Book Review: Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

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“I am notorious for making impassioned speeches about things nobody cares about.”
Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?
Back again after first hilarious book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling has more advice to share with us mere mortals about how to get through life and how hers has changed between the two books. In her funny and honest awkward big sister style of writing Kaling has once again packed in a whole range of topics to keep you reading until the early hours.
After loving Mindy’s last book I asked for this and thankfully my boyfriend’s sister gave it to me on Christmas Eve nicely wrapped and I couldn’t wait to tear off the paper and fall into a funny book. There’s not doubt that Kaling has gone through some hardship in her life, she frequently reminds us of the chubby little indian girl she was growing up, but uses it to propel the humor and remind us readers that she’s not so different from us after all, despite her success.
There’s a load of different topics once again, although this time I found them to be put together a lot better and the book to just have a bit more of a flow than her first, which just shows that she’s growing as an author. With thoughts of Weddings, her feelings when her show was pulled (before it was later saved by Hulu), more hilarious boy stories, a day in the life of Mindy Kaling and thoughts about her own body it really is like talking to a, very excitable, friend. Hell, she even tells you what to bring to her dinner party, if only we were invited.
I found that this book was a lot more focused on her role as a writer and actress and it was interesting to hear her perspective on what it is like to work in television. It was also comforting to hear about the times when things didn’t go well or when she screwed things up, because as a 21 year old who’s about to graduate I needed to hear that it’s ok to not know what you’re going to do next. This was something that was touched upon in the first book but really comes alive and she shows you just how much hard work goes into making, writing and filming The Mindy Project.
I gave Why Not Me five stars *****. I honestly think it was an improvement on the much loved Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me, just because Mindy seems to have found her voice and rhythm as an author now, making it even easier and funnier to read. I’m going to be lending the two books out to a friend of mine in the next few weeks because I just feel like this a book that all young women should read, because Mindy show’s just how much hard work plays a part of success rather than luck. It might sound cheesy but it really does leave you thinking, Why Not Me?

Book Review: We Are Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

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‘In most families, there is a favourite child…I was our mother’s favourite child’

The story follows Rosemary throughout her life, although on her father’s advice it’s best to start with the middle of the story, and so she does. In the middle of the story it’s 1996 and Rosemary is in college, it’s been years since her sister Fern disappeared completely and she’s done her best to make sure no one even finds out she existed. Fern is not spoken about at home, no pictures hang on the wall, but Rosemary is haunted by the sister she just can’t forget and after being given her mother’s journals she is reminded that she can never really escape her past.

I was looking forward to reading this one because it had a lot of hype surrounding it. The quotes on the front were saying how ‘irresistible’ it was and that the twist was the ‘best in years’. Now I’m a sucker for a good twist and I won’t say that it’s a bad one,it’s just not great. The twist takes over the whole novel, meaning that not only is it hard to review but it’s also kind of boring. There is also the issue of how the novel weaves in and out of different times, at points it’s hard to remember what point of the story it is and where the characters are at this point.

There does seem to be an underlying ethical issue which kind of takes over the entire book, it’s an interesting argument and I definitely think twice about my shopping habits as a result of reading it, but it gets a little boring after a while. While I agree with the idea that is being put across, I also got bored of this ethical issue being shoved in my face constantly while I was trying to read and get involved with the characters.

I don’t know if it’s intentional but Fowler has made a lot of the characters distant and unloveable. From the beginning there was something I didn’t like about the family dynamic and something I really didn’t trust about Rosemary. The descriptions of her father went from one extreme to the other at one point he is a kind and caring man, the other he’s very strange and easy to hate. I felt like I couldn’t relate to any of the characters that much, which is upsetting because they were well written.

I’ve given this three stars ***, although it wasn’t badly written the ‘twists and turns’ were all just very underwhelming. At times it felt like the novel was building to something fantastic only to be let down, it seemed to me that by the end of the novel Fowler has just run out of steam and come up with a safe ending, which was quite boring to me. I don’t think this was a book for me but I know other people who I think would enjoy it, it’s possibly because when I read the word ‘twist’ I think it’s going to be earth shattering, which unfortunately this twist was not.