While I’ve enjoyed watching Anna Kendrick’s performances in films like Pitch Perfect and Into the Woods, she wasn’t a star in my telescope until her entertaining autobiography, Scrappy Little Nobody, made me sit up and take note. If good things come in small packages, Kendrick is it.
Kendrick is not only quite funny in her recount of growing up and making it in the industry, but you can almost imagine the smoke coming out of her fingers as they tried to keep up with her brain while writing this. Her tales are full of asides and the zany observations of someone who often feels out of place. Listening to a sample of the audiobook version on audible.com.au – which Kendrick reads herself – you get an even better sense of how easily distracted she can be.
Kendrick is utterly charming as she recounts her socially awkward youth and the path that led her to the stage and screen. Not one to hold back, she can be surprising honest where most people would not, but that simply adds to the enjoyment of her stories and her endearing nature. Kendrick writes as though she’s talking directly to you; she comes across as a gal pal catching up with you, and her life experiences are easily relatable.
The social discomfort she talks about comes across clearly in Kendrick’s writing style, which is casual and easy to follow despite her entertaining footnotes and random thoughts which permeate each misadventure. She talks about family, friendships, her ‘first time’, growing up, and meeting celebrities. Each episode of her life is amusing, most often by the way she tells it more than what happened itself. Through it all however, Kendrick, most importantly, places herself as an inspiration for young women, showing a can-do attitude and touching on several important social issues along the way.
Scrappy Little Nobody is not only a very witty read, but it has given me new respect for a talent I have only casually enjoyed up until now. I look forward to following her path more closely in future and hopefully, enjoying future books by this multi-talented and inspiring entertainer.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8
Released by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release Date: November 2016
RRP: $35.99 hardcover, $19.99 paperback, $4.99 eBook