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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 "Player" tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. ("I had been replaced by a younger model.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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In her second collection of personal essays, actor and comedy writer Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)) offers readers a refreshing glimpse of her life of "(minor) fame" and the work that she did to get there. Hilariously titled essays are interspersed with candid photos of the star. Kaling's irreverent take on life is both uproariously funny and dead-on. The book is chock full of cultural commentary, from the rise of "small-plates restaurants" in Los Angeles to why stars pretend not to like sex scenes; Kaling skillfully blends highbrow with low in her trademark witty voice. While narrating personal episodes, such as when she met President Obama for the first time and almost fainted at his praise, Kaling skirts larger issues like her mother's death or her "weird" relationship with actor B.J. Novak. At times her self-deprecating tone suggests that the Ivy League graduate is fluff-headed, which, based on the contents of this book as well as her meteoric career, is obviously not true. Advice on a variety of topicsincluding why extensions make everyone more beautiful and how the world needs to start assuming that all young women are confidentmake this an empowering and entertaining read. (Sept.)