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Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl is a feminist commentary on life

Jordan Bebout

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 Graphic by Alice Maul

Graphic by Alice Maule

Lena Dunham is the creator of the acclaimed HBO TV series “Girls.” Her breakout movie “Tiny Houses” (on Netflix) features the same style of storytelling as Not That Kind Of Girl, using events in her own life as inspiration.

Broken up into chapters modeled after Helen Gurley Brown’s misogynistic classic Having It All, she addresses everything from having your internet boyfriend die to having sex with men in fedoras. Short essays paired with tiny hand drawings make this book a digestible, easy read.

Confession: I usually hate reading story introductions. I’ve been using the “skim and skip” method of reading since the third grade and I don’t plan on changing my ways. I can say with confidence that this book, introduction included, deserves a thorough examination.

If you search her name, you will find articles accusing her of sexual misconduct, but you’ll also see her starring alongside Selena Gomez in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video. She carefully leads the reader through tough topics like white privilege, therapy and the uterus.

I think this young and wild novel should be on a recommended reading list for college freshmen, but I don’t believe many schools would accept my suggestion. Dunham regularly provides commentary with many stories about condom fumbles and recreational drug use.

Beyond her hilarious anecdotes, Dunham seems to have the same problem as I do: she doesn’t know when to shut up. Most of what she writes is feminist literature gold, but as I was reading I found myself wishing she had left some details out. (Side-note: she can also sound whiney and annoying at some points. Be prepared.)

In the book, she discusses her different careers, which range from selling high-end baby clothes to writing and producing an Emmy award-winning show. We learn about her artsy, liberal parents who seem okay with her having unprotected sex and public nudity. Although most of the story takes place in New York City, the city itself thankfully isn’t one of the main characters. (I’m glad, because I’m sick of the “New York is the best place on earth” idea.)

She unapologetically presents her story in a way that allows the audience to see the world from her perspective, and gives you the feeling that she’s your close, personal friend. If you’re looking for something to read besides your class notes and Twitter, you can find this book and more at the UNF Bookstore for $16.

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Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl is a feminist commentary on life