Not many TV stars can make the tough transition from actress to writer. Lucky for Lena Dunham, her fantastic writing skills ensured that debut book “Not That Kind of Girl” didn’t turn out just okay—it was incredible.
The book focuses largely on Dunham’s adolescence and self-discovery phases growing up. She mentions a lot of her firsts: first relationship, first sort of online boyfriend, and first therapist. It is a delicious read in the sense that her words are so powerful and enchanting that you can’t put the book down. A lot of people criticize Dunham for how she got her start in the business and how her family connections helped her get to where she is. I feel that her connections might have helped her get her foot in the door, but her talent is what has secured her spot not only as an actress, writer, producer, director, but also as one of the most creative people of our time and the voice of a generation.
In “Igor: Or, My Internet Boyfriend Died and So Can Yours,” she talks about her ‘internet boyfriend’ whom she never me and later finds out has died. Dunham finds herself becoming infatuated with her new online suitor (like she does with most things throughout the book) and wants to learn everything about him. When she finds out through a mutual friend that has physically met Igor that he has passed, she feels somewhat heartbroken. Out of all of the chapters in this book, I really, really enjoyed this one. The premise that she found herself caring for this boy that she had never met only to lose him was just so tragic—almost like an episode of “Catfish” with no ending.
In another chapter of her glorious book, Dunham discusses therapy. Therapy isn’t for everyone, but in her case it wasn’t so much about deciding whether or not to go to therapy, but rather who would be her therapist. She talks about forming a special bond with her therapist and later having that bond become overwhelming to the point where she had to get a new therapist. Eventually, she found out that her therapist had a daughter her age, and they would later meet at college and become friends—a happy coincidence for Dunham.
In “Platonic Bed Sharing: A Great Idea (For People Who Hate Themselves),” she talks about her bed sharing phase all throughout college. Dunham would invite new and interesting people (sometimes even possible love interests) to spend the night in a totally platonic way. She expressed her deep love of bed sharing and the intimacy it brings. She also mentions her disasters that came with platonic bed sharing, and how at times it lost its romantic and picturesque appeal that it once had (especially when bad body odor and breath were thrown into the mix).
She speaks of friendships a lot throughout the book, especially her relationships with her closest girlfriends. My personal favorite chapter from this section is “13 Things I’ve Learned Are Not Okay to Say to Friends,” some of the best ones being, “There’s a chapter about you in my book,” “There’s nothing about you in my book,” and “Have a nice life, bitch.” She goes on to thank many of her friends (including fellow celebrities Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff) at the end of her book.
Dunham is an extraordinary writer. I feel like anyone would enjoy “Not That Kind of Girl,” especially someone who is going through their adolescent years. She serves as a guide to help you avoid the mistakes she made, and offers some advice on topics she is still learning about. “Girls” is just one project of Dunham’s that is impeccable; “Tiny Furniture” is brilliant in a quirky way, but “Not That Kind of Girl” is inspiring, beautiful, and addictive—definitely Dunham’s best work to date. One can only hope that she will write another book in the near future.
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