Lit with Alyssa

Anderson reviews Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl”

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018
Lit with Alyssa

It has recently come to my attention the majority of the books I choose to review have been either extremely depressing or extremely disturbing.

So, this week I decided to change things up a bit and share my thoughts on a book that made me laugh the whole way through. Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl” is a necessary read for any young woman who’s just trying to get by or anyone looking for a good laugh.

For those of you who don’t know, Lena Dunham is the co-creator and star of HBO’s hit series, “Girls,” which chronicles the dramatic, shenanigan-filled lives of a group of twenty-something young women living in New York City.

Although Eau Claire is hardly comparable to the bustle and glamor of NYC, I find I can relate to this show on a spiritual level. With that being said, I was beyond psyched when Dunham announced the release of her very own collection of personal essays.

Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

I still remember the day this book arrived at the bookstore. I was totally broke, as per usual, but I could not restrain myself from dropping the $20 I should have spent on groceries as soon as I discovered it beautifully displayed on a bookshelf that was calling my name.

By the time I walked out the door, I had already finished the first page and became instantly obsessed. I plopped down into my favorite spot in The Cabin and began reading until my brain hurt. In the short amount of time it took me to plow through Dunham’s essays, I was never bored.

Every essay was equally unique and conjured up a completely different set of emotions; I laughed, cried and winced with secondhand embarrassment.  Dunham’s storytelling mimics the satirical style of David Sedaris (another one of my personal favorites), which made my reading experience feel less like reading and more akin to having a conversation with an old friend.

At certain points, I felt as if some of Dunham’s stories had been pulled directly from my life and by the time I was finished, I felt like Lena Dunham was my friend. Her essays cover a vast array of topics from family, school, mental illness and the overall experience of growing up female in an obnoxiously patriarchal society.

The book is split into three sections with separate themes, each containing a different variation of serious and not-so-serious topics. Her essays range in theme from hilariously awkward sexual encounters to a disturbing account of Dunham’s own experience with sexual assault.

As a young feminist, this book spoke to me in a way I have never experienced before. Nevertheless, audiences of all ages, sexualities and gender identities will surely find this book a quirky and overall enjoyable reading experience.

If you find yourself in desperate need of a break from the end-of-semester chaos, this eclectic collection of essays is exactly what the doctor ordered. Put down your textbooks, grab a cup of coffee and unwind with this wonderfully original read. Trust me, you’re in for a treat.