Review: Bad Habits – Confessions of a Recovering Catholic by Jenny McCarthy

Bad Habits by Jenny McCarthy is hilarious and relatable in her 7th New York Times Bestselling book as she shares her journey through spirituality. Ps. Nuns don’t like it when you question your faith. At all. Rating: 4.5 Books (stars)

When I tell you that this book is phenomenal I am really only saying phenomenal because I can’t think of a word better than that. I devoured this book (literally, devoured) in about 4 hours. Not only can I not remember the last time I’ve finished a book in one day (it was probably Perks of Being a Wallflower YEARS ago) but I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book in such a short amount of time. All 222 pages of it were hilariously written. There were parts where I was literally laughing out loud, and others where I had to stop because I was actually crying. I’m barely 21, so I haven’t felt the need to read any of Jenny’s other books, which I assumed were about her as a mother (I still think I might be right about that). I had no idea what to expect of her as an author, because I know that not-so-great authors get on the New York Times Bestseller all the time (i.e. Snooki). I was pleasantly surprised that Jenny is actually really, really great. She has a real knack for telling for stories. She’s so good, that I felt like I had sat down to coffee with her and listened to her tell me everything as opposed to staying up until 4 in the morning reading her book. She has a way of making you feel almost bonded to her after reading her book, and that’s rare.

The book is about how Jenny was raised a strict catholic, her love of Jesus (literally, she had Jesus posters on her wall) and her “fall from grace”. Throughout the book she talks about different spiritual journey’s she has been on. From being super religious, to finding her third eye, to not really loving Catholicism anymore. To becoming truly accepting of her faith. That was really impressive to me. I’m not Catholic. I was raised Greek Orthodox, which is still a form of Christianity. The problem is, I grew up to be agnostic. I so, so badly wish that I had some sort of faith or that I believed in God, but no matter how hard I try… I just don’t. I won’t ever be thanking God during my acceptance speeches and I don’t pray at night, and I’m not even a little bit sorry about it. Reading about Jenny and how she was questioning her faith, or even just the church and how they keep changing things (no people in hell, WTF?!) made me feel better about not having any faith myself. It was relatable, even though I couldn’t directly relate, necessarily.

While reading I took some notes of things I wanted to quote because they were so, so funny and I thought they could articulate things better than I could.

“I chose a beautiful new Cabbage Patch doll. It was my seventh one. My bedroom had started to look like Angelina Jolie’s house.”

In regards to sacrificing and giving things up for lent –

Boy George: Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?
Catholic Church: uh, yeah”
There was one part where she was talking about wearing a scapular (like a rosary) and she described herself as Mr. T, then Flavor Flav for the “younger readers out of the loop”. Even when she wasn’t being funny, she was still being funny.

Hands down I think (I change my mind often, but I’m pretty sure) the best story was about her fear of being possessed after watching The Exorcist with her cousins as a child. She was terrified of Satan, and when she went to school the next day her classmates told her that Satan didn’t go by the name of Lucifer because that was too obvious. Instead, he went by the simple name of Ben. First of all, my brother’s name is Ben, so I can attest to their statement. She spent an entire chapter telling us about how the name Ben has plagued her since then, and how she still thinks Ben might be the devil. She talked about going out to get a cabbage patch doll only to find out its name was Ben. When she threw it in her backyard her neighbor returned it. Ben came back for her, and he kept coming back in the form of a bunny, a dog, a Michael Jackson song, and even Ben Stiller movies.

Another great story she tells is when she takes her Jewish friends to Italy for an appearance and they meet up with two men who can get them inside the Pope’s apartment. Right inside the Vatican. Her Jewish friends could only pretend to be Catholic for so long, and they “allegedly” stole a crucifix from the Pope’s apartment. Uh oh.

This is a book I could see myself rereading whenever I was in a bad mood. Or even whenever I just needed a good read. It really is hysterical, and it made me love Jenny even more than I already did.

Plus, she loves me too.

My Rating: 

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