I am happy to say that I can easily name my favorite book of the year thus far!
I bring you:
Not That Kind of Girl, A Young Woman Tells of What She's "Learned"
By Lena Duhnman
First of all, I think it's safe to say that we would all need to put "learned" in quote marks when telling others our life lessons. Because how do we really know if we have fully learned, comprehended and appreciated all of our life experiences? In the whole scheme of my 28 years, my life lessons are a spec of what is to come, I am sure. (Which is scary because just considering reliving for the sake of retelling them all for you gives me heart palpitations)
If you don't already know, Lena Dunham is a actress, screenwriter, producer, and director. She's the star actress and creator of the HBO show, Girls, which has a bazillon awards under its belt. Do yourself a favor and binge watch it, starting yesterday. This is Lena's memoir about her adolescence and I can only hope she'll write more, considering she's still in her 20s.
Not That Kind of Girl paints a picture of the path that probably led Lena to most of the crazy ass scenarios that the characters on Girls find themselves in (cocaine addiction, low self-esteem, OCD, co-dependent relationships) you know, the usual.
So basically, Lena Dunham and I are soul sisters, cut from the same cloth. I nodded along with her as she mused about her parents, her inability to mix in with the crowd and her need to act out in spite of self. I related to everything. Our insecurities mirror each other. Apart from her cocaine experimentations- we were pretty much on the same wave length, although my addiction to cheap wine is probably just as bad.
Lena writes about her life via short snip bits of summer camp nightmares, cringe worthy sexual encounters, awkward parenting moments, identity crisis and anything that falls into the category of a young woman in the 2000s trying to figure what the hell is going on. Like I said, this book could have probably been my own recollections, with a few weird stepdads and a sheltered midwest upbringing thrown into the mix.
One of the most powerful messages came at the end of the book where Lena muses about finally finding an adult relationship that is built on a strong foundation of unconditional love and mutual respect...
She spoke to the young woman in all of us about relationships with other women....
And about our relationship with our inner self...
And about our present...and about getting to a future that fits us.
I can't really put into words or "review" what this book is all about. It's about being a female, growing (up, old, inward, outward) life, and the crap that happens to us when we are asking "why" all the time. Come to think of it, there's also a lot mixed in about what happens when we stop asking "why" and just LIVE.
What other reason do you need to read it?