I know it’s been a while. I’ve been struggling lately with posting consistently, but I’m starting to get back in the groove again. The last few weeks have been pretty busy. I graduated from college with my Bachelors in English which was super exciting. Then I went to Florida for 5 days to celebrate. It was amazing and I had a great time. But it’s time to get back to reality. I’m glad to be writing something for you all to check out. So.. lets get a conversation going and get into this review.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite sometime. I thought it would be a great vacation read, so I started it when I went to Florida. I know this will sound crazy to some because I know its a very popular show. But I’ve never seen Lena Dunham’s show Girls or work; which I thought was good because I went in without any judgements or expectations. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this book and Lena Dunham. But I’ll get into that later.
From the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls comes a 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.”
Dunham grouped this book into 5 sections: Love&Sex, Body, Friendship, Work, and Big Picture. I thought that was an interesting way to do it because there’s no real order to the book. If you wanted to skip around you could. Dunham chronicled these stories/personal essays wonderfully. I’m not going to say I loved the book because I didn’t. I feel like when someone writes a memoir they need to choose what they put in wisely. A lot of what was in the book was funny and interesting to read but for me there weren’t a lot of memorable stories. Some of them seemed very generic. I would’ve like to see more emotion put into the stories. I felt like most of them went by to quickly. There was enough detail and right away she would go into the next. Also some parts of the book can seem very maniacal. While reading it can feel like if you’re in her head but so much is being said it sometimes didn’t make sense. That took me out of the book while reading and made it hard to focus.
Also I wanted to talk about the controversy surrounding this book because thats one of the reasons I picked it up. I wanted to see for myself what everyone was so riled up about. After reading it for myself I think what she wrote may have been taken out of context or misconstrued by the media.
Here is an excerpt from her book which has received a lot of media attention:
“Do we all have uteruses?” I asked my mother when I was seven.
“Yes,” she told me. “We’re born with them, and with all our eggs, but they start out very small. And they aren’t ready to make babies until we’re older.” I look at my sister, now a slim, tough one-year-old, and at her tiny belly. I imagined her eggs inside her, like the sack of spider eggs in Charlotte’s Web, and her uterus, the size of a thimble.
“Does her vagina look like mine?”
“I guess so,” my mother said. “Just smaller.”
One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked.
My mother came running. “Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!”
My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.
Now from what I learned in my psych classes, this is normal for a child. She didn’t intentional go to her sister to forcefully touch her but to see if both of them looked the same. She looked at it and then that was it. I’m not a mother or a psychologist but most books I’ve read say that things like this are normal for children. As I read this part it didn’t seem like she had bad intentions, she was just curious about her body and wanted to know if her sisters was the same. I don’t want to keep rambling so I just think the media really needs to read things clearly and not jump to conclusions. Accusing someone of sexual abuse based on this seems far fetched to me but I don’t know. I only made the judgement based off of what I read. I would love to see what all of you think or have to say about it. Leave me a comment and let me know.
In terms of my recommendation, I don’t think this book is for everyone. If you’re a Lena Dunham fan you will enjoy it. But there’s really no need to pick it up right away or at all. In my opinion there was nothing special about it. Especially for it being a memoir. If you’ve been wanting to read it; then read it but put it at the bottom of the list. Read all the other interesting books you have first. If any of you have read it let me know what you thought.