Am I There Yet?

img_5996 Date Read: April 1, 2018 to April 4, 2018

Rating: 5 (of 5) stars

I discovered Mari Andrew’s Instagram account (bymariandrew) a few years ago, and immediately fell in love with it. It was some time around when she completed her first 365 days of illustrations. There was something about her illustrations that spoke to my heart, and I went back to look at all of her previous posts (and so now have no recollection of when I actually starting following her). Her illustrations are thoughtful and honest; it’s obvious that she puts her heart (and heartache) into her work. She bravely shares her experiences and herself in a way that makes the viewer (and now reader) feel like they know her personally, even if just a little bit.

I wanted to share this about her artwork first for a few reasons (first of all being why someone who has never met an author might feel compelled to refer to them on a first name basis). Second, to say that Mari’s writing is very much like her art. She makes you feel. Although the experiences she shares have been quite different from my own, there is a universality in the emotion that her writing evokes. Her essays are perfectly paired with her artwork to lead you through the story of each chapter, and the “Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey” to where she finds herself now. This is a book that I definitely plan to revisit, and absolutely will be sharing with others.

As a final note on the personable feelings of Mari’s art and writing, I want to share one more (perhaps unusual) feeling after reading this book: proud. Although I do not personally know Mari, I feel like I have followed her along for a chunk of this journey, and am proud of her accomplishment in creating this book. Even if I have only participated through being one of the thousands reading and “liking” her online posts, I have experienced an emotional journey of my own. I think that is the magic of Mari’s work, and I feel honored to have been able to share in that, even if from a great distance. Thank you for your work, Mari. I look forward to seeing where you go next!

Boris’s thoughts: “Great snuggle book, since you want to read it all at once! (Just make sure you feed me first.) 4 paws.”

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