I'm Just Happy to Be Here by Janelle Hanchett

I'm Just Happy to Be Here

From the creator of the blog "Renegade Mothering," Janelle Hanchett's forthright, wickedly funny, and ultimately empowering memoir chronicling her tumultuous journey from young motherhood to abysmal addiction and a recovery she never imagined possible. At 21, Janelle Hanchett embraced motherhood with the reckless self-confidence of those who have no idea what they're getting into. Having known her child's father for only three months, she found h...

Details I'm Just Happy to Be Here

TitleI'm Just Happy to Be Here
Release DateMay 1st, 2018
PublisherHachette Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parenting, Biography

Reviews I'm Just Happy to Be Here

  • Lea Grover
    When I got my ARC I was ridiculously excited to get started, and I devoured this book in a matter of hours.There is only one word that comes to mind just described "I'm Just Happy to Be Here": ruthless. This book is utterly ruthless.Janelle Hanchett isn't just writing about alcoholism and addiction and motherhood and insecurity and faithlessness and faithfulness and love and tragedy and loss and redemption, more than anything this is a book about...
  • Jena Henry
    Sometimes we read a book for fun, such as a book we take to the beach. Sometimes we choose a book because we are in the mood for something scary, or we like to solve mysteries, or we want to learn more about ancient China. And there are times that a book calls to us. "Read me so you can witness a life that seems so different from your own. So you can see what torment and suffering is. And so you can learn to love more."I'm Happy Just to be Here i...
  • Mel
    Yo-yo-ing between bouts of sobriety & inebriation, but always depressed, Janelle is loud with hints of Janet Capron’s wild side and the harsh but oft sarcastic tones of Myriam Gurba. Here's a stellar self-deprecating memoir of mistakes while growing up, struggling under postpartum grief, and holding on to oneself (or not) while becoming/being a mother. Janelle’s stark skepticism, her innate ability to question everything (especially when reli...
  • Lisa
    I was fortunate to read an advance copy of I'm Just Happy to Be Here. It is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny book. Janelle's is a coming of age story but also coming of family and coming of hope. I read this book in one sitting.
  • Paige
    I am not a former drug addict. I am not a recovering alcoholic. I also don't have four kids. But somehow this book resonated with me on so many levels.Having known Janelle since 2010, and having been a reader of her blog, Renegade Mothering, since its inception, I'm used to her blunt, often abrasive language. And that's one of the reasons I love reading her work--blog, Facebook post, or otherwise. She tells it like it is and it's refreshing. This...
  • Amy Smith
    I had the privilege of receiving an advance reader copy of this book and devoured it in three days. It is different than what I expected. Janelle is humorous and irreverent and sometimes even aggressive on her blog renegademothering.com, and that is why many of us fell in love with her writing and her online persona. But this book delves deep into her past and her mind and her addiction. It is delicate at times and raucous at others but it carrie...
  • Stephany Snell
    I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Copy of ‘I’m Just Happy To Be Here’ by Janelle Hanchett which is a brutally honest, raw and uncut story of the author’s struggles with addiction and mental illness and just plain adulting. She holds nothing back as she lays out her biggest mistakes and deepest regrets for us all to see and takes us down to the bottom while some how managing to still be relatable. I admit, I’m a sucker for a good...
  • Vikki Reich
    This book is one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time. Not only in the story compelling, but the writing is beautiful. Though this is a book about addiction and motherhood, it goes beyond that to the universal struggles we all face - finding our place in the world, figuring out who we are, being accountable for our flaws and mistakes, and learning to embrace the hard parts of life with as much grace as we do the easy parts. This book has ...
  • Carli Hess
    I needed this book. I didn't realize it, but I did. I needed its candor and darkness, its humor and shock, and most especially its sheer humanity. I am convinced that there is a piece of Janelle's story in all of us as mothers, daughters, addicts, and lovers of addicts. There were so many moments that I lost my breath and had to reread the line I had just read because I could have written it. There is something so healing in realizing that you ar...
  • Jeffrey Rosenberg
    I knew nothing of Janelle’s story until now, but have become inspired by how she made it through and emerged in a place of love, honesty and gritty humor. All I know now is that I must find a “Good News Jack” in my life! This book gave me a lot more perspective on my family, sobriety and all of our journeys to find love and know ourselves, warts and all. I would recommend it to anyone who could use a good kick towards introspection and want...
  • Shelby
    I love Janelle’s blog and was excited to get an advance copy of her book. It did not disappoint. Her journey is an amazing story filled with sorrow and hope and desperation and thankfully there is joy too. Her writing is honest and sincere and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Grace O'Connor
    Janelle Hanchett’s I’m Just Happy to Be Here is an affecting, heart-breaking story of addiction and the familial ties that somehow manage to simultaneously constrict and save us. It is an unflinching account of a new mother’s plummet into drug and alcohol addiction. Hanchett’s memoir is most arresting when she writes the awful truth of parenting while addicted. She describes her efforts to deliver her five-year old daughter, Ava, to a bir...
  • Jen Hamilton
    I'm Just Happy to Be Here is so much more than an addiction memoir and a story of motherhood. It's not about how to achieve happiness or reaching some end point. It's not just for drunks or moms or drunk moms. It's for all of us. The book begins as a love story and really remains a love story throughout, if only you adjust your expectations of what a love story is. And adjusting expectations is really what this book is about. With incredibly raw ...
  • Nancy Kho
    What a read. Janelle's searingly honest, unflinching memoir of her life as an addict, a mom, the dark period of her life where those two roles collided, and her hard, courageous slog out is riveting. She unites self-awareness with deep, informed compassion for anyone who's gone through addiction struggles, and especially for the parents trying to be there for their children while fighting their demons. "I'm Just Happy To Be Here" is beautiful wri...
  • Scottie Vosburgh
    I am not typically a reader of "mommy blogs", though I have followed Janelle's blog, Renegade Mothering, for years. I have always loved that she says what lots of us are feeling about parenthood. She knows what is feels like to love your children with ever fiber of your being and also be deeply annoyed, inconvenienced and disappointed about motherhood (plus she says the "F" word a lot and I can appreciate that when discussing offspring). I'm Just...
  • John Hanley
    I have followed the blog, @renegademothering, written by this book’s author, Janelle Hanchett, for several years now, and have found it to be a delight in its refusal to accept tired cliches about being a parent, even or especially to the point where she invites her readers to join her in “the fight against helpful parenting advice.” I mean, to my mind how can you not love an author who is that willing to call BS when she sees or hears it? ...
  • Stephanie Jankowski
    So, I really want to write something profound and meaningful that expresses how I feel about this book, about Janelle's story. I want to use exactly the right words that evoke exactly the right emotion, and leave no detail out, but truthfully? I'm having a hard time. Because how do you review someone's life? The bravery it takes to share the ugly underbelly of broken mental health and addiction and abandoning one's own children? This story is a g...
  • Beth
    Much of Janelle Hanchett’s life is foreign to me. I’ve never stepped foot in California and this book is, in small part, a love letter to it. I’m not an addict and this is her memoir of addiction. I visited Europe as an adolescent, but the most scandalous thing I did while there was to sneak into a room with the kids from Georgia, where I did nothing “wrong,” while Hanchett’s adventures in foreign countries told within were much more ...
  • Nona
    Unbelievable that author Janelle Hanchett was able to come out on the other side of her addictions, but she did. Fascinating memoir of her addiction, quest for sobriety and ability to pull her family back together. Janelle also has the website Renegade Mothering - more of her honest writing! Hard to read and to put down.
  • Rhiannon Giles
    I've been following Janelle's blog, renegademothering.com, for years. When I heard she had a book coming out, I was patiently-ish waiting the release date. And then I got my hands on an advance reader copy, so I did not have to pretend to be patient anymore.I read the book in just a couple of days. And if you have small kids at home, you'll totally understand why that is quite the accomplishment. Side note: if you have small kids at home, you'll ...
  • Rita Arens
    Janelle's story is a shocker, both for its rock-bottom and for its normal. I volunteered to be on the launch team for her memoir, I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE, because after putting out a book about mental illness myself, I get how scary that is. Not only are you sort of laying yourself bare as a writer, you're exposing to the Instagram world what mental illness really feels like. Janelle's story is one of addiction and recovery, but I recognized in...
  • Leah Colby
    This is NOT the book I thought it was going to be. Yes, there are parenting parts that we can relate to, however, this is about her gut wrenching journey with addiction, alcoholism and her ego driven ride that tells her “I’ve got this all under control”. She takes you by the hand and dives into her self-created hell and makes you feel the regret, the shame and desperation. Janelle takes the word vulnerable and puts it in ALL CAPS. I kept th...
  • Keli
    This is the heart-breakingly beautiful story of motherhood through the messiness and disasters of alcoholism. It's the hero's journey that is hitting rock bottom and realizing that no one is going to save you except yourself, it is a memoir of "recklessness, rehab, and renegade mothering." It is balm for the soul and a reminder of our solidarity as women and mothers and humans in this messy life.Here's an example of why I am in love with the way ...
  • Abbie Burkhart
    This book resonates. It resonates if you're a mom or an addict or your sister is an addict or if, when you listen to The Dead and Dylan, you feel that feeling deep in your soul. It's resonates if you're a human being with feelings (or a human being without feelings but they're really there, they're just buried down deep). It resonates if you've been to therapy or you've had a trauma or you've created a trauma in someone else. This is a story of t...
  • Mae McDonnell
    One of the strongest voices in my parenting journey has been that of Janelle Hanchett, the hilarious and profane author of the Renegade Mothering blog. The appeal of the blog is its fierce rejection of the beatific cult of motherhood and its earthy exploration of the realities of parenting. While that alone is enough to attract many readers, one of the more compelling aspects of Renegade Mothering is her past as a self-destructive alcoholic and a...
  • Kendra
    This is truly a fantastic read!One of those books that, once you pick it up, you just don't want to put it down.I laughed, I cried, the writing is fantastic. I would recommend this book to women & mothers & people in recovery - but also, people who feel connected to the human condition of being alive & how we are all just trying to find our way through this thing called life.
  • Jordan Burnett
    Janelle’s account of the road to the bottom of alcoholism and the life that comes after is not only compelling but brutally honest. The moments she describes in the darkest places are palatable and transformative. The beautiful life she has built out of the ruins of addiction is infinitely inspiring. As a seasoned reader of her blog the stories were familiar but I found myself falling in love with the people in her stories all over again. The p...
  • Maria
    As a follower of Renegade Mothering I couldn't have been more excited to receive an advanced reader copy for her memoir. I'm Just Happy to Be Here is a sad, yet beautiful telling of Janelle's journey through addiction and the amazing resiliency of her family while she attempts to become sober. At times it was really hard to read because it felt so hopeless, but you couldn't stop hoping there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. It was very ...
  • The Book Girl (Andrea)
    I will start this by saying that I am rarely a reader of "mommy blogs", though I have followed Janelle's blog, Renegade Mothering, for years. I was excited when I got an advanced copy of her book. This book is just so intense. It is gripping, tragic, and it is entirely beautiful. Author Janelle Hanchett isn't just writing about addiction, alcoholism, and motherhood. She is also talking about love and tragedy, faithlessness and faithfulness, loss ...