Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is the kind of girl you want to be best friends with. Her book’s not about anything in particular, but that’s alright with me. Rating: 3/5

Mindy Kaling writes the way she speaks, which works for her. While I didn’t laugh out loud once during this book (or even laugh internally), I did finish the book wanting to be her friend. Well, I’d like to be her best friend, but I’m not picky. As I was reading it I literally felt like she was actually talking to me. Just two girls, sitting around drinking coffee (or alcohol, I’m fine with either) having a nice, long conversation about her life. You could hear her voice while you’re reading it.

She had a unique style to her writing, where she wrote more in short essay form or lists, which she called “pleists”. The lists were probably the best part. List of things that you are required to do as a best friend, list of ridiculous movie concepts that producers may or may not be interested in, lists about things that make her cry. They’re relatable, they’re quirky, and they are so very Mindy.

I always hate when you read a book and the author keeps telling you that they’re changing the person’s name. “Let’s call him Buckwash. Yeah, Buckwash. Well Buckwash is a famous writer for a great sitcom on a network we will call BLAH BLAH” (this is an example from my own brain, not Mindy‘s). How annoying is that? It makes me want to know who Buckwash is, what sitcom he worked for, and which network it was on. Authors that have to change the name of someone/something/some place should just do it and keep it to themselves. Trying to figure out who she might be talking about took up a lot of my time when reading, and I would realize that I wasn’t even paying attention for a few minutes and my eyes were just kind of scanning the words like a robot.

The book wasn’t great, it wasn’t exceptionally written, and it wasn’t totally interesting. I like Mindy a lot and I like her work, but I wasn’t so interested in her life and story that I needed to read a book about it. I really got the book because I thought it would be a book filled with funny anecdotes. I mean, she did give funny anecdotes (a lot of them), but there were also some pretty boring stories that I didn’t care to read about. While I liked that she gave us pictures, the pictures were black and white and quite small, but that’s just me being nitpicky.

Speaking of pictures, there was an entire essay dedicated to pictures that she’s taken of herself that she found on her Blackberry. One thing that I love so much about Mindy is she is completely honest about herself, the good AND the bad. She doesn’t talk herself up, but she’s also not self-depreciating.

She had some great descriptions of New York City and her time spent there. Stories with her best friends made me want to be best friends with them, and stories about being bullied for her weight (hi, she’s not even fat) made me want to kick their ass. So I guess I was more invested in her story than I thought. She’s a normal girl who got a big break because she’s kind of brilliant, and that makes her that much more incredible. There was a part where she said, “There ceases to be a difference in my awake closes and my asleep clothes”, and that is pretty much the summary of my life so I was all about it. There was also a sad part where she discussed how much she loved Amy Poehler and Will Arnett’s marriage, and now they’re getting divorce. Oopsie.

There was also a part of her book where she talked about how her best friend Brenda and herself came up with a play called Matt & Ben, and when it was getting ready to become a tv show she found out the network would never let her star in the show. She later discussed how her and Kelly Kapoor (her character from The Office) are not the same person, and of course listed all the reasons how they were different. She joked that she would play herself in a war show one day, but it didn’t appear as if she was really serious. Flash forward to present day, and she is playing a character based off herself (kind of). Get it girl!

The book was a solid three stars. Even though the writing wasn’t that special, Mindy definitely is, and I’m going to be watching her new show The Mindy Project with a newfound understanding of the character.

My Rating: 

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