Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Book 10: Why Not Me?

TITLE: Why Not Me?
AUTHOR: Mindy Kaling
STARTED: April 23, 2016
FINISHED: April 23, 2016
PAGES: 229
GENRE: Memoir

FIRST SENTENCE: In seventh grade I started at a new school.

SUMMARY: [From BN] 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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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.

THOUGHTS: It's been some time since I read a laugh-out-loud book. Kaling had me giggling, laughing, and reading passages aloud to The Husband. Why Not Me? was also heartfelt and surprisingly insightful.

Kaling makes me want to be her best friend. Her personality just jumps out of the text and wraps you in a big hug... then drags you along to a spa primping party and makes you want to spill your life story. This book is less a memoir then a series of essays that come across as long phone conversations with a friend. It's sort of random but everything ties together.

My favorite part of this book was the end, where Kaling becomes incredibly insightful. She shows how hard work pays off, and that confidence is entitlement because of all that hard work. Kaling is "just like us" but not really because she worked her tail off to get where she is today. Her drive and determination are admirable and, at the end of the book, not only do you want to be her friend but you root for her to keep succeeding.

RATING: 8/10 [Terrific]

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