Book review: Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson Reviewed by Stacey Leerhoff


A friend of mine stopped into the children’s room and said, “Stacey, you just have to read this book, Broken (in the best possible way)! It’s fabulous!” When I saw that it was by Jenny Lawson, I thought back and realized a different friend had also recommended her books to me before and I just hadn’t found time to read one yet. So, since I find myself running out of time lately to read a physical book, I checked out the audio book.

Jenny Lawson, the author, reads the book herself and throughout it you feel like you are having a conversation with her. Broken is part biography, part book about mental illness, and part comedy. Jenny takes everything with a grain of salt. She delves deep into the realities of dealing with mental illness. Then, by turns, you laugh with her at some of the situations her illness has caused. For example, she’ll be talking about how she and her husband have a hard time fighting and that’s why they’ve stayed together so long. She admits that halfway through a fight she often forgets what they were fighting about, which makes it hard to continue to stay mad. Then she’ll tell you a story about how she lost a shoe in the elevator and make you laugh out loud while driving down the road.

At first, listening to the book was a little disconcerting when she kept throwing in “squirrel” moments and completely changing what she was talking about in seemingly unrelated ways.

But, by the end of the chapter she brings it all together and it makes sense again.

Despite all the mental illness and other health problems Jenny has, she remains positive and uplifting and has faith that there will be a cure for her and others like her one day. Her sense of humor makes real life with all its struggles and hardships fun.

As an afterward, Jenny talks about the bookstore she opened during the pandemic, Nowhere. So, when her husband asks where she’s been all day she can say “Nowhere.”

I think everyone should read Broken (in the best possible way) and remember that we’re all unique and loveable in our own ways and have something to offer the world. And to give ourselves and others grace along the way. Check it out at the library in print or audio today!