Ahmed Gaber—The New York Times​/Redux

We knew Jennette McCurdy as a child star and comedian, but with her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, the world realized she is also an incredible, brilliant writer who worked her ass off to get to the point where she could take her mom off a pedestal and be real about her experiences growing up with narcissistic parental abuse. She had to find her voice to survive. And what a powerful voice it is! She really brings you into her world of being a child star, living out her mother’s unfulfilled dreams, and then finding recovery. Her mom as a character jumps off the page along with Jennette as a kid—I sometimes felt like I was in the car with them on the way to an audition. You can see the work Jennette put into therapy to process all she had to endure to write this book, from disordered eating to her mom’s fits of volatility. I love how fair she is in examining their relationship. She doesn’t mince words. I can’t stop recommending this book.

Shannon is an Emmy-nominated actor

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Keke Palmer
Sydney Sweeney
Joel Kim Booster
Jack Harlow
5 stories