Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me?
By Mindy Kaling

Published: September 15, 2015 by Crown Archetype Genre: nonfiction, humor, memoir Source/Format: blogging for books; hardcover; 240 pages Avg. Goodreads Rating: 3.97
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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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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. —goodreads

Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.

I’m a giant fan of Mindy Kaling, from her writing to her acting. I will forever be a giant fan of The Office and the vain chatterbox that is Kelly Kapoor. I’m equally a fan of The Mindy Project, which I consider one of my many many guilty pleasures. Danny and Mindy forever. I’m just saying.

Why Not Me? reads exactly like the voiceovers I’m so used to hearing over every Mindy Project episode. Each sentence is laced with Kaling’s personality and humor. So much so that I couldn’t help but hear only Mindy’s voice in my head with every word. I spent most of my time reading this book laughing out loud and jotting down notes for how I can be more successful and happy about myself for the future.

I loved how personal a lot of Kaling’s essays were. She was equally able to convey who she is as a person, or at least the person she wants to be, while being able to laugh at herself. She was able to turn even her deepest flaws into her greatest strengths. Personally, I think Mindy Kaling is a great role model for women and girls. As a fellow Asian American, I look up to Kaling and how she has proved to America and the world that there is room on the small screen for someone who doesn’t look like the typical leading lady. How you can be both smart, witty and funny and be successful.

I was most touched by the essay of the book, which attributes to the title of the book. Without giving much away, Kaling responds to a question from a young girl at a Q&A who asked her where she gets her confidence. Kaling’s response at the time, no thanks to jet lag, was brief. In her essay, she elaborates more in an effort to answer the question more honestly. To paraphrase, she says that confidence takes work. You have to earn your confidence much like you earn respect from your peers. I agree with this so wholeheartedly and this essay spoke mounds to me.

On a much lighter note, there were so many essays that left me in tears from fits of laughter. She talks about her strange as hell relationship with fellow comedy writer B.J. Novak, writes a completely alternate rom com style version of her life, muses about the men in her life and her hate of weddings.

Why Not Me? was a wonderful, light read that left me feeling like I understood Mindy Kaling so much better than I ever have.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

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