Review of Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson

Whew! I am caught up with my book reviews (I think 😱)! For the moment. Well, when I get done writing this one anyway. And, did you notice that I’m already procrastinating writing this one by offering a lot of filler at the beginning? Ha. That in no way reflects on the book but on me because it means that what follows is something that I actually have to think about. Okay. Onwards.

Blurb: As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the Best Possible Way), Jenny brings listeners along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor – the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball – is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.  

Purchase Links:
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Six or so years ago I was introduced to Jenny Lawson via her book Furiously Happy which I listened to on commutes and laughed and laughed and may have even cried a little, hopefully totally unobserved by any fellow commuters. I recommended that book because it was funny but it also dealt with some difficult subjects, most prominently the author’s struggles with depression. Broken follows in that same vein, throwing together the uproariously funny and irreverent with the solemn and sad.

The essays in Broken alternate between the madcap and the serious. Toy penises and insurance companies. A bug called a cockchafer to transcranial magnetic stimulation. While some of the essays flowed, were funny, and/or engrossing, some felt forced and some off-putting, for me at any rate.

My biggest takeaway from Broken is that Jenny Lawson’s struggles with depression and autoimmune disease will make readers who also suffer feel not so alone while perhaps finding a way to also laugh. I don’t doubt that her sense-of-humor is not for everyone because she doesn’t hesitate to sound off-the-way. If slapstick’s your thing (or one of them), you’ll probably enjoy her humor.

Her discussion regarding dealing with an insurance company was infuriating and familiar and always brings about the question of why an advanced country can’t do better.

This review is based on part of the written version and most of the audiobook. It is late and my apologies to the publishers who graciously provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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