When I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? years ago, I had been watching The Mindy Project on my television. And the show was before it became famous, I was even worried they would cancel it off.
It may have something to do with the fact that there weren’t enough shows that revolved around a WOC, and an Indian woman at that, who did not look perfect (in the Hollywood standards). Or maybe it was just because it was damn funny.
So I picked the book up and was absolutely surprised because not only this woman made the snarky early twenties in me laugh but also made me pause and think about things that were not spoken out so loudly then. Needless to say I loved this chirpy, crazy woman and her writing. Obviously when I heard she had another book out, I had to grab it.
I know I might be reviewing it a little late (as per my usual these days) but I am doing it anyway. So let us read ahead to know how Why Not Me? fared on my grown up scale, shall we?
About the book
Book Name: Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Genre: Non Fiction – Memoir
In Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling keeps it real. She doesn’t sugar coat it nor make it sound like her life is a miracle. She says how the show’s success changed her. She talks about her insecurities which changed later into confidence, but she doesn’t belittle them. She talks about her flaws as they are. More than all, she is freaking hilarious.
There were some chapters that were a little so-so but the ones that were good were really good. There is a chapter on her confidence which was the best of the book and I loved it.
It’s just that, the truth is, I have never, ever, ever met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call a ‘workaholic.
Things that worked for me
- Her cheerful yet honest voice that made it like we are best friends than a writer and reader.
- I couldn’t help cheer a WOC who made it through sheer hard work. She is definitely a role model.
- I loved her pieces on confidence and her imaginary alternate life.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I didn’t find her as relatable as she was in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but maybe it was just me missing the dorky Mindy.
- You might not enjoy this one as much if her shows didn’t appeal you.
Bottom – line
I love Mindy and that is exactly why I picked this book and I was quite happy with it. It is not a life changing book but it made me laugh a few times and kept me engaged till the end.
Though, I didn’t love it as much as I did the first book, I would recommend ‘Why Not Me?’ to anyone who wants to read a funny, celebrity memoir.
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Do you read celebrity books? What is your favorite celebrity memoir? Let us talk.
One of the many reasons we read fiction is to escape the reality called life. Reading a memoir is like reading fiction for me, as it doesn’t happen to me or anyone I know. For instance, I didn’t realize Memoirs of a Geisha was an actual memoir until I completed it (yeah I kinda missed the point while reading the title) and it did feel like a fiction while reading it. Rarely does a memoir make me feel that the writer did go through these, and they know what they talk about. So when I received Meet Me in Paris from the author I did not expect anything different. So how did it fare on the scale? Read on.
About Meet me in Paris
Book Name: Meet Me in Paris
Author: Juliette Sobanet
Genre: Fiction – Drama, Memoir
Characters: Danielle (Juliette), Nick
Setting: Paris, France
Disclaimer: Thanks to the Author for the free copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been published in the CBC Magazine
Plot Summary of Meet me in Paris
The memoir traces about two to three years of the author’s life, who is a successful romance writer, someone in love with Paris. She is married to her high school sweetheart and their marriage is beyond salvage. Despite their love for each other, she feels she is trapped in her marriage and is seeking an escape. That is when Nick enters into her life and shows her what is to be adored and loved in the two days they spend together away from their spouses.
Yes, Nick is married and has no intention to leave his wife, despite their open relationship. Yet for Danielle it is an eye opener, and she finally decides both she and her husband deserve better, they proceed to separate. Danielle travels to the only place that could offer her the solace and the excitement she needed in her life, where Nick travels just to spend two weeks with her. What happens then? Do the star-crossed lovers spend their lives together? Or is Nick just a rebound?
Book review of Meet me in Paris
I should start with how amazed I am at the author’s courage to wrote about her personal life, especially one that talks about her separation and an affair with a married man. The memoir talked about the period when she was at her most vulnerable when she was in love with someone who would never leave his wife and she has left her husband, albeit not for her lover. Though I didn’t like Danielle’s nor Nick’s character as a person, I understand that is how life is. There are no black and white squares to peg people in. Her memoir takes us through her heartbreak, divorce, hopelessness, depression and also falling in love, figuring out the future and of course travelling, baring her emotions as it is, it can not get truer than this.
Juliette’s writing shows that she is a seasoned romance novelist. I was resonating with her plight to be stuck in a suffocating loveless marriage and having an affair before and during her separation even though it is such a taboo. I think it was only due to her writing style that she made me empathize with her and even, justify her actions. Her love for Nick and his for her could not have been captured any better. Even the intimate scenes were beautifully written and honest to say the least, (Note: not suited for young audience – PG rated.)
A few days ago, one of my friends was saying (read as complaining) that he dropped a book mid-way as it had too many characters while none of them had impact on the storyline. I was genuinely shocked and kinda miffed as well. But I was able to relate to this emotion when I was reading this one. Wow Juliette, you do have so many friends! While I am happy for you, but after a while, it became hard even to remember anyone at all, and you know what, it still didn’t matter as far as the plot was concerned.
Did I relate to her? No.
Did I like her actions and choices? No.
Did I understand her? Yes, and I think that is where a writer in her shone her best.
And yes there were times that I wanted to throw the book at her, for her choices exasperated me but again, that is people do in real life – mess it up and pick the dust to move on. We all mess up, we all do things that in reflection understand we should not have. But to gather what is left and move ahead to make better choices is what Juliette did. That is what I feel about the memoir, a brave and honest attempt.
If you like Eat, Pray and Love – you might like this.
The plot about discovering oneself through travel post-separation might be vaguely similar, but give it a chance you will find it grow on you.
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Have you read Meet me in Paris by Juliette Sobanet? What is your favorite memoir? Do you like memoirs more than fiction? Let us talk.