Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Anna Kendrick has been acting (and singing) since childhood, and her autobiography chronicles her growth as an actress and person, as told in little snippets and essays. Grouped in assorted themes, we hear from various stages of Anna's life, spanning her childhood to present day, and learn how Anna, a tiny scrappy kid, became a famous, Oscar-nominated actress. The book touches on her fame, as well as her personal thoughts and feelings.
I've always enjoyed Kendrick and have seen several of her films (and heard her sing about a million times, thanks to my young children and the popularity of the film, Trolls) but didn't know a lot about her early career. Her autobiography does a good job of filling in some of the gaps of Anna's childhood career (working on Broadway at twelve - who knew?!), but isn't told in any chronological order, so we don't get a sense of any real span of her career from Point A to B. Most of the book is told in short little bits. Many of them are quite funny stories, and there are some truly laugh out loud moments. In many cases, Kendrick is a very relatable person, who seems like the type of friend you'd like to hang out with. At other points, she seemed a bit whiny, and for me, the book spent too much time with her protesting about some of the travails of being in the celebrity industry. I can only take so much "woe is me" from famous people who write books about their lives.
The book is on more solid ground when we're reading about Anna's early life, where you gain a true admiration for her talent, and with her silly and snarky stories about her misanthropic personality (misanthropes unite!). Still, the jumping back and forth in time makes it hard to get a true trace on the arc of her life at times, and beyond some of the complaining and expounding on the travails of award shows, press junkets, and the like, there wasn't as much about her post-fame life as I was interested in.
If you like Kendrick's films, or her twitter feed, you'll probably enjoy the book and its organization, even if you find yourself wishing for a little more at the end. She's led an interesting life so far, and I'm sure another autobiography down the road would be quite intriguing.
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