So, stage parents are the actual worst.
I was too old for Jennette McCurdy’s Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Sam & Cat when they aired, but despite not being familiar with her work I was intrigued to hear about her child-star life from the slap in the face that is this book title and cover.
A modern Mama Rose/Gypsy story, Jennette’s childhood and young adulthood were monitored and controlled by her narcissistic stage mother, who never fulfilled her showbiz dreams and so thrust them upon her (unwilling) daughter.
Jennette’s mother wanted her to stay a young, castable girl forever, so she taught her eleven-year-old daughter calorie restriction — only one of the many ways she manipulated her child, along with forcing her into acting classes and auditions, guilt trips, gaslighting: the whole trauma package.
But this is a memoir of catharsis. Of reflection, coming to painful realizations, and moving on.
Jennette McCurdy is a good writer with a strong voice and perspective. Not to mention a wonderful sense of dark humor. The best memoir I read in 2022.