Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Release date: September 15, 2015
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Age group: Adult
Pages: 240
Purchase links: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following my blog or my twitter (@milkamilka) that I love Mindy Kaling. As a huge American comedy fan, I first was introduced to Kaling while watching The Office, the greatest TV comedy ever created, in my humble opinion. From The Office I moved to The Mindy Project and since then I've been actively following Mindy Kaling's career. Like my favorite comedienne Amy Poehler, Mindy is funny, honest and hard-working. And she writes extremely well, of which Why Not Me? is a great proof of.

I read Mindy's first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? a couple of years ago and fell in love with Mindy's style of writing. Reading her essays is like chatting with your best friends. Some of the essays made me smile, some made me question my own choices, and most of all, they made me feel quite empowered. The case what same with Why Not Me?. While reading the book it is easy to see that Mindy has matured quite a bit between the two essay collections. The essays in Why Not Me? feel much more personal, much more thoughtful and as a result of that, much more empowering. 

Why Not Me? is hilarious and entertaining, but it also really made me think and ask questions about my own decisions and actions. There are hilarious bit in there, like Mindy's tales of her friendship with B.J. Novak or her imaginations about life in which she is a Latin teacher in New York City. But more that anything, this book, for me, was a proof of what hard work and determination can give you. I have always thought of myself as a hard worker, someone who likes to finish what she starts, someone who aims high. And though I probably won't become a Hollywood comedian, this book made me realize more profoundly that with hard work and effort I can become respected on my own field of expertise. 

Why Not Me? also shows the non-glamorous side of Mindy's life. Dating is difficult (she really seems to struggle with the problems we all struggle with), she doesn't have time for anything else but work (it is not like she complains though - she very well expresses that she is doing exactly what she has been dreaming about and that she is very very very grateful of that) and she worries about her image and the way other people see her. All in all, this book further solidified by image of Mindy Kaling as someone who is down to earth, real and honest, someone who acknowledges her mistakes, is willing to help others and is not afraid to speak her mind when it is needed. 

I am not going to say who you should see as your role model, but I do think Mindy Kaling is someone that can offer something for everyone. I personally feel like I know her a bit better after reading this book. I am also very excited to see how her career develops with The Mindy Project now playing on Hulu (THE FIRST TWO EPISODES OF SEASON 4 HAVE BEEN FANTASTIC) and what kind of projects she has in the future. I respect Mindy Kaling a lot, and like her, I will start to ask the question WHY NOT ME? when someone questions my actions and dreams. 


  1. YAY!! So glad to hear this was great. I loved the first book and am (im)patiently waiting for the library to get the audio. I loved listening to her narrate the first book. Great review!!

    1. I have the audio book too, but since I am not really an audio book person (I never really have time to listen to them because always when I'm out somewhere I listen to podcasts) I wanted to read the book first. I will definitely get to the audio book at some point though, probably when I travel or something.
      You are in for a treat with this one - it is hilarious and poignant and empowering and interesting!


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