Scrappy Little Nobody Review – For a book that starts with “the crazy wants out. Let’s do this,” Scrappy Little Nobody was set up to be a lot more interesting than it actually was.
In actuality, Anna Kendrick’s debut book is just a string of anecdotal personal essays. Stories from her past are linked together with her signature charming wit. She jokes in the intro that an alternate title would’ve been “A tweet, but longer.”
The “crazy” Kendrick refers to is her wry observations about everyday things. It’s also her insecurities and eccentricities she desperately tries to hide but eventually sneak into her personality. But by revealing her goofy self in this book, she has normalized the silliness and strangeness in everyone who reads it.
Growing up as a child star (though she doesn’t like to be referred to as one), Anna Kendrick lived a double life. She would work on film sets in summers then gossip with her friends at school. By reading her biography, readers gain a refreshing look at an unfamiliar world. They glean knowledge on the awkward truth of award shows and the large role fashion plays in measuring the star power of Hollywood actresses. They also discover the unexpectedly tedious nature of being on film sets and Kendrick’s experiences of being a super-dedicated theatre kid.
The first-time author writes about her nostalgia for her reckless younger self who would take much more risks as opposed to her current, more comfortable self—a feeling that inspired the title for this book. She reveals the uncertainty implicit in an acting career, always searching for the next job as each film wraps up. She also addresses her first scary year in L.A., jobless and broke while being surrounded by ridiculously beautiful people. It was interesting to read about at times.
However, this wasn’t the most captivating book—one likely wouldn’t devour it in a singular sitting. Rather, it’s the kind of book one would read on the sky train to work, or use as a stress-reliever. There are plenty of anecdotes that some might find delightful, and others might find to be mere fillers in the absence of substance. Kendrick does address this briefly in the intro, though:
“So much significance is placed on something you put in a book, and I don’t care much for significance,” she writes. “Let’s agree now that we’re just having a conversation and I happen to talk more than I listen.”
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So, for people looking for something super deep or a juicy revelation, look away. What one shall find is heaps of self-deprecating humour and a view of the world through the eyes of…well, a “scrappy little nobody,” living in a glamorous Hollywood world, who doesn’t quite feel like she fits in.