Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 3 Stars
Anna Kendrick's essay collection of her life in Maine, experiences as a child theater actor, and later as a working movie actress in Los Angeles is a fun departure from the typical celebrity memoir due to her self-deprecating humor and lack of excessive drug abuse. Here Anna shares insights and life lessons learned as a struggling and up-and-coming actress.
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I am a fan of Anna the actress, as well as Anna the sarcastic social commentator on Twitter. Kendrick tries very hard to project an image as a relatable, slightly awkward, and neurotic girl-next-door and usually succeeds but in several of the stories she falls flat. The "gee I can't believe this is happening to me" often comes across as a humble brag rather than the idea that she's an ordinary young woman living an extraordinary life. I am not accusing her of being false; rather that her sarcastic tone doesn't translate well into book form at times.
Overall this is an amusing essay collection with some heart-felt moments and interesting viewpoints about the Hollywood machine, particularly as an Oscar nominee too poor to afford a designer gown and too unknown to get a top designer to loan one.