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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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.
I recently reviewed Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling’s first novel, and I feel like I will just be reiterating what I said there AKA 1) Can Mindy Kaling be my best friend now? 2) Mindy Kaling is too awesome, and 3) I wanna be like Mindy Kaling.
Nothing changed since reading Why Not Me? and I didn’t know it was even possible but I adore and idolize Mindy even more. In Why Not Me?, Mindy tells us that unlike before where she wanted people to like her (and like her we did!), she wants us to KNOW her, the real her, this time around. At first, I was wary about this because if the Mindy in her first book isn’t the real her but the one seeking validation, am I gonna like her this time around? I was actually scared that I might not like Why Not Me? because of all that but PSHAW, WHY DID YOU EVER WORRY, DIANNE?
I think Lyra‘s review is so on point about the greatness that is this book. She mentions how she can totally relate to Mindy. She even included passages that rang true to her and I couldn’t help but agree. YES YES YES. YES TO EVERYTHING MINDY SAYS. I’m turning 22 next month and while obviously, Mindy has experienced so much more than me, I can still totally relate to her. Mindy talks about everything I’m interested in at this point in my life where I’m working and looking forward and feeling scared about the future. Ex-best friends, my work, my career, confidence (especially that I have low self-esteem; hey guys, the talkativeness you see is a defense mechanism so I look confident when deep inside I am super doubting everything I do), looking good FOR YOURSELF (I hate people who ask me why I’m wearing a dress or dressed so nicely on a ~normal~ day and I’m like I DON’T NEED IT TO BE A SPECIAL DAY TO DRESS UP), and a whole lot more. It’s like Mindy asked me what I wanted to read in my dreams and then wrote about it so when I finally read it, it felt like a surprise still. YOU KNOW ME SO WELL, MINDY. LET’S BE FRIENDS.
My favorite parts were obviously everything (ha!), everything about BJ Novak (I think I fell in love with BJ just from what Mindy said about him. I want my own BJ even just a friend!), her mom (whom she dedicated this novel too), her ex-best friend Greta, Will the romanctic interest (OMG OMG OMG), and about working hard. I’ve been super lazy at work because I don’t know if I still love science as much as I did before. I don’t know if it’s my passion but even though I’m not sure, all I got from Mindy was to work hard. I seriously bow down to Mindy and her dedication and love for her craft. She doesn’t get much sleep but she’s fine with that because HELLO, SHE’S DOING WHAT SHE LOVES.
While Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is more autobiographical for me as she tells us a lot about her childhood, high school, and college days, Why Not Me? has more essays about weddings, sororities, fashion, and all sorts of topics. And I love that. Because in her previous book, one of the reasons you’ll love Mindy is because you’ll see yourself in all her childhood embarrassments and everything. In here, Mindy stays true to her self-appointed mandate of letting us know her. We get to know the Mindy of now and her opinions on a variety of topics. Can I just high-five Mindy for everything? Gah, she gets me.
Not only does Mindy get me, she gets me and makes me laugh. Why Not Me? was so fun to read and duh, I didn’t expect less from Mindy. I also swooned, and my heart broke for all the friendship drama, and felt awe for Mindy. Obviously, by now, I will read ANYTHING and EVERYTHING by Mindy Kaling. FAN FOR LIFE HERE.