Review: Jennette McCurdy “I’m glad my mom died”

Jennifer Fain, Copy Editor

Image of Jennette McCurdy’s book.

Jennette McCurdy’s book entitledI’m Glad My Mom Died is a heartbreaking memoir that recounts a childhood filled with trauma. The title of her book gives people the wrong impression that McCurdy hated her mother when, this was the exact opposite reality for her.  

McCurdy loved her mother deeply and wanted nothing more than to keep their bond strong. It was not until after her mother’s death that McCurdy realized their bond depended on her willingness to obey her mom and ignore the abuse.  

Jennette McCurdy was only six years old when her mom pressured her to start her acting career. McCurdy recounts all the trauma that came from her childhood. She was shoved into a career she never asked for, became the family’s breadwinner, and was introduced to an eating disorder before age eleven. All this pressure came from the one person who was supposed to protect her, McCurdy’s mother. 

McCurdy’s mom always wanted to be a star, so much that she forced her daughter to live out her dreams. But this life was a nightmare for McCurdy, and her career would eventually lead her to work for Nickelodeon. This should be a dream job, but unfortunately, while working for this network, she was further abused by iCarly creator, Dan Schneider. 

McCurdy was abused by her mother, Schneider, and harassed by fans and the media. McCurdy hated fame but had no choice in the matter, especially since she was her family’s primary income source. All the while, her mother micro-managed her whole life, including what went into her body.  

McCurdy recounts the time when her eating disorder began. She was eleven and started the first stages of puberty. Not wanting to grow up, she reached out to her mother for comfort and advice. Her mother then introduced her to anorexia or, as McCurdy was told, calorie restriction.  

Unfortunately, so many girls have had a similar experience. McCurdy puts the reader inside the mind of a girl who wants to be loved and have the approval of someone she admires. McCurdy fleshes out what it is to be a young girl grappling with body image and putting the need to please others above her personal needs. 

Mothers have incredible power. They can shape and mold their children to become wonderful healthy people. Unfortunately, this means that mothers also have the ability to smother and break their children.  

McCurdy’s mother was a sick woman in many ways than one. McCurdy’s mother lived through her daughter. In Jennette’s mind, they were one, and she lived her life for her mother. It was not until after McCurdy’s mother passed away from cancer that she could break free and discover who she was as a person away from her mom. 

Through this freedom and this opportunity for self-discovery, Jennette McCurdy becomes thankful that her mom died.