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.
First, the supermarket and now Netflix. What is with Christmas being up all around already? I am not complaining though. Netflix is already flooded with all its Hallmark-ey Christmas movies and I cannot stop myself from watching them already.
I watched one or two Christmas movies already.
And unsurprisingly I am not feeling it. Why are these movies so badly made and have the worst actors in them? Is it just me or is everyone think about this and chastise themselves?
Anyway, the week has been super slow for me in terms of reading or getting things done around the house. But at least my blogging quota is going on well. And I don’t think this week is going to be any better as there are some guests coming around here and it might turn hectic in a bit.
What I read this week:
I have not read anything this week and I might be falling behind on my yearly challenge. Sigh. I hope I will catch up soon.
What I watched this week:
As I already said I have been watching those Christmas movies and I didn’t love them. If you still wanna know them, so that you can avoid them here you go.
- 48 Christmas wishes
- A Christmas Prince
Oh I at least enjoyed watching Princess Diaries on Netflix, maybe that counts for something, right?
On the blog:
Just a quick recap on the week in my blog
On Sunday I post Sunday Musings #24: One With Diwali and DIYs and shared loads of pictures with you.
I reviewed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Monday.
Don’t we hate the blogging slump? On Wednesday we discussed how to manage your writing slump and some tips to survive them.
On the Flyaway Friday edition I recommended some books that will take you to Italy.
Around the blogosphere
I just want to give a shout out to all these awesome bloggers and here are some of them I loved this week.
- Remember we were talking about plot holes? On the same lines, you need to check out this hilarious post about real life plot holes.
- Do you love to own bookish stuff? Jen’s discussion post talks the reasons behind this obsession on her blog Jenchaos reviews.
- Sophia from Bookwyrming Thoughts asked us about deleting old posts from our blogs. What is your say?
- Erica shares her favorite new bookish app Book Thinkers. Feel free add me there.
- I loved the post on 5 must have graphics on your blog on the Flipping Thru the Pages by Simant, in her #blogging101 series.
I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme.
How did your week go? What were your favorite reads this week? Let us talk about it!
I have made it clear to everyone around me – on online and in real life, that I am besotted with The handmaid’s tale, both the book and Hulu’s teleseries. I have not stopped talking about to anyone who would listen about it. You can read my thoughts about the book version of The handmaid’s tale here. Yeah you heard it! There is a book version and a TV version, and there are a lot of differences between them.
In the Hulu version of Gilead most things are the same as in the book. It is essentially about the fertile women called handmaids who have been rounded up and sent to the houses of its high ranking officials to bear the barren couple a child. With Margret Atwood herself on board as an Executive Producer, this tale of feminists’ nightmare has made a few but significant changes. Read on to know what Hulu has done to one of our favorite classics. Plenty of spoilers ahead, be warned.
1) The tale is timeless
Hulu’s series is set in the present age with current technologies like access to Tinder and Uber. The handmaids have a red tag on their ears which serves as a GPS tracker. This makes the series more relatable to us, the . The technologies used by the Atwood’s dystopia set in 1980s like Compubanks, Compucounts (read as electronic banks and credit/ debit cards) etc are pretty usual for us. Of course there are lot more swearing and nudity involved considering the again the age we are in.
2) Gilead is a diverse society
Atwood’s book starts with Gilead where the children of Ham have been relocated and the sect war had solved the problems of the Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, and other religious sects. Our present day Gilead is a multicultural society. They still are against the gender traitors, ie, the LGBTQ but there are a lot of openly gay and non whites characters in the series including Moira, Nick and Luke.
3) The bolder, less rigid Offred
The difference the two Offred begins with their name. While the readers are left to make their own deductions about Offred’s before name, Hulu’s Offred makes it clear from the start that she was June. Another drastic change is in the character of June/Offred is that bookish June was a passive character who craves for language, books and words, she never took part in any protests before she was captured and whatever we learn about herself and Gilead is through her strong inner monologues. But Hulu’s June, portrayed by one of my favorites Elizabeth Moss of the Mad Men fame, is a bold lady who even attempts to manipulate the Commander. The Season Finale even shows her as a rebel when she defies Aunt Elizabeth against stoning Janine.
4) We know The Commander
Like June, the Commander’s name in the book had been left to the speculation of the readers. But the Hulu’s Commander is introduced as Waterford and is repeatedly mentioned. Oh, the new Commander doesn’t look anything like the ‘Midwestern banker’ we were used to, he is leaner, younger and much better looking. The Commander is nicer to Offred, letting her meet Moira at the Jezebels and even is a little remorseful when Serena is not let to make her speech, making us like him more than his counterpart from the book.
5) Serena Joy is nothing like we read
The character of Serena Joy gets a complete overhaul by the Hulu’s team. She is nothing like the old, limping, detached ex-televangelist that Atwood had in mind. She is an ex-marketer much like her husband and she played a mighty role in creating Gilead. Hulu’s Serena is not passive about Offred, she is indignant that Offred is taking her place. She is not the one who takes his husband’s affair with June slightly. She gives him a piece of her mind and physically hurts Offred, until she learns she is pregnant. She is passionate, strong and woman who knows to get things done.
6) Ofglen is a gender traitor
How could we forget the brave Mayday supporter Ofglen? In the book the last we hear about her was that she hangs herself when the vans were coming to get her. But Hulu has turned her into a gender traitor and has her even punished for that. She is punished for that severely for having an affair with a Martha. She even drives a car around the market. The show ends up saying more than Ofglen than the book and she is taken in a van much like Offred and her fate is to be certain.
7) Luke survives, so does Hannah
Yes Luke lives in Canada in the Hulu series, whereas his whereabouts are unknown in the book. He is a colored man who divorces his wife to marry June. While the latter fact remains unchanged, the diverse world of Gilead is new. The series also doesn’t speak about the reason behind June’s marriage with Luke is invalidated. Also June’s meeting with Luke has a cutesy story involving Moira and Tinder. I like the TV series’ Luke better than the book’s.
8) Moira escapes the Jezebels
In the book Offred gains her strength from Moira. Moira is a rebel by heart and escapes from the Red Centre alone, not with June as in the series. One of the major change from this theme in the TV series is that Moira is broken down and has lost hope while at Jezebels and Offred is the one who is strong. Moira is seen lastly at the Jezebels by Offred according to the book, whereas Moira escapes to Canada and reunites with Luke.
9) What else has changed
June’s mother plays a bigger part in making up for the courage June lacked, in the book. She is a feminist who fights the system and sent to the Colonies. Cora is a friendlier Martha who finds fainted Offred. Both of these characters are missing in the television series. Likewise Janine’s character is a lot more developed than it is in the book. The time lines are also a bit changed to make it more interesting. Even Aunt Lydia seems to have a heart for Janine, unlike the book.
Have you watched the series? What do you think of it and did you like the changes made by Hulu? Let me know in the comment section.
Everyone I know has been raving about the TV series. I have always fallen for books that had characters that dealt with dark, depressed and suicidal thoughts. I don’t think anyone likes happy, chirpy teenagers anymore. Oh we also adore nerdy, socially awkward teens. (Sarcasm, peeps).
Characters: Hannah Baker, Clay Jensen, Alex Standall, Bryce Walker, Jessica Davis, Justin Foley, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimsen, Mr. Porter, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Jenny Kurtz (Sherri in the series)
When I heard, or read, that 13RW is the new GoT (which I have not read or seen)I could not wait to get back to Dubai, so that I could binge watch the series. As you all would have known by now, 13 Reasons Why, or 13RW, is a Netflix’s adaption of Jay Asher’s book with the same name. Being the badass that I am, I had to grab the book and read it. And discussed it to few, by few I mean any people who would listen to me, about it. First of, this is going to be a part post. Now on to the first part, the review.
13RW talks about Hannah Baker who kills herself with no apparent reasons at bay. Her parents and Clay, her friend are at a loss trying to understand her death. But soon enough, Clay receives a packet of cassettes at his doorsteps, that has Hannah talking to him, among others narrating the reasons that lead her to suicide. He is instructed to pass on to the next person after he hears them.
The story is fast paced and absolutely un-put-down-able. I loved the clever storyline that kept us on toes till the very end. Each side of the tape talks about a reason that triggered her to die, according to her. The book and the series, both alternate between the voices of Hannah and Clay, which works very well. The series was honest to the book and the audiobook was better even (yeah I did try the audio book as well). There are some changes made to the series, which for me made better sense. But the climax in the book seemed more plausible than in the Netflix series understandably.
At some low point, most of us would have had thought ‘who would be sorry , if I were dead right now?’. Hannah takes it a little further and takes that action. For me, she is not likable, relate-able or even tolerable. I was feeling that it was like Mean girls part 2, all the way through, except we knew Mean Girls would have a good (sorta) ending. Yes people were mean to her. Boys were particularly mean to her. Friends moved on. Shit happens. That is how life is. Though I agree all these reasons could have snowballed her towards her suicide, it was her choice.
I agree that every action that people unwittingly commit, might affect others, but that does not make you responsible for their reactions. No, I do not justify their actions, nor do I appreciate Hannah vilifying everyone else. In fact almost every one of the characters had an own issue to cope up in their lives, and they have their own mechanisms. Some work, some did not. Sadly Hannah’s didn’t work and still seems a glamorous way out. The question the story poses is not ‘who killed Hannah?’ more of ‘how do we avoid another death’, though it does not come of quite that way.
While 13RW boasts about talking about suicide among teens, the taboo, I am not sure if it does enough justice to it. Just alienation at the school cannot drive one to commit suicide, without discussing the depressed feeling part. It still confounds me why is it so hard to say depression or mental illness. I have not found even a mention of it in the book or the series. I don’t get how talking against suicide, bullying and rape is encouraged and even glamorous, while depression is not. Again that topic is for another day. Oh well, that disappointed me.
I loved the story, liked the pace and writing, but I simply hate the hype around it. In short my problems with Thirteen Reasons Why are two pronged: 1) The characters are not just flawed, they are not deep. 2) It does not talk about the relevant issues, that it boasts of. The message sent across is wrong and poorly researched. There are several loopholes in the story, but I don’t even want to go into that.
Bottom line: Read once if you wanna know what the hype is all about. If you don’t, you are missing nothing anyway. Pick it up if only books with suicide and rape are okay for you.