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


Synopsis from Amazon:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Like many other girls my age I am in love with Mindy Kaling. She is so down to earth, funny, and just real. She literally says all the thoughts I have on a regular basis but in a more coherent and hilarious way.

Because I was late on The Office train I didn’t really fall in love with Kaling until The Mindy Project where she plays an OB/GYN who loves rom-coms and has plenty of dating woes. In summary, she kind of plays herself.

Kaling is much more than an actor though. She’s most well known not for acting on The Office but for writing for the show. If you haven’t watched the show that’s a shame and you should get on Netflix and watch that right now. If you have watched the show then you know it’s freaking hilarious and Kaling is a bit of a comic genius. This isn’t to say she’s responsible for every episode written. That’s not the case. However she did play a big enough role for me to say she’s a comic genius.

Now to her book. I absolutely loved it. I got the audio book because truthfully I got the 30 day trial of Audible and I figured who’s voice is better to listen to on the Subway than Mindy Kaling’s. Answer: no one. Well maybe Tina Fey but I didn’t think about that until after I bought Kaling’s book.

Either way I didn’t regret using one of my free Audible credits on Kaling’s book because as I suspected she kept me laughing the whole time. From addressing listeners directly telling us that it shouldn’t really take us that long to finish the audiobook and if it takes us months we have a problem, to just being very open and honest about her life. I truly enjoyed this book.

What’s great about this autobiography is Kaling keeps it real in a way that’s not self-loathing or self-pitying but is more like, “These are the facts and they were actually pretty funny in hindsight.” For example, when telling us how an exchange student made fun of her for her weight she didn’t say it in “feel bad for me way” or a “this is why you must always ignore bullies” teaching way. Instead she says this guys sucks and he later got what was coming to him when he broke his leg and was no longer the soccer star he once was and dropped out of high school.

Basically, Kaling says everything you’ve probably thought but out loud. She’s rude, aggressive, and somewhat abrasive but all in fun. She gives it to you straight and doesn’t sugar coat things. She’s also pretty strange. For example, she tells readers exactly what she wants at her funeral and has her friend, Mike Schur (creator of Parks and Rec, amongst other awesome things), even write (and read) a eulogy for her.

Besides just generally talking about her life Kaling also gives some sound advice although she lets you know early one that she probably shouldn’t be trusted to give advice. Maybe the whole “the best revenge is acid in the face” thing isn’t so great but the not worrying about being popular in high school is definitely gold. She’s also all about being confident and loving you for you which is something I can definitely support.

If you haven’t read this book you should definitely get to it especially since she’s currently in the process of releasing a new one (thank God!). There are definitely benefits to the audio book as you get to hear Kaling, along with Schur, B.J. Novak, and Brenda Winters tell the story but there’s also drawbacks such as not seeing all the photos in the book. However, as Kaling herself states you can just run to a bookstore real quick and flip through the book to see the photos she discusses in the book. Either way definitely a must read and worth every cent (or Audible credit).

Favorite Line:

One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.

Stars: 5 out of 5. Absolutely loved this book. Awesome!

Borrow or Buy: Buy, duh. You’ll definitely want to refer back to some of these quotes at some point in your life. Make sure you have the book close at hand when that happens.

Other Reviews

A. V. Club

The Picky Girl


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