Jen Mann * Ballantine Books * September 9, 2014 * 226 Pages
It took me a few chapters to get into People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Mann does a whole lot of criticizing, especially for someone so judgmental of judgment. And, at points, she could be a bit melodramatic and snarky.
Also, it was hard for me to believe that moms (like the ones she criticizes) actually exist. Has she seriously encountered a mother who believes (and says out loud) that her JOB in life is to make her children happy? That if one kid wants pizza and the other kid wants a burger, she will get BOTH for dinner? That just seems crazy (and probably embellished?) to me. But maybe not.
Regardless, Mann is most funny when talking about her interactions with fellow mothers. There were more than a few comments that made me laugh out loud. “Watch It, that Room Mom’ll Cut You” was one of my favorite chapters.
Then again, I also liked the stories that featured her husband. I especially enjoyed the chapter, “Who Needs Dr. Phil When We Have Adolpha?” (I, too, can’t buy my husband a gift–especially a video game–without him telling me to return it because he can find it cheaper online.) Mann’s husband makes an appearance in about half of the chapters, and the interplay between the two of them is pretty entertaining.
Thankfully, for all her criticism of everyone else, Mann is exceedingly and refreshingly good at acknowledging her own shortcomings. Just when you think she is going to push it a bit too far with the bitchy judgment, she somehow manages to rein it in with a “yeah, but what do I know” comment that makes her seem very likable and down-to-earth. FYI, there are plenty of f-bombs in here, but I thought that they were all well-placed and totally called for–and, ultimately, I thought the swears actually added to the humor of her stories.
Overall, I ended up enjoying reading this book. It’s a quick read, but definitely an entertaining one.
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Amazon Vine.