Monday, January 16, 2017

[Book Review] Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick


This autobiography is written by and about actress Anna Kendrick as she tells stories of her childhood, career, and moving from Maine to L.A. to pursue her dreams even further. Anna Kendrick has always been a celebrity I really liked, she has an amazing voice, I enjoy her acting, and she's from the state I live in, Maine. From Twilight to Pitch Perfect I have enjoyed seeing her on screen but my favorite part of Anna Kendrick is the person she puts out to the world. She seems to be this crazy, smart ass, and witty woman who you'd want to be friends with.

"I love rules, and I love following them. Unless that rule is stupid."

My boyfriend came home with this book in his hands after a trip to the library. I had kept my eye on this book at our local library but every time I saw that it was finally available, by the time we could grab it it had already left the shelves. So I was pretty excited to read her autobiography, but also a little worried. Maybe it's just me, but when comedians or actors/actresses write books, for some reason they don't really impact me at all. I have read so many autobiographies by comedians and actresses I really enjoy, but either disliked it or felt "meh" about it. Scrappy Little Nobody was a huge exception to this experience I was having with other autobiographies. In between laughing at her jokes and taking photos on my phone of quotes I wanted to write down for later, I was looking up YouTube videos of the Oscars and other works she had mentioned being in so I could get a glimpse of the Anna I was reading about.

 "I lost a Tony award to Broadway legend Audra McDonald when I was twelve so I've been a bitter bitch since before my first period."

I knew Kendrick was a funny chick, from the way she delivers humor in her acting to her hilarious Twitter account. However, sometimes when it comes to writing a book, I always have an underlying uncomfortable feeling because it feels like they're trying too hard to be funny. Kendrick's writing is so natural and seamless that she doesn't have to try to be funny. Humor is just coming off the pages. I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud at a book as much as I did with this autobiography. She's honest and blunt but not in a way that seems abrasive.

"I once told a guy I had to wake up early and he said, 'I could wake you up with my -' Sir, I'll stop you right there. That is the least sexy thing you can say to me. Nothing about you is sexy when you are the reason I am awake - you are basically an iPhone alarm with a pulse. And I don't want to fuck my iPhone. At least not at seven a.m."

From talking about her intense determination to be an actress as a kid, where her and her parents would hop on a bus from Maine to NY for a thirty minute audition just to go the eight hours back to Maine was an inspirational story to read about. I respected her so much for having that kind of drive at such a young age, but also for her parents because it couldn't have been an easy or cheap thing to do. Although that is a pretty intense and inspirational story I really loved Kendrick's topics about her everyday childhood trying to fit in and make friends while also learning about her body and learning about the topic of sex. It was very real and similar to experiences me and everyone around our age had experienced.

"When Abercrombie & Fitch came to the Maine Mall and created a scramble amount the wealthier kids to prove they could afford it, I shoplifted a shirt and wrote 'Am I Popular Yet' across the chest with a marker. Suck it, fashion! I'm not your bitch!"

I also respect Kendrick for being more open in terms of figuring out sex and giving details (with fake names to protect others) of her specific relationship stories that she learned from. She definitely called out the guys who had been wrong at the time of their relationship but she also pointed out her mistakes and how she grew from those experiences.

"Some bitter boys reading this might accuse me of "friend-zoning", but I'd like to say that even if a girl has misinterpreted a situation that someone else thinks was obvious, she does not owe her male friends anything." 

Kendrick talks about a relationship she had where she was with a guy who didn't like that she was so into wanting to have sex. HE was upset that the "chase is kind of gone" and she was too available. She was basically being slut shamed by her boyfriend, and she stuck up for herself in that moment. Which, by the way, I feel like was really cool that she did because she was only twenty and he had been the first guy she had sex with and that kind of pressure could have influenced her to go with what he was saying. They didn't last longer than that, but she the topic of society thinking women were supposed to hate sex, and have to be convinced to have sex was something that pissed her off.

"I am not interested in pretending to be a reluctant participant because you think girls who like sex are a turnoff. If you think girls are supposed to object to sex until they find themselves incapable of resisting your magic penis, fuck you. (Unless this is a role-play fantasy between two consulting adults, in which case I'll go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and grab some props right now.)"

Kendrick's "Boys" section brings up a lot of interesting stereotypes women have to go through in a way that is both humorous but also serious. I couldn't help but laugh or nod my head at her commentary when it came to the expectations that are put specifically on women, because that is the perspective she knows from. From being pressured into having sex on prom night, to being considered a virgin freak because she hadn't had sex until she was twenty, to women having to deal with the rule that they're not supposed to want or have a lot of sex, and even witnessing two guys at a Game of Thrones party criticize an older actress for getting old and not being young anymore.

"Some dudes like to say that men have the instinct to spread their seed, while women are supposed to protect their reproductive organs from everything but the best sperm for the strongest potential offspring. By that logic every women in the world should be saving herself for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and never let any of you shitheads touch her."

I highly recommend this book to fans of Anna Kendrick, readers my age (mid twenties), or if you're just in the mood for inspirational but hilarious girl-power experiences. I never felt bored while reading, which can be a common thing for me and celebrity autobiographies at some places in the book. A lot of celebrity autobiographies are by celebrities who are a bit older, which makes sense because that way they have more to write about, but that also means that I am not going to find everything interesting and I may skim some of the parts of the story. With Kendrick's book I was genuinely interested in every topic, every chapter. I think it's her humor and the way her voice comes off the page that kept me laughing and engaged. From her Broadway experiences, being at school,  being in film, or even her funny little adult tips. I was hooked.

Thanks for reading! 

Have you read Scrappy Little Nobody? What is your favorite autobiography? I want to read more in 2017 and I'd love some suggestions.


  1. I loved Scrappy Little Nobody. It was a great read. I love her sense of humor.

    1. Yes!! Her sense of humor is great! I am happy you loved it too!

  2. "When Abercrombie & Fitch came to the Maine Mall..." oh god, I remember some of our old friends excitement about that far too well.