Grief, Eating Disorders and a Controlling Toxic Mother: “I’m Glad My Mom died” Review


Photo by Leslie Lozada

Leslie Lozada, Editor in Chief

“I’m realizing for the first time how exhausting it is to constantly curate my natural tendencies, responses, thoughts and actions into whatever version Mom would like most.” – Jennette McCurdy, “I’m Glad My Mom Died”


For those that don’t know who Jennette McCurdy is, she was an actress until 2017. Her most famous role was Sam Puckett, the second lead in the Nickelodeon show “iCarly, which premiered in the mid-2000s and lasted six seasons with over 100 episodes. Often seen as an bombastic character who can physically take people on in a fight with a sock full of butter and constantly eating all sorts of greasy foods, the character received a spin-off, titled “Sam & Cat”, with “Victorious” star Ariana Grande, which was canceled after one season, with 35 episodes.


The memoir is structured around McCurdy’s mother’s presence in her life. Given the title of the book, the first half, titled “Before” details McCurdy’s perspective of growing up with her mother; as her mother pushed McCurdy in several child actress roles, as well as into a dangerous eating disorder that would affect McCurdy for over a decade. It also details McCurdy’s life after winning the role of Puckett, and having the chance to break away from her mother more.


The second half titled “After”, deals with the death of McCurdy’s mother, which happened near the end of McCurdy’s portrayal of Puckett. With guilt being at the forefront, McCurdy dealt with several revelations about her mother’s past, as well as McCurdy’s present.


Mom not only knows everything about how and what I eat, but she encourages and supports my habits. What’s going on? What does this even mean?


The center of this book is about the complicated relationship McCurdy had with her mother. 

There were several chapters that showed the love that McCurdy had for her mother, while also showing how her mother had no sense of boundaries with her daughter. Going into McCurdy’s mind while developing OCD and other disorders as well as other self harming behaviors as seen later in the book, it’s clear that the various amounts of emotional, physical, financial and sexual abuse took its toll on her. Along with that, there are insights into the world of child acting, and how difficult and competitive it can be to not only to book a role, but also the culture surrounding being a young child star.


We have to want to change, not for someone else, but for ourselves” – Laura, one of Jennette McCurdy’s therapists from “I’m Glad My Mom Died”


I will admit, it was hard reading this book, due to the various abuses McCurdy suffered at the hands of her mother. While I will not give too much away, several passages were difficult to read because of the abuses she suffered from her mother and “The Creator”, an unnamed figure throughout her time working on “ICarly” and “Sam & Cat, as well as from a couple of relationships that veered towards sexual assault. This is a book where it gets your attention right away, but also hits you so hard with everything McCurdy wrote down about her life.


This memoir might make fans of “ICarly” look at Sam Puckett differently, but at least with the understanding as to why McCurdy turned down reprising the role for an Paramount+ revival show. You can find “I’m Glad My Mom Died” wherever books are sold.