Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame" by Mara Wilson

Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental FameWhere Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook of this piece, narrated by the author herself, Mara Wilson. If you have the means, listening to Mara read this out loud, knowing that it is her own life, was one-of-a-kind and such a unique experience. It brought such an important and vital role to the book that I didn't think was needed until I started to listen.

"That girl" from the critically-acclaimed Matilda movie from the 90s is no more. Mara Wilson is vibrant, fresh, downright honest, and captivating all on her own without the world of Hollywood. And she proves as such so effortlessly in her memoir Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame. In my mind's eye, they are no longer even the same person any more. There's the cute, expressive, bookworm young girl from the movies of my childhood - and then there's this sarcastic, hysterical, storytelling bad ass chick from New York that makes me roar with laughter and cry tears of sadness at her life's stories. I am in love with both, but for separate reasons.

Hearing Mara's stories about the trials and tribulations with Hollywood, it's "image-insisting" participants, and how she navigated in and out of that world as a young girl - these stories really resonated in a way that I still don't quite understand myself. Her words and experiences, spoken directly from her with the beauty that is an audiobook, were infused with emotion, and you could hear and feel and actually understand these without question due to Mara's words. I realized as I continued to listen to her stories that - Mara actually jumps around a lot - one minute she's talking about her show choir days at the beginning of high school, but then segues into discussing how her mother felt about the movie business and the time Mara spent on film sets; then a moment later, is back on the topic of show choir. But what amazed me was that none of it ever seemed out of place. Each story and each shift within the text made sense . Mara made it work, and kept you hypnotized with her words no matter where they took you. It was, for lack of a much better and all-encompassing word, FANTASTIC.

You are a VERY good you

If you haven't already figured it out - I loved this book. I loved the stories Mara told, I loved the way Mara told them, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about things I never would have thought would interest me (show choirs of Southern California and their competitive streaks; Canada and all it has to offer with on-set educators and life-changing individuals; and - most importantly - the in-depth account of what it must be like to live with a seemingly "underrated" mental illness). In recent years, it has become apparent that Mara Wilson is a great storyteller - whether that be on the stages of New York City, behind the microphone of podcasts and voice-over acting work, or in her writings on her blog. But this endeavor - a whole book that opens up about her real life and leaves readers with the ability to listen to what really happened to that "cute little girl from Mrs. Doubtfire!" makes it's own mark in, what I hope, will be a long LONG career in writing for Mara.

Mara - if you ever get a chance to read this in some capacity - thank you for this book. I may be 30 years old, settled down with my family and my job in a very, very close suburb to Burbank in Southern California - but you taught me things about myself that I never thought other people experienced and helped me understand what those things were; you put voice to so many aspects of my own life that it gave me reminder of the one true thing we all must remember...

We are never alone.


If you have the means - pick up this book, preferably in audiobook if at all possible, but in whatever capacity suits you. It's funny, it's entertaining, it's emotional, but most of all, it's real. I have never listened to an audiobook so fast, and I already know I will be rereading this book in my future.



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