I’ve got a confession to make. Before reading this book, I’d never watched Mindy’s show The Mindy Project. I’d also meant to but never got around to reading her first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? despite having heard fantastic things. So when I had the chance to review her new book, I decided it was high time to get to know Mindy.
I had a feeling, even before I dove into the book, that I was going to find a new friend between its pages. And I did. It’s pretty much impossible not to like this girl. I mean, she’s totally intimidating (smart, sexy, funny, accomplished) but has a human side that still makes you want to be her buddy – and makes you feel like you kinda sorta are.
Mindy’s newest memoir is all about her adult life. She talks about the strains of working in television (long hours, nude scenes, creative blocks) but also its joys (seeing your work come to life on screen, nude scenes, being the boss). She talks about her relationships – particularly the friendships that have seen her through and sustained her and how the work ethic instilled in her by her immigrant parents has pushed her to succeed. She also shows off her close personal friendship with The President (via one of his security staff who she may or may not have a thing with).
It’s a book much like you’d imagine Mindy herself – one moment perfectly made up and presenting an award, the next scarfing down burgers in a McDonald’s parking lot, and seemingly equally at home in both contexts.
Her stories are entertaining, fulfill that voyeuristic urge that brings many of us to read celebrity memoirs, but also provides some excellent advice and perspective. I was reminded at several points of Lena Dunham’s memoir, and how it left me feeling grateful on behalf of young women today that they have such fantastic female role models to look up to.
Whether you’re a dedicated fan of Kaling’s work, looking for a fun read, seeking feminist icons or (like me) just want to get to know her, this is the book for you. It’s a quick, easy read but one that will stick with you and cause many a retroactive giggle once you’ve finished.
Now excuse me while I crack open Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? with The Mindy Project on in the background!
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. – Goodreads
**Thanks to Random House Canada for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!**
Book Title: Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Published By: Crown Archetype
Released: September 15, 2015
Genre: Memoir, Humour
Date Read: September 13-24, 2015