I’m Glad My Mom Died was a shocking curtain pull exposing child acting

Jannette McCurdy’s new memoir will make you rethink your childhood favorite TV shows


I’m Glad My Mom Died sold out within the first 24 hours of release on Aug. 9, 2022

Sarah Post, Writer

This review contains very brief mentions of eating disorders, abuse, and other sensitive topics. The memoir contains further discussion of sensitive and triggering topics. Reader discretion is advised.

Growing up, you probably spent your mornings chomping on a bowl of sugary cereal in front of a TV screen laced with the glowing bright smiles of Nickelodeon stars like Victoria Justice (Known for “Tori” on Victorious), Miranda Cosgrove (Known for “Carly” on ICarly), and Jannette McCurdy (Known for “Sam” on ICarly and Sam & Cat).

But behind those smiles, what was really going on? Behind the camera, what abusers were protected? And behind the thriving careers, who was truly acting? In Jannette McCurdy’s 2022 memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, a whole new light is shed on her stardom, Nickelodeon, and ultimately, our childhoods. 

Since McCurdy was just a kid, she knew she wanted to be a writer, even making her first screenplay (whose plot paralleled The Parent Trap) and showing it to her cancer-stricken Mom, Debra. McCurdy’s dream was quickly shot down by her mother because of the weight McCurdy might gain in that career path — gaining a “giant writer’s watermelon butt” (one of the thousands of comments made to reinforce and teach Jannette to have an eating disorder). 

Instead, at the age of six, she would start acting, going to classes she resented and auditions that induced panic attacks. 

Throughout the book, readers are given insight into how not-so-glamorous Jannette’s home life and personal battles were. We’re given an honest glimpse of a family who’d project mania and mental illness, apply financial pressure, and force emotional codependence on McCurdy succeeding. The book deals with heavy themes like her mother’s on again off again battle with cancer and friendships and loves — both real and fake. The list continues: spirituality, eating disorders, body image, OCD, neglect, codependencies, hush-money, and abuse. And ultimately, coming to acceptance and grieving with a lost childhood, a lost adolescence, and the human ability to hate the same people that we love. 

The voice in McCurdy’s writing as well as audio performance is honest and gives the readers and listeners a painfully real view into her life. Although described as a “heartbreaking and hilarious memoir”, the humor is easily overshadowed by the heavy subjects throughout.

Reading and/or listening to this book will truly change the lens you watch your old childhood favorite TV shows through.

I really enjoyed listening to this book, coming in at 91 chapters and just under 7 hours of audio performed by the author. I would not recommend it to readers who are sensitive to some of the subjects and themes in the memoir. Reader discretion is advised.

I’m Glad My Mom Died earns a 9/10.