Rating: 5 Stars
It took weeks for all the bozos ahead of me on the library waiting list to finally finish and return their copies so I could get my hands on this one. Totally worth the wait. And I read it in a matter of hours because I am not embarrassed to say I AM OBSESSED WITH MINDY KALING AND I KNOW WE WOULD BE BEST FRIENDS IF WE EVER MET.
I mean, seriously, who wouldn't want to be best friends with Mindy? If you don't, you are probably boring. Or a terrorist. And really, Kelly Kapoor annoyed the bejeezus out of me a lot of the time, which is a testament to how funny Mindy is, because usually when a character annoys me, I write off the actor or actress as also annoying.
On the surface Mindy may look like just another self-absorbed Hollywood starlet - commentary I have actually read based on the fact that she has now released two books about her life without yet reaching age 40. To those people I say, shut up and just read the books. Then you might see why we need people like Mindy Kaling as an actual role model for young women who are constantly bombarded with this idea of perfection that no normal human being can actually achieve. Mindy comes across as a very real person, with real fears and flaws just like everyone else. She is not that person who whitewashes her life to give the impression that everything is wonderful and unicorns and rainbows all the time - despite the advice of Reese Witherspoon telling her to smile after leaving their lunch. ALWAYS smile!
I pretty much laughed from beginning to end (except the actual end was much more serious because truly, Mindy is pretty damn hard-working and has a lot of really good advice), which was kind of painful because I still have bronchitis so when I laugh, I cough for about ten minutes afterward. Then my eyes tear up and I can't read because I can't see. It's a mess.
Anyway, I was dying laughing from this gem about Nosferatu, "That vampire taught me my number one and number two favorite beauty tricks of all time: avoid the sun at all costs and always try to appear shrouded in shadows." I fully intend to implement every last beauty secret Mindy was kind enough to share with the world, because that is exactly what she intended and was not at all joking about any of it.
While I enjoyed the beauty secrets chapter, by far one of my favorites was about Mindy and B.J. I love B.J. Novak too, but in a much different way. Like, I want to have babies with him. On the other hand, I love him and Mindy together so much, that I want them to get married and have beautiful little caramel colored hilarious genius babies. So, I am a little conflicted in this arena. They really are soup snakes though, even if B.J. falls asleep at Broadway shows and completely embarrasses Mindy, though his argument is sound: "I don't know why you embarrassed of me. The embarrassment should rest squarely on the shoulders of theatre itself. If you put me, a well-educated, curious person, interested in seeing a Broadway show, in a second-row seat at the finest play of the year, and you still can't prevent me from falling asleep, then there is a problem with your medium of communication." Touche, Mr. Novak. Seriously, would you not just want to be a fly on the wall during their conversations??
By the end of the book, Mindy gets serious. And it is because she is so honest about all the ridiculous and crazy things she says and does, that she can be taken seriously as a person who has had enough experiences to give some really good advice. These gems are among my favorites:
"Which is why you need the tiniest bit of bravery. People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you're succeeding. People do not get scared when you're failing. It calms them. That's why the show 'Intervention' is a hit and everyone loves "worrying about" Amanda Bynes. But when you're winning it makes them feel like they're losing, or, worse yet, that maybe they should've tried to do something too, but now it's too late. And since they didn't, they want to stop you. You can't let them." (page 221-222)
"Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine." (page 223)
Thank you, Mindy. Or should I say, BFF.