Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Title: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells What She's "Learned"
Author: Lena Dunham
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Kindle
Content Alert: This whole book is basically about sex, and there's a fair share of swearing. Oh yeah, and drug use too.

I've never seen an episode of Girls (not that I'm opposed to watching it, I've just never gotten around to it), but even I know that Lena Dunham is famous for 1) taking her clothes off, 2) talking a lot about sex, and 3) creating a show that taps into the spirit of twentysomethings living in New York. Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham's memoir is brave and brazen, hilarious and painful. There were times that I laughed out loud like a crazy person while listening to it in public, and other times when I started blushing because I was so embarrassed for her. Dunham writes about her sexual experiences (even the uncomfortable ones where she felt like she needed to keep her shoes on so she could run), her weight, her family, and her neuroses.

But this isn't just a book where the payoffs come from being daring (although they sometimes do). Dunham seems to have real literary chops-- she knows how to tell a story, how to change details, how to blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction. She's self-deprecating at times and kind of arrogant at others, and it's fun to read about someone who has such a good handle on seeing the contradictions inherent within her.

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