A REVIEW OF MINDY KALING'S HOT (PINK) NEW BOOK
By Vincent Chavez
Illustration by Nichole Daniels
This review contains moments of extreme girliness. There will be “hahaww” moments which are instances that begin as laughter but quickly morph into aww’s due to cuteness. I even requested that it be printed in a hot pink font, but after several polite no’s from our Literature Editor (and a handful of “go fuck yourself’s”) I consented to a slimming black. Therefore, to any men, boys, or combinations of the two, who are afraid that their testicles and/or penis will fall off and roll underneath their dresser should they read this review, I suggest they put this newspaper down and immediately turn on a football game, start continuously high-fiving, or do something else masculine. Are they gone yet? Okay...Guuurl, have you read Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? You haven’t? Ugh, you stupid bitch, turn off that Kendra marathon and get your ass down to Barnes & Noble before I am forced to say another sassy thing at you.
Mindy Kaling, writer/actor/director/diva from The Office, has written a Swiss army knife of a book: part memoir, part guidebook, and part lady almanac. You can expect her to tackle subjects like female friendships, romance, body image, show business, and fame. You many not expect her to tackle things like chest hair, elaborate revenge fantasies, karaoke etiquette, and her own funeral. But she does.
Kaling’s source material is often the pains and failures of youth. She draws upon her memories as a childhood chubster, budding adolescent comedy nerd, and post-collegiate jobhunter for moments of mirth. That’s not to say there aren’t delightful moments of adult failure as well. My goodness no; there are still many embarrassing gems that await you later in the book. Kaling is not one for sad clown melancholy though, her prose bounces with levity and tongue-in-cheekness. Brevity is the soul of wit, and she takes this mantra to heart. The lengths of the chapters are just right, wrapping up precisely where they should. This is not a difficult read and I mean that in the most charming way.
Kaling, much like her book, is unabashedly feminine and nerdy. She strikes me as someone you could watch a Harry Potter marathon with, and then discuss over sour gummy worms and ice cream which movie Hermione’s hair looked the best in (the answer is Half-Blood Prince). In a chapter titled “Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real,” she classifies romantic comedies as a subgenre of science fiction and goes on to catalogue the many fantastical species of women that populate this alternate reality. During this section, I like to imagine her offering her musings clad in a lab coat and Manolo Blahnik’s, wearing black, thick-rimmed glasses on a sexy librarian chain.
There is a camp of people who would dismiss both her femininity and nerdiness as frivolous. I can hear their outcries. Who cares what diet Jennifer Aniston uses or how dangerous it is? Why would anyone make an all-female sequel to Ghostbusters? Monty Python? Never heard of him. If this sounds like something you would say then this book is not for you either, so you can join the macho guys I sent off earlier in a rousing game of crush the beer can against your head. For the rest of us, put on some sweatpants (the ones you look good in, not the ones with the hole in the taint) and enjoy a couple hours obsessing over this genuinely funny lady.