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

Trigger warning: discussions of eating disorders, specifically bulimia

Jennette McCurdy, a former Nickelodeon star of shows like iCarly and Sam and Cat, published a book in August with quite a jarring title. The book, titled I’m Glad My Mom Died, divulged how her mother pushed Jennette into a blinding spotlight as a child actress – a career she agreed to only to please her mother. McCurdy details what her mom would force upon her and how her childhood trauma led to bad habits, eating disorders, and toxic relationships in her adulthood.

The book was honestly really surprising to read. Personally, I think this book helps explain a lot of what goes on inside not only Jennette’s mind but other people with bulimia: the eating disorder Jennette struggled with. Mayo Clinic explains that “People with bulimia may secretly binge — eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating — and then purge, trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way.” Jennette felt this way too, explaining that she could eat a lot and also stay slim to please her mom and cope with her life.

Jennette recalled memories from her childhood, like when her mom told her to start “calorie restriction” which meant a strict diet of eating less and weighing herself multiple times a day. Her mom wanted to be an actress when she was young, but instead, she lived vicariously through her only daughter, making it harder for her daughter to express herself and be her own person. Another big thing in Jennette’s life was how her mom had breast cancer and was diagnosed when Jennette was only two. Her mother would often use this as a way to make others feel bad for her, and get what she wanted. Jennette was constantly told to use this excuse, to persuade producers to get parts that her mom wanted.

There are a bunch of other topics and stories told in this book that made it so intriguing. I know that when I was younger and used to watch iCarly, I just thought of Jennette McCurdy as Sam, the funny, food-loving best friend. But that wasn’t the whole story. Reading this book, you learn so much more about her life and relationships. I would absolutely recommend this read.