Published by Touchstone on November 15, 2016
Genres/Lists: Essays, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Length: 6 hrs, 0 mins
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
A few years ago, I watched a movie titled Pitch Perfect and was utterly charmed by the protagonist, Beca, played by Anna Kendrick. I didn’t know anything about her – not her past acting jobs nor her personal story, but she was hilariously endearing in an awkward way that we can all relate to. In the years since, she has made a name for herself both professionally and personally, first with blockbuster success on the big screen, but also for her candidness and willingness to tell it like it is. Scrappy Little Nobody, Kendrick’s memoir, stays true to this honest approach to things and I find her more endearing than I thought possible.
Scrappy Little Nobody is a collection of essays in which Kendrick opens up about her childhood, her path to Hollywood, and her inability to filter herself (Mara Wilson, aka Matilda, also has a great book in this format). This last bit is weaved throughout the book as she tackles subjects that include her penchant for clubbing, day drinking, smoking pot, and her insecurities with sex. These all make for interesting stories, but what’s most telling is that her stories are similar to so many young women. In addition to the juicy details, she shares why she did the things she did, how they impacted her self-worth, and the ways in which Hollywood is entirely foreign to her.
Kendrick, like most of us, suffers from a bit of imposter syndrome and still struggles with playing the Hollywood game while remaining true to herself. It was painful (in a relatable way) to hear her discuss her need for self-validation, oftentimes from men, and her journey to overcoming them. She learned, as we all have, that in the real world, perception matters and what other people think about you can be more powerful than you’d like to admit.Scrappy Little Nobody by @annakendrick47 is the perfect blend of honesty and hilarity. Click To Tweet
Thankfully, as Kendrick got older, she grew more comfortable with herself and her pointed observations have become one of the things we love about her most. She has no issue calling out gender disparities, noting that while the most difficult people she has worked with were men, it’s women who are actually labelled difficult. She also mocks the fashion industry while recognizing how important designers are in Hollywood, even if she had to buy her own designer shoes to pretend to be important.
Scrappy Little Nobody isn’t a deep, philosophical story about a woman fighting to get into, and make it, in Hollywood. Nor is it about being an outsider, because while Kendrick often feels like one, she has a sense of self that seems to allow her to march to the beat of her own drum. She’s offers enough about herself as to be surprising but not shocking, and calls out problems in a way that is honest but not critical. This balancing act makes for a fun read with spot-on observations and a lot of ways for the reader to connect with her. Most importantly, she give the impression that telling her stories was effortless.
Recommended for: Kendrick fans, obviously, but also those who are interested in a celebrity’s take on the world without being too critical or too outlandish.