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Scrappy Little Nobody Paperback – 30 May 2017
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About the Author
Born and raised in Portland, Maine, Anna Kendrick made her Broadway debut at the age of twelve in her Tony-nominated performance for the musical High Society. Since her Academy Award–nominated role as Natalie Keener in Up in the Air, she has made numerous theatrical appearances, including starring roles in Into the Woods, the Twilight saga, and the Pitch Perfect film franchise. In 2013, she achieved musical success with the triple-platinum hit song “Cups (When I’m Gone),” featured in Pitch Perfect. She lives in Los Angeles.
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But I was wrong. Primarily because this isn't an autobiography. But also because Anna has a LOT to say. In interviews and social media, she always comes across as a bit of an oddball, but very perceptive and funny. This piqued my initial interest in the book and it didn't disappoint. Anna's sense of humour comes across very well (it made me actually laugh out loud a few times!) and makes the book very engaging. She retells her stories with an informal frankness. And she departs lessons to readers without preaching. The book doesn't read like an autobiography but instead like a collection of memories from somebody who feels undeserving of what they have achieved. It feels as though the writing of this book was something of a cathartic release for Anna and her candid approach works very well. I'd recommend this book to young girls especially because Anna approaches a lot of issues they may face with brutal honesty and advice. What's abundantly clear throughout the book is that Anna's a hard worker who deserves her fame. She's brilliantly talented and doesn't give up. As a result, she's unwittingly an ideal role model for young girls today.
The one detail that made me laugh was Anna's reading list throughout the book is pretty dark: The Rise of the 3rd Reich, Charles Manson's autobiography, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Shining...
As a collection of memories and experiences, the book works well. The book does lose it's pace towards the end and feels almost like Anna had to rush to finish it or added filler. I think she recognises this herself in the chapter detailing the boat trip. Irrespective, it was a great read.
I'm close to giving it 5 stars, but in case Anna ever stumbles across this review I don't want it to go to her head and think she nailed it on the first go.
All told it is an engaging and real autobiography, that contrasts with the reams of polished, ghost-written and preachy biogs that are out there. If you like her twitter, and/or the characters she plays in films then you'll probably like this. It was a genuinely enjoyable and engaging read. I was stuck for an hour in my car on a cold day before an appointment at the passport office, and from the moment I picked up this book it went in such a flash I was almost late!
It's quite funny in places and I would love to believe that it's not ghost written.
It's framed as being a series of essays but it's a more or less chronological story of Anna Kendrick's life to just before Pitch Perfect was filmed.
I'd think some of the things would be more relateable if your a woman, but overall she comes across as likeable and, suprisingly, normal.
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