Worth the Read?: I Can’t Make This Up – Life Lessons, by Kevin Hart


Welcome to “Worth the Read?” where I give you my honest opinion on whether you should spend your precious time reading a super-hyped New York Times Bestseller.

Today’s book is:

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, by Kevin Hart

Funny thing…I took a little too long getting through I Can’t Make This Up. It was on the bestseller list when I started, but wasn’t anymore once I finished. Regardless, it’s still one of Amazon’s top sellers, so I’m still going to write about it 🙂

On bestsellers list for 10 weeks

The Hype:

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has blown up in the last five years, selling out football stadiums and bringing in serious cash for his movies. Basically, everything he touches recently turns to gold, so it’s no surprise his book would be a bestseller.

Plot Summary:

Seeing as I Can’t Make This Up is a memoir/self-helpish book, there isn’t a traditional plot, but it chronicles Kevin Hart’s life from his early years growing up with a super strict mom in the rough parts of Philadelphia all the way to his present, very successful life as a celebrity. He covers the time in his 20s as he was working his way up the comedy stand-up ladder, his tumultuous relationship with the mother of his children, backstage time playing video games with his crew of friends (the Plastic Cup Boyz), and much more, along with doses of advice throughout.


I am a sucker for comedian memoirs, especially in the audiobook format, and I Can’t Make This Up was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Learning about Kevin Hart’s tough upbringing and the incredible amount of effort he put into honing his craft and promoting his career made me see him a very different light. He’s not just a super-rich celebrity in my mind, but a real person.

And while the book allowed me to understand the more serious sides of Kevin Hart, the writing itself is hilarious and uplifting. It could have been trimmed down a little — at 401 pages, it’s a bit long — but it is entertaining and moves along well. I was particularly impressed with Hart’s use of vocabulary. Most comedian memoirs I’ve read keep the text pretty simple, but Hart throws in a bunch of great SAT-worthy words throughout the book.

Hart also did a really good job at striking a balance between being proud of his success but being humble and thankful. He is honest about both the highs and the lows of his life, and has insightful advice to impart. One of my favorite lessons is:

“Your life today is the sum total of your choices. So if you’re not happy with it, look back at your choices and start making different ones. Even if you are struck by lighting and injured, you made choices that led you to that spot at a particular time – and you get to choose how you feel about it afterward.”

I would definitely recommend reading I Can’t Make This Up as an audiobook. I haven’t looked at a hard copy of the book, but I’m pretty sure Kevin Hart throws in a bunch of extra funny commentary that isn’t in the original text. One thing to note: there is a good deal of cursing, so don’t listen to the book with young ears around!


85% worth it, especially if you already like Kevin Hart’s stand-up and acting


Rating Key

80% – 100% – the book lives up to the hype. Go read it now!

60% – 79% – the book is good, but there’s no rush to read it

40% – 59% – the book has some degree of merit, but has flaws and probably isn’t worth your time

0% – 39% – the book stinks and isn’t worth the read


Have you read I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons?  What were your thoughts? Share in the comments below!


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