Book review: Mindy Kaling - smart, wildly entertaining and very, very hard-working

The star of The Mindy Project reveals her turbulent adolescence in her new memoir

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 12:02pm

Mindy Kaling may be gearing up for the fourth season of her TV show, The Mindy Project, but that didn't deter her from writing another wildly entertaining and completely relatable book, Why Not Me?

Her first memoir, 2011's charming Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), spent time on several bestseller lists. Why Not Me? looks certain to follow in its footsteps.

Kaling has a gift for storytelling. Her self-deprecating essays depicting a young Mindy in the throes of adolescence all revolve around an anxious Indian girl with a desperate need for people to like her. Should she continue bribing classmates with Skittles? Will joining a sorority be the key?

Kaling is able to take a memory from years ago and transport the reader into that moment with ease. And that moment will inevitably be smothered in laughter.

Not only does Kaling share her views on weddings, dinner parties and how to look spectacular in a photo shoot, she also allows readers to peek inside her dating life.

This includes a civic-minded beau who happened to work for the president of the United States, an imaginary history teacher, and B.J. Novak. Her long-time friendship with Novak can only be described as a little messy and very touching.

More than anything, Why Not Me? is a story about Kaling's work ethic. She has slowly transitioned from the girl who wants everyone to like her to the woman everyone wants to know.

Kaling is clearly one of the hardest-working women in show business, and she is gracious enough to spill her secrets here: all you need is a tonne of dedication to your craft, a lot of confidence, a touch of bravery and a server at McDonald's who knows your name. And no matter how good you have it, "It's cool to want more".

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Crown Archetype)

Associated Press