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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling ~ ★★★★1/2

Author: Mindy Kaling
Title: Why Not Me?
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Random House Audio; read by Mindy Kaling, featuring Greg Daniels and B. J. Novak
Genre: Non-fiction

Audiobook Cover: "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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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."


Taryn's Review: As a fan of Mindy Kaling's writing and acting, and having read her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me?, I was very excited when Kaling announced her second book. I immediately went to my library's website and added myself to the audiobook wait list. Why the audiobook? Fun tip: listening to celebrities read their own books (so long as the book is about their own lives/views/etc.) is way better than reading the book yourself. Trust me.

Kaling shared different stories from her life in such a way that it felt like you were catching up with a good girlfriend over drinks. I loved listening to Kaling talk about her life, how it's changed, where it stands now, and her relationships. I actually teared up when Kaling talked about going home one night after a disappointing date and crying on her bed...so relateable! Other parts of it were not relateable but super fun to read about: meeting President Obama, Hollywood sex scenes, and having her own fashion designer.

She acknowledged her relationship with B. J. Novak by calling it "weird as hell," and it was sweet to hear Kaling talk so glowingly about him. I'm a big fan of his, so I totally get why she thinks he is so awesome (which may also be why I didn't mind hearing about him!). It is apparent from the book that when Kaling loves someone she loves them whole-heartedly without reservation, flaws and all. Kaling also discussed her own flaws, and how she perceived the media's ongoing interest in what they perceive to her "flaw": her weight.

Kaling closed out the book with a chapter dedicated to a 15 year-old girl who had asked Kaling where she got her confidence from since the teen didn't feel confident in herself. Kaling's ultimate advice was that one had to earn confidence by working hard. While I get what Kaling was saying, I'm not sure that's applicable advice to a teen...will a teen work hard if he/she doesn't believe he/she is good enough in the first place? Where did Kaling get the initial confidence to believe she was funny enough/talented enough/good enough to even start in comedy, going back to high school and college?

The book was short (only four discs for the audio), and I would have loved if it were longer. As a Kaling fan, I don't mind listening to her talk about anything, really. I saw some reviews where people said they felt like she talked too much about her life as a celebrity now, but the fact is she is a celebrity! Although I did question Kaling's interest in Gwyneth Paltrow and her attempt to use Paltrow's cookbook...no, Mindy, no...I forgave her. Kaling fans rejoice, you will probably love this work. I loved it and look forward to the next Kaling book one of these days! Luckily I have The Mindy Project to tide me over until then!

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