Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Known in Hollywood for being sarcastic, witty, and true to herself, Anna Kendrick's book recounts her childhood, ventures into theatre, and how she broke into the film industry.
Not pulling any punches, she also truthfully talks about subjects like alcohol, drugs, her sex life, and how she learned to juggle her life in a fast-paced, rarely stable career field. Brutally honest and funny, Anna Kendrick discusses what it's like to be a scrappy little nobody.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Date Read: March 28, 2018
I've wanted to read this for awhile, and finally decided to get it from Audible. Anna Kendrick narrates the book, so I figured that there's no one better to read the book to me than the woman who wrote it.
It took me a couple of chapters to get into the book, but I loved the way Anna read her book. It felt more like we were having a conversation and she was just talking to me. I'd never known much about Anna Kendrick before listening to this book, except for her career in the Pitch Perfect franchise, Into the Woods, and The Last Five Years. So, hearing about how she got started and realized that she wanted to be in the film industry was really interesting.
Anna Kendrick does a great job of telling her life story without it feeling boring. She reads as if she were just having a conversation, and even though it's a story, she never makes it feel like there are moments where you slip out of touch with what she's saying. Her life is interesting, and she relates old experiences with so much honesty that you start to feel like a friend. Never once does she sugar-coat something she did, good or bad, and she admits that she's made many mistakes in life.
Part of what made this such a great experience was that I felt like I was there, seeing all the sights she saw and going through all of her experiences with her. There is something about the way she tells these stories that puts me right in the setting. Listening to her inflections and where she chooses to emphasize her words also made things feel very personal.
Sure, the subjects that she covers might not be for everyone, but I found them to be very interesting and encouraging. More than once, Anna addresses her drinking habits and occasional dabbling in drugs, but she never makes it sound like something she's ashamed of. She doesn't recommend it to everyone, but she does make it clear that it's one of her life choices and she's not going to be ashamed about it. Nor is she going to be ashamed to talk about what it was like to experience sex for the first time and how that has been a factor in her relationships. Her willingness to cover uncomfortable subjects like this made me enjoy the book more, because I knew that she was a real person and there were lessons I could learn from her experiences.
It was also incredible to see how her sarcasm and wit translated to the page. I've followed her on Twitter for awhile now, but I never really thought about how much her writing reflects her voice so well. I'm sure that if I had read the physical copy of this, I would be able to pick up the sarcastic tones just as well.
Generally, I don't pick up books by celebrities, with the exceptions of How To Be A Bawse and The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, which are both by YouTubers. It's really hard to tell if the book is actually going to be good or if it's just another money-making grab, so I waited for ages before picking this up. I'd known about this since before it got published, and it took two years for me to take my chances with it. I'm really glad that I did.
5 stars. I loved this book. It's not for everyone, but I recommend listening to it if you have the chance.