Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

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Everyone loves a good laugh. If you don’t, if you dissect your chest cavity, inside you will see an on and off switch. And it doesn’t even have to be the stomach-hurting, tearjerker laugh. Just the right amount to make each day tolerable.

I first saw Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor in the American adaptation of BBC’s The Office. Her role was ironic, scary, but funny nonetheless. She had a crazy obsession over Ryan Howard, the temp, played by BJ Novak, shopping, Suri and Shiloh, Beyoncé, pink (the color), Pink (the singer), basically anything that is awesome, hot dogs, and snowcones. Basically a white girl trapped in an Indian girl’s body. And it was awesome, like Slumdog Billionaire meets Legally Blonde. (That is not even a racist joke, because I loved Legally Blonde. Sue me now.) And nowadays Kaling is seen on her very own TV series The Mindy Project, about a single OB-GYN trying to balance career and romance. I have loved and enjoyed her roles, no matter how different they were, but who is the real Mindy Kaling? Is she as crazy and funny as Kelly or Mindy? Turns out, she’s much better.

Just from the beginning of the book, I was already snickering, and that has never happened to me before. This book has done it for me. With its witty titles and even more witty remarks, you’ll never want to stop, perhaps even read it again. This book has the most hilarious topics such as Alternate Titles for This Book, Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real and My Favorite Eleven Moments in Comedy (which I all searched, and she was right). Some of the best quotes for me are:

However, you should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?

I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.

There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.

What I love about it all is that she writes as if you’re familiar, like in an all-girl slumber party gabbing about which N’Sync member is marriage material while eating gallons of ice cream and gummy worms. Like you’ve all just finished second period and you both meet at your lockers to catch up. She’ll make you feel like you’ve known her for the longest time. That she’s your best friend and that she trusts you, telling you everything. And you really don’t care if she keeps on talking. She even uploads her Blackberry photos for everyone to see. My photos are only seen by two people. I’m the other one. She’s like the rest of us, and by the rest of us is that if you’ve also undergone an awkward childhood and a barely tolerable high school. She’s also unafraid to show how family-oriented she is, telling tales about her brother and parents. Very admirable.

Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.

Everything from beginning to end was humorous and relate-able. It’s neither a novel or a self-help book, I don’t even know what exactly it’s supposed to be but you’ll all probably wouldn’t care. I didn’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if she writes another amazing book, and you all wouldn’t be surprised that I will buy it and that I will encourage you all to do the same.

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