Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame Book reviews

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Author(s): Mara WilsonDownload  

Description: 

For readers of Lena Dunham, Allie Brosh and Roxane Gay, this funny, poignant, daringly honest collection of personal essays introduces Mara Wilson—the former child actress best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire—as a brilliant new chronicler of the experience that is growing up young and female.   Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and a little out of place: as the only child on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, the sole clinically depressed member of the cheerleading squad, a valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and one of the few former child actors who has never been in jail or rehab. Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Exquisitely crafted, revelatory, and full of the crack comic timing that has made Mara Wilson a sought-after live storyteller and Twitter star, Where Am I Now? introduces a witty, perceptive, and refreshingly candid new literary voice.

Some Reviews: 1506 in Goodreads.com

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton rated it      

Mara Wilson is a delightful storyteller. I felt like she wrote this book just for me, and I cried a lot while I was reading it.

But you don’t need to be an adrift adult who was a famous kid (like me) to fall in love with her stories and the people in them. Mara is almost 20 years younger than me, but the stories she told about growing up weird, sensitive, and filled with anxiety could have come from my own childhood — and that doesn’t even take into account the whole famous child actor thing.

I literally just finished Where Am I Now?, and I have a lot of feelings that I need to process. I suspect I’ll be processing them for awhile, because that’s what a good book, written by a talented author, will do to a person.

Patrick

Patrick rated it      

I probably picked this book up for different reasons that most people.

I’m not particularly a fan of Mara Wilson. Or, to be more accurate, I should say I don’t think I’m a typical fan of hers. I never saw Matilda, or a lot of the other movies she acted in back in the day.

But I met her at Nerdcon. And I liked her. Then I followed her on Twitter, and she was funny and smart. So when her book came out, I thought, why not give it a try….?

And it’s good. It’s an interesting window into the life of a child star. And into the mind of the person living through it. It’s honest and truthful without being painfully confessional, either. (That’s something I’m kinda sensitive to, I cringe easy.)

I didn’t have a lot of emotional investment in Mara Wilson walking into this (as opposed to a lot of people who watched Matilda or Mrs Doubtfire when they were kids.) And her life isn’t really very similar to mine. So it seems like this book shouldn’t be for me. That I shouldn’t have an entry point into it. Or that I shouldn’t enjoy it.

But the truth is, we like seeing into other people’s lives. It’s one of the great joys of novels. Of stories in general. It’s one of the truths that my Kingkiller books are built around.

It’s interesting reading the intimate details of another person’s life. Especially if that person has lived an interesting life, and if they’re willing to speak show you behind the scenes into how they were really thinking at the time.

And Mara Wilson does that marvelously well. I really loved the book. And that says a lot, as I don’t think I was in any way the target audience for it.

Also, it’s worth noting that I listened to this as an audio book, read by the author. I think that adds a lot to the experience.

Good stuff. Well worth your time.

TL

TL  rated it      

I feel like anything I could say has already been said by a few of my favorite people here(Patrick Rothfuss , Nenia Campbell
so I’ll just say this:

I really enjoyed reading Mara’s stories/essays of growing up and her experiences in her life since she moved on from acting. It felt like I was catching up with an old friend I hadn’t seen for awhile.
Her “tribute” to Robin Williams was probably my favorite, so moving and beautiful.

Hers is the type of storytelling where she just sets out to entertain you and not “in your face.” Not many have that natural “knack” for weaving a story together and connecting with an audience but Mara is one of those.

That came out better in my head but hopefully you get the idea :).

Despite our lives not being the same, she was easy to relate to in a way, and I found it very hard to put this book down at times and go on with my daily routines. (Work wouldn’t have understood *pouts* haha).

Would recommend, I hope she writes another one soon and maybe one day I’ll get to see her perform live… maybe even meet her (girlcandream)

Jackie

Jackie rated it      

I’m a huge fan of celeb memoirs, and I often listen to audiobooks. I am so glad that I READ this one instead. Mara Wilson, if you don’t know, is not only the girl who starred in Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda, but she is also a phenomenally talented writer. Even if you don’t remember her movies from your childhood this is still a book to pick up. There’s something in it you will identify with. Mara is unflinchingly honest in sharing herself, her struggles and her life. Hilarious, heart-wrenching, this is a new favourite for me in the celeb memoir category.

Kales

Kales rated it     

This book hit close to home in the best and worst ways. I discovered a deep connection to Mara and related to her story better than any autobiography I have ever read. While she is only four(ish) years older than me, and she was a film child star, a lot of our story is the same. She also experienced the loss of her mother at a young age which was devastating to read about, and I had not but how we see the world and speak to others was spookily similar.

I must have cried three/four times during this book and it was insightful and cathartic and honest and I want to meet Mara one day and just say, I loved you book. Thank you for all the stories. I hope she should appreciate it. Her letter to Matilda, her homage to Robin Williams, her friendship with Danny Devito, but even her stories of growing up and adulting and failure were pointed and meaningful. I highly enjoyed this book.

Conclusion: To Buy

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