Book Review | Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson

Posted By Whitney | 3 comments

There are some books that you just know are going to be special to you.

I knew that when I picked up Jenny Lawson‘s first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and I knew it the moment I read that Lawson was working on a second book.

Yet I was hesitant to pick up Furiously Happy.

When Let’s Pretend This Never Happened launched, I had it pre-ordered and devoured the whole book within days of it showing up at my door (thanks Amazon!). But when Furiously Happy debuted this past fall, I held off.

Despite enthusiasm for Lawson, and for what I knew would be a hilarious and heartfelt and amazing book, I wasn’t quite there.

I knew that reading Furiously Happy would be both an amazing read and a slightly triggering experience.

I’ve had my own share of issues with anxiety and depression, and I knew that I was walking a bit of a tenuous path at the moment, and I didn’t want to go down that road too far. I worried that by reading Furiously Happy, I’d spark more introspection than I was capable of handling at the moment.

Now, as I’m just closing the book, I know I made the right decision to wait. I needed a little space to be able to enjoy Lawson’s humor and sensitivity without reading into it only personal failures and limitations. I needed to be able to do what Lawson says – and be furiously happy in the moments when I can, so that in the moments when I can’t be quite so happy I can remember what it feels like.

So I laughed.

And I cried.

And I did feel introspective and self-critical.

But at least I was self-aware enough to remember how much depression lies and to see the good alongside the bad.

I admire Lawson’s courage, putting herself so blatantly out in the world in such a raw way. I appreciate that’s she’s able to model what living in your own skin can be like, even when your brain is working against you.

Lawson’s memoirs are a lesson in self-love in a very special way – acknowledging our crazy, owning it, and living the best we can.

I’m proud to be a member of Lawson’s tribe.



  1. I agree with this so much. I, too, was excited to read this book but in a different way than I was for her first, because I knew it would be such a different experience. I put it in my library queue (I was in line with hundreds of others) and when it came, it came at just the perfect time. I needed someone “of the tribe” to remind me that it gets better, depression lies, and surrounding yourself with people who get your brand of crazy gives you a soft place to land when you really need it. I won’t say that I “enjoyed” it as much as LPTNH, but it certainly gave me a hand up during a time when I really needed it.

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  2. I’m with you — This was one of the few books that I didn’t devour. I’ve been reading it bit by bit since January, taking my time and coming in and out of it, reading other things in between. I think it’s hard for me to read because it just felt so universal and specific. She pinpointed the feelings and thoughts so well, that you immediately remember those times in your life. And, then you dwell a bit — sometimes for good, sometimes for not so good…I’m so glad that she’s here and able to write with such humor and compassion.

    And…fun fact that I figured out from the book and confirmed with googling, Jenny Lawson and Brene Brown are “in person friends” and that makes me so happy!

    P.S. Thank you for introducing her to me, Whitney, awhile back 🙂

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    • She’s the best! Mental health is hard – reading this book is such a balance between awesome and sobbing.

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