I really love Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor character on The Office. I get a good laugh out of her willingness to bully 15 year olds on Facebook, her obsession with reality TV, and her ridiculous relationship with Ryan. She’s great on twitter (@mindykaling). I used to love her old blog (Things I’ve Bought that I Love) and enjoy her new one also, even though it was sort of a tie-in for her book. I also like that she is a smart girl from Boston who respects and loves her parents.
I had high hopes for the book, really wishing it would be a strong successor to last year’s Bossypants, but was mildly disappointed. While Kaling has lots of great anecdotes and silly stories to write about, the book as a whole just didn’t do it for me.
My favorite parts were the early chapters, where she describes her childhood. Her tales of unrequited crushes and mean boys in junior high were fun and entertaining. I enjoyed her stories about making and losing high school friends, and how she went to Dartmouth and met her best friend there. I love her descriptions of what qualities are needed in a best friend (absolutely, look for someone who would fill and pick up a prescription for you in the middle of the night!). I enjoyed her life in New York as she attempted to start her career, with many bumps along the way. I wish I had seen her play “Matt and Ben”, as it sounds truly absurd.
I also appreciated that she got her job as a writer/actor/producer on The Office through hard work, not through connections or luck. As a parent, I love that she constantly heaps praise on her own parents for helping her become the success that she is today. And I love that she gives advice to young girls who may be like her — not the most popular or the most beautiful, and tells them that its ok to be smart or funny, because life doesn’t really begin until way after high school.
I liked everything that Kaling had to say, but I just didn’t love anything that she said, or how she said it. Granted, I’m not quite the demographic for her book, but I was just left feeling some opportunity had been missed with this book. Mostly, I just wanted to laugh more. I’m still a big fan of Kaling, and hope she has a bright future, but I just thought her book was ok.