There are very few celebrities who I actually care enough about to read their memoirs. I’ve read a few over the years and found most of them to be self-indulgent rubbish, detailing the most mundane moments of their lives. So when Anna Kendrick, star of the ‘Pitch Perfect’ movies announced the release of her memoir, I was met with both excitement and skepticism. Will reading this book change my view of her? Will I love her even more or find it her to be completely insufferable? Click through to find out!
‘Scrappy Little Nobody’ goes through Anna’s life from a young child discovering her love for the stage to her Hollywood stardom. The sections where we learn about Anna’s childhood are the best and the most colourfully explained parts of the book. Anna injects her quirky, infectious personality into the storytelling where I felt like Anna was telling this story directly to me. I particularly enjoyed her story of how she was accused of writing mean comments about girls in her class. She tries to prove her innocence by measuring the graffiti and show that she is too short to reach! Sounds like the sort of thing I would do. These sort of stories really endear Anna to the reader and convey her personality perfectly.
The chapters where Anna tells us about her dual life – between Maine and New York were probably the most heartfelt for me. It was clear that while Anna was loving what she was doing in New York that it was a difficult time for her family. It highlights the struggles many people face in order to chase their dreams and I’m glad that Anna didn’t try to sugarcoat it any way.
Where the book began to lose me was when Anna moved to LA. The chapters on her initial struggles are interesting but then there are whole chapters on make-up and dresses. It just feels like padding out the story. Add in the chapters around sex and it was all a just a bit – boring. I have no doubt that it wasn’t boring to Anna but it just didn’t translate well onto paper. I began to find myself losing interest.
Things pick up again when the story turns to Twilight and stories from award shows. This is gold and you have more of a connection here because we’ve seen these movies and we’ve watched the ceremonies. It’s nice to see Anna, who is incredibly likeable, reach the dizzying heights of success and reap the rewards of her hard work.
The final chapters of the book are a bit random and totally threw me for a bit. They aren’t a continuation of the story, just random chapters about ‘dream parties Anna would throw’ and a story involving vomiting on a boat. It was a weird way to end the book and while I enjoyed the chapters, it killed the flow of the story. I closed the book not feeling entirely satisfied and more confused.
The writing style perfectly encapsulates Anna’s personality to the point where I was reading it in my head with Anna’s voice. The writing style doesn’t always work though and at times, it came across a little too try hard to be seen as cool and quirky.
Do I still like Anna after reading her memoir? Thankfully, yes. There is nothing worse than loving a celebrity only to find them to be painfully unlikeable. Anna has personality in spades and her quirks are endearing. It would have just perhaps been better to wait a few years so we could have had more Hollywood stories and less about fashion.
‘Scrappy Little Nobody’ is available to buy in Waterstones and all good book retailers.