It had been a while since I read a book, but after going to Book Expo in June, I decided I needed to start reading again. I knew Kevin Hart had a book coming out and I knew I wanted to pick it up, so I did.
Kevin Hart is a very successful comedian, he’s funny, in tons of movies, a little shorter than me (5’4″ to be exact, sorry Kevin) and from Philadelphia (my home town “Go, Philly”, I might be a little biased). I’ve seen him go from standup, to comedy specials, to movies, it’s fair to say I like his work. (One day, I will have to tell you the story about how, I sat behind him at the movie theatre in Philly, I even saw his dad). Ok, I digress back to the book.
Kevin Hart’s new book is called, I Can’t Make This Up:Life Lessons. I will warn you, the book is BIG, it is 100 chapters, 401 pages, yes it’s quite an undertaking, but I promise you it is worth every minute of time you will spend reading it. Audible was kind enough to give me a chance to review it, so I was able to listen to it all, yes all 11+hours of it, thankfully Kevin Hart did the audio. It was so good it only took me 4 days to finish!
When I picked up the book, I thought, “it’s Kevin Hart”, so at least I know it will be funny, but what I didn’t expect was for the book to be profound. No, Kevin Hart isn’t getting a Nobel peace prize for it, but he should get something. Kevin Hart has clearly had an incredible life, but more importantly he’s learned some important life lessons from it, which he shares with his readers. This book made me laugh, but it also made me really stop and think. Kevin’s lessons, his sincerity, and his transparency are incredibly refreshing. One of the things that I love about this book is Kevin doesn’t let you walk away thinking his life is perfect, when he began or now. As a parent, I appreciated Kevin’s reflections on his younger day. As Kevin reflected on his experiences with his mom and how she raised him, it was like music to my ears. It was encouraging to be reminded that all the hard work of parenting really does pay off.
In the book, Kevin also talks about a lot of his mistakes. Going from not having money, to having money, his relationship challenges and ups and downs of having a career in entertainment. His detailed stories about the long, hard road he took to make it big makes this a must read for everyone. People love success, but the road to get there is never easy. All the wrong turns, feeling like giving up, being so close, but so far away and refusing to quit, those are the things that people don’t talk about enough, in this book he does.
Kevin Hart really made me think about how I was handling my own challenges. His take on dwelling on past mistakes, getting hung up on our failures and dealing with bitterness and defeat well, really impacted me greatly.
Being able to listen to the book instead of reading it myself, made me feel like I was in an 11 hour comedy special with Kevin Hart doing the commentary. The explanation of his thought process, made me think of all the dumb ideas I came up with that seemed like great ideas at the time. I laughed at Kevin and with Kevin and I gained an even greater impression of his art and his work, after hearing how hard he worked to get where he is.
The book is a must read for people of all ages, it’s one of the best memoirs that I have read in years. I am even going to pick up a copy for my daughter who is 19 years old (because she is at that age). I think young people who read the book and listen to the lessons could get a real head start on life. I think I am even going to read it again, because I am sure that I missed a good nugget here or there.
Kevin Hart, if you ever read this review I want to say as a Philly Girl you did the darn thing, you did an amazing job. I know your mother would be proud of your accomplishments and this book. (By the way, I hope you do the Hart Run In Philly again soon, sadly I missed the last one).
People (in my Kevin Hart voice) get the book it is well worth every dollar you spend on it. If you are crunched for time, the Audible version of the book is a great investment especially if you are going on a long road trip, but please be advised Kevin Hart does like to curse, so if you have young children this is probably not the best book to have playing on the car stereo when you are dropping them off at camp.