A Review of Why Not Me?
By Mindy Kaling
I have to premise this book review with telling you that I’m not a huge fan of Mindy Kaling’s. Not that I dislike her, but I just don’t love her (if that makes sense). Really I’ve only ever seen her in The Office (most episodes), and a few episodes of The Mindy Project. Mostly, the feminist in me wanted to read this book because I love the fact that Kaling is fighting to normalize diversity in Hollywood, whether that be gender, color of skin, or size. The fact that she openly talks about all of these things wins her some mad respect from me, so why not read one of her books?
In this book, Kaling put together a collection of personal stories that every person can relate to on some level. She hilariously writes about things like fangirling hardcore over getting to meet the president (okay, maybe most of us can’t relate to that one), semi-dating a guy that it never seemed to work out with, that weird anti-vaccine person everyone knows, inside jokes between friends, gaining a whirlwind of a friend that disappears as quickly as they appeared, and dealing with judgement from other people while maintaining her sanity. Not only that, but Kaling allows the reader a glimpse into the chaotic, glamorous, crazy life of a Hollywood actor who produces, writes, and stars in a show; if you think acting is a fun and games, this book just might change your mind.
I’m not going to lie, this book took me a while to get into (which is saying a lot since it’s a pretty short book). For about the first half of the book, most of the jokes were misses mostly because I wasn’t used to her voice and writing style yet. Kaling wrote this book with a lot of spunk and personality, and it seemed like more of the jokes became funny as I went through the book and became more familiar with her voice. Think about it like this: she seemed like that one friend everyone always has that says random funny things that pop into their head that you find unbearably funny for no reason at all–now imagine you don’t know this person at all, and they’re still doing it. Not as funny, right? You’d probably think they’re just weird as well. Now, somewhere in the middle of this book there was a shift for me, where her jokes clicked and elicited both enjoyment and laughter from me. By the time I finished the book, I was kind of hoping there was more of it!
My recommendations: Let’s just say that I wish I had read her other book prior to reading this one. Perhaps if I had been more familiar with Kaling’s work prior to reading this book, I would have found it more entertaining since I would have already been acclimated to her style and humor, like I was in the second half of this book. Honestly, I would only recommend this book if you are 1) a Kaling fan, 2) have just finished reading her first book, or 3) plan to read her first book as well (they probably go best together, like PB&J).