Thursday, January 1, 2015

Not That Kind of Girl

Book 87 of my 2014 Reading Challenge

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Girl Tells You What She's "Learned" 
by Lena Dunham

Summary (via Goodreads)
From the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO's Girls comes a hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays that establishes Lena Dunham as one of the most original young talents writing today.
In Not that Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one's way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and, most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told.
Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not that Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. "I'm already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you," Dunham writes. "But if I can take what I've learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile."

My Opinion
I don't have HBO so I've never seen Girls. Prior to reading this book my only knowledge about Lena Dunham was that she's a strong woman, a good interview - entertaining, funny, thought-provoking -, and she seems to attract negative media attention.

Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to my expectations. It was okay but she wasn't the strong, engaging voice I expected based on her interviews.

She definitely puts it all out there and I absolutely won't judge her for that. She seems self-aware enough to know how exhausting it could be to be her friend or partner. 

One of my favorite things was her ode to NYC. One of my least favorite things was her 10 page list of nothing but the food on her diet, which seemed like overkill. Speaking of overkill, based on the hubbub I was expecting way more than 2 throwaway sentences in a 265 page book. Seriously, that's what everyone was so worked up about? 

Even though I didn't love this book, I continue to look forward to hearing her thoughts in interviews and I still want to watch Girls at some point.

A Few Quotes from the Book
"There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman."

"What a snarky jerk. (Obviously, I later slept with him.)"

"I didn't drink in the essence of the classroom. I didn't take legible notes or dance all night. I thought I would marry my boyfriend and grow old and sick of him. I thought I would keep my friends, and we'd make different, new memories. None of that happened. Better things happened. Then why am I so sad?"

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