Twenty seven days until this book enters the world. Here’s what readers are saying.

by Janelle Hanchett

Friends, I AM SO FUCKING EXCITED. My book comes out in 27 days. Twenty-seven of them. Less than a month.

That’s why I haven’t been around much. There is a lot to this “book launch” thing. Who knew?

I have written quite a bit about this memoir – here, on Instagram and Facebook. I even made a video about it. So today, I’m not going to share more of what I think about it. (In case you’re new here, it’s a memoir on motherhood and alcoholism. I am both the mother and the alcoholic.)

Instead, I’m going to share what early readers are saying, because I’ve been waiting for this for, oh, I don’t know, TWO FUCKING YEARS?

You all are the reason I kept writing, or even started, for that matter. Though I didn’t know you existed, I wanted to find you. Your opinions mean more to me than the fancy book reviewers – although, let me take a moment to thank them for the positive reviews, too, because jumping off a bridge sounded like an unfortunate plan. Whew. Dodged that bullet. Am I mixing my metaphors?

It’s fine. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I am completely stable, a stable genius, even.

Lord help us all.

My point is, we write to connect with people. Well, I do, at least. But writing is a solitary act. I wrote most of my book locked in a motel room with nothing but Thai food and cacao bars and coffee. So you write it alone, and then you put it into the world and pray it will resonate with people. Not everyone on the planet. Just some people, deeply. That’s what I want, at least.

Anyway, here are some excerpts from reviews from readers, and if you need me I’ll be in the corner trippin’ the fuck out in gratitude and relief and – dare we say it? – joy.

“It is delicate at times and raucous at others but it carries us through her journey in a beautiful and heartbreaking way. It is not a self-help book, it is not a good mother’s guide to recovery. It is broken down and raw and searing and at turns it is joyful. It is a glimpse, no, a wide-eyed look into what makes us human…I finished it last week and it hasn’t left me.” – Amy S.


“It’s the story of a woman who, despite so many things, managed to pull herself out of the deepest of pits… She tells us things that many would never EVER admit to, and that’s part of what makes this book so heart-wrenching. There have not been many books in my life (if any) that have made me ugly cry, complete with snot running down my face. This book broke through my stony heart and made me feel so many things. The love of family, the desperation and heartbreak of losing them, and somehow finding the strength to change herself for the better.” – Paige



“With incredibly raw candor and humor, Hanchett takes us through her journey into the cringe-worthy bottom of addiction and back up, where she finds herself still struggling daily, still bored. If you’ve ever gotten to that place you wanted to be (married, dream job, homeowner, whatever) and still found that life is often hard, boring, and contradictory, then this book is for you. This is a story that embraces ambiguity, paradox, and the unknown like nothing I’ve ever read before. – Jen


“Janelle Hanchett’s memoir held me hostage while reading because I could not put it down. Housework piled up, my family ate takeout, nothing got done until I turned the last page (and what a last page!) of this heart-wrenching, perspective-altering book. Every chapter tells nothing less than the absolute truth in gorgeous, straight-forward, astonishing prose. Her explorations of her life in addiction, her difficult childhood, and her struggles in motherhood are unflinchingly honest. Many times while reading I thought that this author was seeing right into the heart of me even though our experiences have been very different. This sense of recognition across human experience is, to me, the mark of a highly successful memoir.

In fact, I’m Just Happy to Be Here is one of the finest memoirs I’ve ever read.” – Maureen


“Took my breath away… It’s raw. It’s real. Just when you think you know where it’s going, you find out you’re wrong. It’s a bold memoir. Janelle is unflinching and fearless. She stares herself straight in the eye and then generously shares her story with us.” – Sarah


“I am in awe after reading this book. Anyone who has read Janelle’s blog has gotten a taste for the irreverent sacredness of this woman’s life and writing. Her blog is fantastic. Her book is even better.” – Katie


“It’s so deeply personal, at times I felt like I should look away as she is someone I feel like I know from her blog. It’s also really funny – her perceptions and writing style are smart and wry. I laughed and cried all the way through this book…I keep thinking about it, even though I finished it a week ago. This is one I’ll read again.” – Denise


I mean, I can’t speak. It was hard posting this because it feels a bit self-congratulatory – like hey, hi, here is a wall of praise for my writing – but I had to share the words of the people for whom I wrote this book. It means everything to me, and I can’t believe this thing enters the world in 27 days – on May 1. That is no time at all.

If you preorder it now, it will be in your mailbox one month from today. You can do so on Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble (and other places). You can also request that your local library order it. I would be super grateful.

And, I am very fucking excited to tell you that if you preorder it, or already have, I will send you a full chapter that was tragically cut from the book. 

It’s called “I Can’t Even Be Fat Correctly.”

That’s why it’s tragic. How the fuck does a person cut a chapter called “I can’t even be fat correctly?” I laughed for ten minutes when that shit popped into my mind.

But it didn’t fit. Such is writing. Kill your darlings, et cetera. But I knew it wasn’t going eternally in the trash, and I thought this was a perfect chance to get it to you.

So yes, email a screenshot or confirmation number of your purchase to (WHAT?!) , and you’ll get that chapter. 

I am, also, of course, encouraging preorders because they really help out authors. So if you’ve been holding off on ordering, I would be infinitely grateful if now is time.

I hope with my whole heart that you like this book as much as the early readers. I cannot thank you enough for your support the past eight years, and I will be posting tour dates (mostly West coast, – I gotta get to NYC DAMNIT), so I hope to meet many of you.

This is all a goddamn dream.

Really fighting the urge to say “I’m just happy to be here.”


But it’s true though.


PREORDER I’m Just Happy to Be Here now and I’ll do a pole dance in a Facebook live video to a Bon Jovi song.

That was a lie. I’m not doing that.

Nobody wants to see me do that. 

9 Comments | Posted in what the fuck is a writer | April 3, 2018
  • Angie

    I just watched an appearance by Tyra Banks talking about her new book and something she said is something you need to hear. To paraphrase, Tyra explained that her Mom is the person that she can “Kanye out” to. Meaning, she can call her Mom and talk about just how freaking amazing she is and how unbelievably awesome her work is going or how she’s gotten all this terrific feedback from her fans and colleagues. You need that hype person to go to where you can be unabashedly self-congratulatory and they know that it’s not coming from a place of arrogance or cockiness, but from a place where you couldn’t be more grateful to be alive or to have the wondrous opportunities that you currently have.

    So Janelle, I’m here to tell you that here, in your blog space where the foundation of your fan base began, you hereby have permission to Kanye-out. We are your hype people and we are here to celebrate your success and kick the haters in the teeth. Go on with your bad self, lady!! Can’t wait to get my copy in the mail!

    • Norita

      Rock on, Angie.
      Kanye the fuck out Janelle!! – we’re definitely here for you.
      And you deserve ALL this good stuff. :o)

  • Norita

    KUDOS!!! I pre-ordered after you announced the opportunity to do so, and will take a screen shot cuz then I get bragging rights to read the extra goods. WTF, how could they cut a chapter with such an honest & hilarious title like that? But yeah, kill your darlings… I’m learning that from you too. thank you thank you for all of your classes of truth slaying through the written word! I am shit-grinning ear to ear in anticipation to read your book. Lemme know if you can swaggle Boston into your book tour!

  • Anita

    Yours is the first book I’ve ever preordered in my life. I love your writing I can’t wait to read it. Keep talking about your book. EVERYONE needs to get in the preorder train!

  • Kerry Moose

    Cannot fucking wait to read your book!!! Thank you so much for actually writing it!!!

  • Lisa J

    So happy for you…well deserved. Please continue to share your joy and challenges with us. I pre-ordered long ago and just requested a copy from Boise Public Library. Have fun on tour – come to Boise!

  • Charlotte

    The extra chapter was excellent. Well done. 🙂

  • R Jay

    Awesome, thanks for the reminder – just pre-ordered! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog, but never actually commented… just have to say THANK YOU for always putting into words the crazy/shitty/hilarious feelings about life and motherhood we all have, it has been so appreciated.

    Soak up all that delicious praise as it comes because you so completely deserve it!

  • Kelly

    Ordered your book and requested my local library get a copy too! Love how brutally raw and honest you are about motherhood. Your writing really helped me through some of my struggles when I was a first time mama. Wishing you loads of success with your book!