A Book Review of “Scrappy Little Nobody” by Anna Kendrick - Owlcation - Education
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A Book Review of “Scrappy Little Nobody” by Anna Kendrick

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Rose is an enthusiastic writer and reader who publishes articles every Thursday. She enjoys all book genres, especially drama and fantasy.

“Scrappy Little Nobody” by Anna Kendrick

“Scrappy Little Nobody” by Anna Kendrick

What’s the Big Deal?

It’s true that at times, all the hype over a new star in the film industry seems like exactly that—just hype. But if you’ve seen any of the approximately 41 movies Anna Kendrick has been in, you know that she’s the real deal. From Pitch Perfect to A Simple Favor to Trolls, Kendrick proves her acting prowess with each film she takes part in. Now, she’s released her “inner crazy” to showcase the most recent endeavor of hers—writing. In Scrappy Little Nobody, Kendrick tells the tale of her life in a way that only she can, inviting each fan to grab some popcorn and come along for the ride.

Book Summary

Set into four parts titled “My Double Life,” “Boys,” “Hollywood,” and “Scrappy Little Nobody,” Kendrick’s autobiography begins, conveniently, at the beginning, describing her youth and her childhood in community theater. She grew up in Maine with her parents and her older brother, although she was traveling back and forth to New York by the time she was in high school. Her “double life” describes her career in show business at a young age vs. the typical, expected life of a teenage girl.

Next is “Boys,” which—you guessed it—dives deep into the depths of Kendrick’s relationships. She describes her experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in unfiltered honesty. She talks a little about love, a bit about relationships, and a lot about sex. Her opinion towards everything she writes is largely “take it or leave it”; it may not be what everyone expects her to say, but it happened, so here, she says, it stays.

After that, Kendrick describes the squalid glamour that is Los Angeles. Living in an apartment with multiple other people, going out to the point of exhaustion, trying to book gigs she wouldn’t get—Kendrick tells of all the classic joys that comprise trying to make it as an actress in the biggest movie-making city in the US. Sure, it was hard; she was broke, had no college degree, and was risking stability for fame, something that practically everyone else in the city was doing—but Kendrick was determined. Eventually, that became her saving grace.

“Scrappy Little Nobody” is the section in which Kendrick reflects on her life thus far. She shares her fears about growing up, growing spoiled, and becoming a “washed-up hag.” There’s even a chapter that covers the time Anna almost died—on a boat during a party, no less. After this, we are invited to relate to some of her fears and regrets. However, the very best part of the book doesn’t come until the “about the author” section; it simply reads, “Anna Kendrick is shorter in person.”

Quick Facts

  • Author: Anna Kendrick
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre: Autobiography, humor
  • Ratings: 3.9/5 Goodreads, 4.5/5 Barnes & Noble
  • Release date: November 15, 2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

To Read or Not to Read?

I recommend this book if:

  • You like comedic and autobiographical books, from Tina Fey’s Bossypants to Cameron Esposito’s Save Yourself
  • You have a nonjudgmental sense of humor and enjoy a good laugh
  • You’re interested in the filmmaking or musical theater business or what big cities like New York or LA are like
  • Movies such as Into The Woods, Twilight, and Up in the Air have been of interest to you (all of which Anna Kendrick talks about)
  • Light reading with bits of sarcasm and almost startling honesty is your preferred book style

This was inspired by my pediatrician, a relatively young man whom I called Dr. Handsome. I had assumed this was because his name was Dr. Hasen or Dr. Branson, but I recently found out his name was Dr. Ritger, so I guess I should have just died at age four when I decided to call my physician Dr. Handsome without so much as a pun to justify it.

— Anna Kendrick, “Scrappy Little Nobody”

Reviews

  • “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.” —The Daily Trojan
  • “Kendrick doesn’t set out to inspire readers with her middle-class rags-to-riches story. She’s not trying to be a role model or prove anything or give advice. She’s just telling her own story, take it for what you will. And she does it in a way that’s entertaining and charming and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.” —Chicago Tribune

The Takeaway

Whew—what a ride! I read Scrappy Little Nobody in a single afternoon, and Anna Kendrick’s unique voice ended up filling my head for the rest of the day. It’s obvious to readers that Kendrick is funny and enjoyable, and lucky for us, she isn’t afraid of showing her true self in her autobiography.

Contrasting that, though, it’s also clear that Kendrick may not be a natural-born author; at times her tales jump around and seem cluttered, though not without good reason. Who wouldn’t have a cramped brain after years of movies and media, struggle and success? I know I would!