The buzz this book has generated reminds me of that which surrounded Tina Fey's Bossypants. Everyone I knew last year either had read it, wanted to read it, or was waiting for their mother-in-law to finish it and pass her copy along. That happened in my family - I think at least half of us passed one copy around.
That will definitely not be happening with Not That Kind of Girl - not because it isn't funny and engaging, funny and interesting and thoughtful. It's all those things. But there's also a lot of frank talk about vaginas, random sex and more vaginas. I don't need to be responsible for putting that into the hands of my mom. Or my dad. Or my husband. My best girlfriends? Sure. Because Lena's experiences, while not altogether relatable, are certainly recognizeable. The feelings of loss, displacement, confusion, and angst are so perfectly captured within Dunham's life stories, that it's nearly impossible not to feel them and go right back to a time in your own life when you felt the same way.
Dunham's writing style is straightforward. She has something to say and she says it, then moves on. I appreciate that. Like many autobiographies by ECCENTRIC AREN'T I SO UNUSUAL personalities (Jen Lancaster comes to mind, whose stories I love for the first 100 pages of her books; then I want to tell her to grow the heck up and get over herself), I did grow a little weary of all the me-me-me of this book. But if you can't be all about you in recounting the stories and lessons learned from you own life, when the heck can you? I liked it, and I would recommend this to anyone not squeamish about vaginas.
(Hint: If the three-make-it-four references to vaginas in this post make you uncomfortable, so will this book.)