Author: Jenny Lawson
Pages: Hardback, 329
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Opening Lines: "This is where I was going to put a simple Mary Oliver quote but instead I decided to replace it with the idea I had for the cover of this book because I'm pretty sure it'll never get accepted and I don't want it to go to waste."
"In FURIOUSLY HAPPY, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.
"But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.
"As Jenny sayd, "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that 'none' is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.
'Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that i becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, "We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it." Except go back and cross out the word "hiding."'
"Furiously Happy is a book about embracing everything that make us who we are—the beautiful and the flawed—and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because, as Jenny's mom says, 'Maybe "crazy" isn't so bad after all.' Sometimes crazy is just right."
~ Jacket copy
This was a book club book. To be quite frank, I never would have picked this book up, and I very nearly put it back down again when I started reading it. But, sometimes, things are than they first appear.
This is another instance when the jacket copy does a far better job than I could describing this book. Putting it very, very simply, this is a book about being mentally ill and choosing not to be a victim or letting society put you into a box.
As I previously stated, I almost put this book down. Soaking in a warm bath after a long, hard day at work, I had high hopes that this book would lift my mood, make me laugh, and just forget about the stress. Sadly, I found it starting to ratchet me up and piss me off. Jenny is very upfront and honest with the fact that she's mentally ill, and that was kind of a draw for me. I've struggled with OCD and severe anxiety since my early 20s, so the whole concept was intriguing. However, after getting a few pages past the first chapter, she made me irate. First of all, she was setting my own anxiety off. In addition, it felt as though she was letting her mental illness define her and using it as an excuse. But, considering that it was a book club pick, I persevered.
In some ways, this book was just a series of random stories thrown together. Most of them were ridiculously funny and had me reading long into the night. Digging deeper, however, they were all little pieces that went into showing the reader just who Jenny is, how crazy she is, and be able to see her illness through a different lens.
This book is extremely hard to describe. She is all over the place, over the top, intensely crazy, and, in some ways, extremely brilliant! If you struggle with mental illness or have dealt with it in you life, give this book a chance.