Lani's Reviews > Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
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Jan 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: biography, chicklit, kindle, non-fiction
Read from January 19 to 21, 2012

This fell somewhere (awkwardly) between Bossypants and the terrible Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek. It almost seems unfair to compare to those two books, but they're the two girl-bios I've read recently and I saw some similarities. Kaling doesn't present the loathsome slut-shaming and nerd-blowing that Olivia Munn did, and does throw in some of the Funny Girl Power that I got from Tina Fey. But her book suffers from being a barely-30 year old who's industry experience is solely based on a lucky shot with an exceptional show. I'm not belittling her success at all, but she just doesn't have a lot of experiences to share at her age and with her limited (though spectacular) industry experience. It's a book that I think would have gained by waiting another 10-20 years to be written.

Kaling's voice is adorable and likeable, even in her most irritating moments when she awkwardly makes racial jokes or uncomfortably touches on her opinions of other women's sex lives. It's hard to dislike her after reading the book, but she doesn't come out fighting either. You can be funny AND mean sometimes, Mindy, and sometimes I felt like she was bending over backwards to not get into trouble. I guess maybe that's understandable based on where she is in her career - she probably can't afford to take some of the risks that Tina Fey did in Bossypants. But the book suffers from being so fluffy and having a 'let's be best friends' style.

There were a lot of cute moments and observations that made me giggle, but much like Munn's book this sometimes went less memoir and more weird essay/list compendium. Other reviews mentioned a certain 'Andy Rooney' quality to her rants on every day occurrences, and I have to agree. I'm not sure why this seems to be an acceptable way to fill pages in a book, but it's annoying and unsatisfying.

If you like The Office, or are looking to be a screenwriter, or think Mindy Kaling is adorable, you should read this book. Otherwise you won't get much out of it and probably shouldn't waste the few hours of time that reading it will cost you.
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