Whether it’s moving to Los Angeles without a car, graduating high school early to move to New York or being dumped by a boy, Anna Kendrick is nothing short of entertaining in her first novel, Scrappy Little Nobody.
Scrappy Little Nobody is a collection of charming autobiographical essays by Academy Award-nominated actress Anna Kendrick, best known for her roles in films such as Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect. The autobiographical accounts recall Kendrick’s life from her early childhood to present day. Kendrick’s work reflects the sentiments of an awkward teenager (and adult) who begins to adjust to her life as an actress in Hollywood.
The memoir takes readers through Kendrick’s life in her voice — the teenage years she spent acting and singing on Broadway, being socially awkward and attempting to fit with classmates in school and colleagues in Hollywood. Kendrick shares poignant and humorous stories in an insightful and mildly sarcastic manner.
Kendrick makes jabs at herself, making references to experiences of being the smallest kid in her class, looking too young for her age, dealing with unrequited crushes, being bullied by other females and trying to make it in Los Angeles while her friends were in college. Chapter headings like “I’m not kool” and “I am a very very small weirdo” are successfully on-brand with her signature “cute quirky girl” personality, but could feel a bit overdone at times.
Yes, Kendrick is intelligent, talented and beautiful, but it seems as though she tries a little too hard to downplay it by repetitively underscoring her awkward personality. It may seem as if she really wants to seem to be relatable, but in reality, being an A-list movie star who has been on Broadway and makes tons of money doesn’t exempt her from being an ordinary person with problems and quirks.
Those who want to gift this book to their little cousins who are fans of Pitch Perfect should probably think twice due to the amount of profanity in this book. Kendrick gives fascinating and entertaining details of her romantic relationships and sexual encounters. She provides references of one of her ex-boyfriends, who said that she was too “eager and ready” and that these things were a “turn-off.” Her honest sentiments about being an inexperienced lover are refreshing and sweet, referring to the time she clumsily tried to make breakfast for a boy that she was seeing.
Similar to bestsellers like Amy Poelher’s Yes Please and Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?, Scrappy Little Nobody is very conversational in style. Kendrick’s work is similar to reading a series of blog posts compiled into a novel. She delves more into personal analysis rather than her experiences on movie sets, making it clear that this novel is about who she is as a person and not her fame.
She’s a “nobody” because no one knows her true identity. She’s “scrappy” because she’s feisty and is a force to be reckoned with even though she is awkward and small. A combination between personal and humorous, Scrappy Little Nobody is the kind of lighthearted reading that makes readers feel like they’re talking to an old friend. Overall, Kendrick’s memoir is a true reflection of her personality — witty and self-deprecating, but still vibrant and refreshing.