Book Title: Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame
Author: Mara Wilson
Genres: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Biography, Memoir
Date Read: 08/27/16
Pub Date: 09/13/16
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.
My love of all things Mara Wilson goes back to my childhood in the 90’s. From Mrs. Doubtfire to Matilda and everything in between, you could call me a moderate to severe fan. Growing up, I loved reading (SHOCKER, I know), and watching Matilda‘s leading little lady blossom from the safe haven of her books was a real inspiration to myself. As the years passed and Mara slowly left the spotlight, I often wondered where she went. It wasn’t abnormal; we see loads of child actors who leave the business for one reason or another before they hit adulthood, but I truly thought she was one who would continue on and make a lifetime career out of acting. Thankfully she wrote this book and answered all my nosy questions and then some!
This was a whole modge-podge of content that flowed nicely and was organized rather well. At times, there were heaps of dry humor that had me snorting out loud and at others, a quiet intensity that was serious with all the touchy feels you can imagine. It’s really hard to review this book without giving away any of the individual essays, but suffice it to say I enjoyed every single one. I loved the little tid bits from behind the scenes that only the crew was privy to; it made me feel like an insider. I also loved how vulnerable she was with working through her self esteem issues that were beat down by ruthless individuals in Hollywood. Each story, along with the entire length of the book, was just right. Some memoirs seem to contain boring fluff just to get a higher page count; this one was concise and to the point. I spread this read over a few days; I’d just pick it up and read a few stories here and there and it was the perfect book to space out other reads with. I’d highly recommend to all those looking for a memoir with a bit of bite; her story overall is very intriguing and beneficial, even to the non-movie star average joe. The fact that she has never been to jail or rehab blows my mind away! Read it for yourself and see what you think. If you love it, I’ll celebrate with you! If you hate it, let me know so that I can tell you how wrong you are but still love you anyway!
*Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing my copy and granting all this fan girl’s Mara Wilson wishes to come true!