Book Club - "Not That Kind of Girl" Lena Dunham


Here is my first attempt at a book review outwith my high school English class so go easy on me!

I have been wanting to read this book ever since it came out in late 2014 but life happened and I never got round to it. I signed up to Melbourne Library (mainly for the free internet, no judgements please) and found they had this little number along with all the other sassy TV women biographies from Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling - happy days! 

Firstly lets talk about the women herself, Lena Dunham.


For those of you who have been living under a rock the past three years, Dunham is the creator, writer, producer and frequent director of the hugely successful HBO series Girls. She landed her own TV show at the age of just 25 which is a seriously awesome achievement for a young woman. I personally admire her not only for this but for her lack of inhibitions and for generally not giving a fuck about what people think of her body which she regularly bares on the show. However she can rub other people up the wrong way due to her eccentricity and confident, often seen as annoying, demeanour.

Lets get down to the nitty gritty, Not That Kind of Girl is a memoir or a collection of short stories mainly from Dunham's childhood and adolescence. Sadly I was expecting to read more about her adult life, especially the making of her TV show but alas it focuses on her more weird and quirky ubringing. I think this can be another downside of this book as some of the stories are quite bizarre and hard to relate to. Many have commented that Dunham's experiences are singular to her own experiences as she has had a privileged and unusual upbringing in Brooklyn with her artist parents. Therefore the average Jo can't really connect with her writing to an extent and this is a major reason why I don't agree that she is the "voice of our generation". She has a voice, that demands to be heard but she is in the minority as a white, upper class, American; harsh but true. 

I have to give Dunham some credit for being brutally honest in the book and sharing some super private information. One section of the book that got a lot of media coverage for its controversy was an event that happened with her younger sister. Basically Lena is curious about the female anatomy and prises her young sister's legs open to have a look at what's down there. Considering this happened when Lena was seven and her sister was one years old I don't see what the huge fuss is about with Sarah Palin going as far as to say she is a paedophile - chill out guys she was only a kid, kids do weird shit. That being said it was a strange story to want to share with the world but I suppose that is the nature of Dunham's character, she is a massive over sharer. I think that's why she is a bit like Marmite (or Vegemite for the Aussies), you either love her or hate her.

That's not to say the book wasn't enjoyable its just not what I was expecting and anticipating it to be. Credit given where it is due, Dunham did get me to literally LOL, in public none the less at this line below:



I was in Satrbucks alone when I read that and nearly spat my coffee out, I can relate to that line - ahem sista. 

Overall I did enjoy the book I just wish there had been some more insight into her life as a young female boss, helming her own freakin' TV show in her mid twenties which would have been kinda inspirational right? Think you missed a trick there Lena babes.

Rating: 3/5 

Hope you enjoyed this short and sweet review, actually enjoyed writing it. Next up is Amy Poehler's Yes Please. Spoiler alert - I have fallen more in love with this funny lady which is saying something, big fan right here.

Back soon
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