing up in a relatively poor Mormon family. After discovering her talent for acting, dancing, and singing, McCurdy’s mother was adamant that her daughter would be the next upcoming child star. And Jenennette would do anything to make her happy. 

Quickly, McCurdy’s mothers true colors begin to show as she starts to teach her daughter to count her calories, dye her hair, and become completely dependent on her mother. It’s no surprise that this duo would eventually blow up into a toxic mother-daughter relationship characterized by the greed of fame.

This book can be difficult to read. The way McCurdy describes her childhood and growing up in Hollywood can be very jarring. The book covers subjects such as eating disorders, depression, and the self loathing that McCurdy developed as a young teenager. 

Though this book may be difficult to read because of its graphic imagery about what McCurdy went through with her mother, it is definitely one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

However, the topics covered in this book are important to shed light on. Many child stars, and hollywood stars in general, deal with mental health issues like self loathing or depression. And thousands each year deal with different types of eating disorders. McCurdy also highlights how her mother raised her daughter to become completely dependent on her. She was forced to share every ounce of her emails, contracts, and life with her mother.

I also think it’s so interesting to learn about other people’s lives. I remember watching McCurdy on shows like ICarly and Sam and Cat as a young girl, and having no idea that anything like this was going on in her personal life. There are parts in this novel that mention these shows, and parts genuinely made me sick to my stomach thinking about the struggles she went through as a girl into her early twenties. It is difficult to imagine someone who grew up on television, and someone my generation grew up knowing, having these issues. But this is a very real possibility that some stars face.

If you’re looking for an autobiography that tells a story about the struggles of young stardom, familial issues, or just a fantastic novel about eventually overcoming the obstacles in her life, McCurdy’s novel is one that will show readers resilience and grit. It is truly one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I hope if you pick up this read, you feel the same.