So I read this in one evening for my neighborhood book club (the first one Kelley is going to drive up and join me for! Yay!) and found it reasonably enjoyable. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is light, carefree fluff as one would expect of a celebrity memoir, but also funny-ish (although she’s no Laurie Notaro); in short, this is the typical self-deprecating prose we’d expect of the comedy writer Kaling is in real life. Unfortunately, I felt that I was missing a few of the references since I’ve never watched The Office (alas, no time for TV!), but I still found this a quick and mildly entertaining read nonetheless.
I’m a sucker for memoirs, particularly those about awkward kids who grow up and find themselves, so I really have no complaints here. This isn’t a book I would have chosen to read, and I will certainly never read it again, but it was okay as those things go. I particularly enjoyed her references to being the token Indian kid, chubby and androgynous, while growing up and her recollection of her un-clique JLMP, exactly the sort of group I would have secretly (and not so secretly) longed to be a part of as a young teen.
So, here’s the thing. Mindy Kaling is only 33 years old. Sure, I guess she’s got an enviable job, but how she got there…isn’t really interesting. She just doesn’t seem to have done enough for a memoir! And is this book even a memoir? Well, the first half seemed like it – childhood recollections and such. The second half was a weird jumble of random lists of things and very short, kind of pointless stories.
OK, and my other comment about Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me would have to be that it wasn’t that funny. Sure, there were a few points where I laughed out loud. The rest of it fell firmly into either the “sort of mildly funny” or “this is pointless and not funny at all so why is it even included in the book?” categories.
I will say that although I didn’t like this book, reading the book made me like her, strangely. I feel like Mindy Kaling must be a fun, funny person and I’m sure she’s very good at what she does, I just didn’t think it really translated to this type of book.