Lena Dunham is one of those polarizing celebrities that people either love or hate. No matter what you think of her (personally or on "Girls") her book is incredibly brave.
In "Not That Kind Of Girl" Dunham confesses some pretty unflattering truths about her childhood, her college years and her ongoing neuroses and paranoia. Just like her nude scenes on TV, she lays herself bare, exposing it all.
While I was reading the book, I was usually having one of two reactions: 1) I can't believe she is sharing this or 2) This is in the show! I loved learning what real life experiences inspired certain aspects of "Girls." For example, Lena describes a super high end children's clothing store she worked at called Peach and the Babke and that experience transformed into Jessa's job on the show.
Of all the chapters (which go by so quickly and include quirky illustrations), the one I loved the most was titled, "I didn't fuck them, but they yelled at me." Those pages are devoted to what Lena will write in her memoir, when she's 80, about all the people (hint: men) who doubted her, questioned her and intentionally put up roadblocks to her success. She better write that book. I'll pre-order it.
This book is so readable because of Dunham's writing style. It all feels very conversational. The tone is a mix of a BFF slumber party and a therapy session. In one of my favorite excerpts, she describes her first real office:
"I rented a hundred-square-foot office in a nearby building, which became our official headquarters, and set to work. The building was populated with young handsome filmmakers in porkpie hats and professionals who couldn't quite explain what they did. People built half-pipes in their offices and encouraged interoffice sleepovers. Everyone bought their lunch from a deli called New Fancy Food. The landlord, a Chinese woman named Summer Weinberg, asked sweetly whether I was a prostitute. Our minifridge had nothing but tres leches cake in it."
If you are a lover of "Girls," this book is a must. You'll be tickled by each new discovery of something Lena lived that translated into a person, place or thing on the show. You may also relate to her struggle with self confidence and finding a partner who appreciates and respects her. Though I can pretty much guarantee you won't relate to growing up in Soho surrounded by celebrities.
Have you read "Not That Kind Of Girl"? What did you think?