November 14, 2015

Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Genre: Memoir/Humor
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Crown


From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal.

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

Why Not Me? is a memoir created from various essays and stories about the author's personal thoughts and life experiences. I have to admit that I haven't read her first book or watched the hit TV show "The Mindy Project," so I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into the book. I've read a lot of great reviews about both books and I've read a small section out of this book previously, so I decided to take a chance on it. I'm so glad that I did! This book was a fantastic choice. Once I started reading the essays, I couldn't stop - so it (sadly) ended up being a quick read for me.

The author's writing style is very conversational in tone - it's laid back and personable throughout - which makes it feel like the author is a close friend and is simply telling us stories that stand out in her memory for one reason or another. The relaxed writing of the book gave the stories a more realistic feel and I could practically hear the author telling these stories - complete with hand gestures, facial expressions, and all the other small details you get when speaking with someone. The essays and stories had a wide range of topics - from media expectations of women to her own struggle with self consciousness. Most of the anecdotes were funny and I found myself giggling or laughing out loud while reading. The stories aren't just fun though - the author is taking her real life experiences and feelings (which aren't always positive) and sharing them - and the knowledge she's gained - with the entire world. That's gutsy - especially for a woman in the entertainment industry - but she lays it all out there for us to experience and to realize that it's not always as great as people think. I loved her stories about issues that bother her - like Hollywood's obsession with women's weight, for example - because she tells it like it is and does so with snarky observations and true feeling. The essays and stories vary widely throughout the book, so there's really something for everyone. I definitely enjoyed this book and look forward to going back and reading her first one soon. Highly recommended for all kinds of readers - especially women from their teens and up - due to the universal truths that are revealed and the fact that we can relate to her and her stories in our own lives. If you're looking for a quick and fun read - this is a fantastic choice.

* I received a copy of the book from the Blogging for Books Program in exchange for an honest review. *

1 comment:

  1. I love her book Is everyone hanging out without me and I'll have to check this one too, sounds great!