Not That Kind of Girl is a book I have been looking forward to reading for a long time and it really did not disappoint at all. With Dunham’s no holds barred attitude and total honesty in her writing throughout it made this a novel I could truly relate to. That’s not because all my experiences have been the same as Lena’s, far from it in many situations, but she manages to sum up the life of a lot of twenty-something women right now.
The chapters about death, periods and trying to succeed in her career were the things that resonated with me the most. In many ways, it was like Lena had delved into my brain and wrote out my thoughts and feelings right there for me, in reality though we clearly just have similar thoughts and experiences on those things.
It wasn’t just that I could relate that made this an enjoyable read though. It was well written, funny in many places, sad in others; essentially it is a book that could be read again and again and still have a poignancy. I think because I’m also in my twenties it resonates that little bit more though I think this is something that will become a book for all women to read and get lost in, finding out that other women, and especially one so in the public, is as normal as they are.
My only issue was something I tried hard not to find an issue but there were times when I couldn’t separate the writer from her on screen character of Hannah Horvarth in Girls. I really tried not to but there were times when I just couldn’t help the comparisons, from certain moments to things she said and did that reminded me of Hannah-isms from the show. I know it’s a struggle Lena has faced since starting Girls with people constantly comparing her to Hannah, not being able to separate the two, and is something she raised recently in series 4, at the writing workshop where Hannah read her piece and was instantly judged, and in real life at a talk recently where she addressed the topic of women only ever facing this sort of comparison. She has a very good point but I do see Lena as herself and Hannah as a character though there are moments of huge comparison which i see is something that is inevitable when you base some of your characters experiences on your own life.
Moving on, I loved this book from start to finish and could not put it down. Parts of this book were like my life mirrored, others were eye opening moments and some helped me make sense of parts of life I’d been somewhat confused by. Not only that but this is one of those novels like Caitlin Moran’s ‘How To Be A Girl’ that changes everything and makes you feel totally inspired. This one inspired me to be myself more, to do things I want to do now before I regret it and I think it has kickstarted me into writing the novel I’ve always wanted to write.
Lena Dunham has been dubbed the voice of a generation and honestly through her TV work and her writing I can see nothing but inspiration and explanation there for a group of twenty-somethings who are currently utterly confused by life and what to do with it.