At the young age of six years old, Jennette McCurdy had her first acting audition. Not because
she wanted to, but to live out her mom’s dream. Before this, Jennette had grown up in a poor
household, and when she was a toddler, her mom developed a cancer that threatened to kill her.
Jennette loved her mom more than anyone else, and would do anything to make her happy. So, in
order to please her mom, she began an acting career to be a child star, despite not enjoying
acting. At first, it was somewhat bearable, but that changed as she grew into her teenage years.
Her mom decided to introduce her to calorie restriction, which later caused her to develop
anorexia and builimia. As she got more popular, her family grew to depend on her to pay bills.
And while her mom was relishing in the glory of having a famous child star, Jennette was
miserable. Misery turned into bitterness and anger.
Then came the moment that threw her into the spotlight: iCarly. At this point, she was one of the
most famous kids in America, and hated every second of it. As she begins to gain independence,
her relationship with her mom is strained. The problems she endures slowly manifest into eating
disorders, unhealthy relationships, and addiction. And this is the moment her mother dies.
Years later, Jennette is forced to face the truth: her mother is not the woman she viewed her as;
rather, a toxic and narcissistic person. She must learn to take control of her life as she begins her
journey of recovery and rebounds to be someone truly content.
As someone who used to watch iCarly, as well as Sam & Cat, and especially loved her character,
Sam, hearing about Jennette’s struggles through life was heartbreaking. I’m glad, however, she
wrote this book to bring awareness to the evils of child stardom. Putting kids in an industry like
Hollywood is a terrible thing to do, as it just sets them up for a stressful & awful life into their
adult years. In addition, the environment and people around TV/movie sets are often toxic and
abusive. It looks all bright, happy, and glamorous, but we really don’t know what’s going on
behind the scenes. Jennette McCurdy told some very real and scary stories about the struggles of
being a child star in this heartfelt and poignant memoir. She discusses her feelings towards her
mother; first, how she would do anything to please her in her younger years; then, how she
realized what she underwent because of her mother. I saw a lot of comments about this book
claiming the title was too harsh, but Jennette went through an awful childhood at the hands of her
mother, with no one to protect her, and it took her years to recover. I think the title is appropriate
for the matters discussed here. Jennette doesn’t hold back in this book, she tells her story in full
detail. I would recommend this book to all mature audiences, as it is a necessary read that
discusses some deep issues. 5/5 stars, this is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.