Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is a hilarious collection of essays covering everything from Kaling’s chubby childhood to her days writing for the office.
Kaling lays out some answers for the reader about her collection of essays in her first chapter, explaining you can knock her off her first book in a couple of days, but if you’re using the book as a “cool: gift, you’d be better off giving a car.
Kahling’s light, conversational tone and self-deprecation continues throughout the essays. She follows her Q and A section with a piece about her childhood weight issues. The stories she includes, from her first diet started after a bully picks on her for her size, to her introduction to running in college after gaining the “freshman 35” make this essay the strongest of her pre-New York section, which is brief. A few other pieces round it out, with a very short PSA to teen girls advising them not to peak in high school, and, one of the weakest essays of the book, a collection of anecdotes illustrating Kaling’s troubles with all athletic endeavors.
The book quickly goes from cute to hysterical with the section, “I Love New York and it Likes Me Ok,” which covers her post college life living with her best friends in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. Her recounting of her creative aspirations are entertaining, though not as rich with material as her job as a babysitter for a wealthy family she takes to pay rent, but soon finds she enjoys (understandable as it included free junk good and access to cable).
Her break-out performance in the play Matt & Ben she penned with her best friend in their starter apartment leads to some work in Hollywood, and soon the reader is treated to stories from within The Office writer’s room, from Kaling storming out in a fit of stubbornness, to Steve Carell’s unwillingness to gossip. Kaling never seems to dwell on her success, but acknowledges her luck while continuing to spend more time mulling over her slight cupcake addiction.
More than just a funny book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? has a heartening message for any reader starting out in the creative world.
You can purchase Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? on Amazon 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Crown Archetype | Pages: 240 | Source: Review copy