Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

Received from NetGalley for review.

I think we all need a bit of relatability sometimes and that is exactly what I find in Sarah Andersen’s hilarious illustrations. I love that this particular collection is called Big Mushy Happy Lump because that is totally what I aspire to be (chronic depression and anxiety mess up the ‘happy’ part for me a lot, though), and I really love that Andersen uses her own experiences of anxiety and the big bad world to create drawings that actually represent life for so many people – not the sugar coated, everything is awesome life, but the curling on the sofa and not moving at all life.

The focus on self-love, the importance of friendship, the shittiness of anxiety and depression and self-doubt, the greatness of books and caffeine are all things that appear regularly in Andersen’s illustrations, and at the risk of being repetitive they are so relatable because of it. Life is hard, people are mean, hormones are evil, but there are silver linings – books, hot cups of tea, stealing your partner’s warmth, puppies – that make things a little bit easier sometimes. Coincidentally, Sarah Andersen’s simple black and white drawings are one of those silver linings for me, and they never fail to make me smile.

Most people with a brain cell or two know that life isn’t always brilliant, especially with everything currently going wrong in the world, but this collection – and everything that Andersen draws, I feel – puts a funny spin on it all, a ‘things are terrible but let’s laugh, just for a minute’ spin on it. Let’s face it, most of us laugh and use humour so that we don’t cry or spiral down some abyss of loathing, and that is the beauty of this collection. Anyone who has never been exposed to ‘Sarah’s Scribbles’ should go and get themselves some exposure, and anyone who already loves it should go and get this new book when it’s released.

We should all try to be big mushy happy lumps, and accept that sometimes stuff sucks and life is hard, but at the end of the day we are all majestic goddesses (and gods) who deserve a giggle.

Read: January 22nd 2017

4/5 stars

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