I think Furiously Happy fell short of its potential.
I loved Jenny Lawson’s first book. I love the premise of writing about mental health and well-being. I don’t like how they published this book.
It was like two different books:
- Funny stories with frank discussion about mental health
- Rambly funny stories that have nothing to do with anything (like the first book)
Furiously Happy started strong with more of the mental health-related stories but then it seemed like the author (and/or the publisher) got scared of putting out a book talking so frankly about dealing with mental health, so they stuffed random stories between the meat to keep readers distracted. Maybe they did this to bring the message to a wider audience (kudos if that’s the case) or maybe it’s just how she wrote the book. Either way, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.
My favorite part of Furiously Happy was when she talks about her 24: The 24 letters she keeps in a folder, which people who were on the brink of suicide prior to reading her work wrote to her.
Those 24 letters are why I’m glad she keeps writing — even if I didn’t love this book. I hope that people discovered her blog through Furiously Happy and that more people are having discussions through comments daily.
If they edited this book differently, I think I would have liked it. Jenny’s got an interesting voice and her message needs to reach a wider audience. I’m hoping her next book continues along the trajectory she’s set and is more frank about her (and others’) battles with mental health.
Have you read Furiously Happy? Or any of Jenny Lawson’s work? What did you think?
Full disclosure: I hate posting negative reviews (which is funny because I used to love ranting).
Particularly, I was afraid to post a negative review of this book. Jenny’s got a hugly loyal following (I consider myself one of the tribe) and I don’t feel like dealing with backlash. Hopefully even if you enjoyed the book and are also part of this following you can understand that a negative book review isn’t an attack on the author or her intentions, nor is it an attack on your personal opinion of the work. I felt strongly about posting this review because I hope so much that the next thing she publishes is less fluffy* and more frank.
*Although I hope she continues to include relevant stories about cats and various taxidermied animals.