February 23, 2018

#BookReview: I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by @KevinHart4real with @adivineeternity

About the Book: Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: theaforabove, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”

Reviewed By: Caity G.
Publisher: Atria/37 Ink
Recommended Age: Older teens and adults
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoirs
How I Acquired this book: Bought it
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author: Kevin Hart is an award-winning actor and comedian. His films, including Central Intelligence, Think Like a Man, Get Hard, Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer, and The Secret Life of Pets have earned over $3.5 billion at the box office. His stand-up comedy tours, including Let Me Explain, Laugh at My Pain, and What Now?, have sold out arenas and football stadiums, leading Forbes to name him the “king of comedy.” He is also the first comedian with a Nike sneaker line; a television producer, creating the BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood and the Laugh Out Loud Network; and CEO of Hartbeat Productions. Hart currently lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: Right as I was reading the part towards the end about not giving up and not stopping work for anybody or anything (except his family) and not wanting to waste the new opportunities that have continued to crop up as a result of all of his hard work, the following lyrics from a certain musical about a certain man who never stopped working and didn't want to waste opportunities were sung:

How do you write like you’re
Running out of time?
Write day and night like you’re
Running out of time?

Ev’ry day you fight like you’re
Running out of time like you’re
Running out of time

Are you running out of time?

How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive?
How do you write like you need it to survive?
How do you write ev’ry second you’re alive?
Ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive?

It was epic.

Lyrics from Non-Stop from Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Check out author's other books? If he wrote another memoir later, sure. Definitely check out his comedy specials and his movies, though, if you somehow haven't yet. The man is hysterical.
Recommend this book? Definitely.

Notes and Opinions: As much as Kevin Hart has done some awful crap in his life, including repeatedly cheating on the wife he never should have married in the first place, I came out of this book with so much respect for the man. Why? 

Because he was so incredibly honest, it actually hurt. He was honest about little things, like using a ghost writer who wouldn't get the credit. He was honest about problems with alcohol and relationships. He was honest about how he felt about his childhood and how it later impacted him.

That level of honesty, with a very hearty measure of humor mixed in because it's Kevin Hart so of course it'll be funny, is genuinely refreshing in a world loaded with a lot of lies. But I guess that's the thing about comedy. The best comedy is refreshingly honest and the best comedians are those who are not afraid to reveal the truth upfront. 

Go Into This One Knowing: There's a lot of stuff that Kevin Hart has experienced, either by doing it himself or seeing others (his dad) do them. Addition, drugs, alcohol, sex, cheating, etc. are all mentioned at some point, but he doesn't try to make them look glamorous.

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

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