January 10, 2014

Review: Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett

Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett
Young Adult
Published 2009 by Vintage Contemporaries
Paperback of 304 pages
Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely. Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion. Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor. Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But when Dan stops taking her calls, when her alcoholic father suffers a terrible fall, and when she finds herself drawn into a dangerous new relationship, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge. Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, Undiscovered Gyrl is an extraordinarily accomplished novel of identity, voyeurism, and deceit.

When I picked this up, I had good expectations for it, because I love a book in diary or journal format. Katie writes in a blog, and records every daring detail of her life's events to the internet. It's very well done, as she even sometimes will respond to comments or emails she receives in some of the entries. I started this book about six months ago but put it down due to a reading slump and I wasn't liking the character. But, her and her blog stuck in my mind and the more I thought about this book the more I wanted to finish it. I'm glad I did because I ended up loving to hate her, and strangely enough connected with her.

She's one of those characters that you day dream yourself being, who does things and says things you would never dare do in the real world, but you've certainly wondered what would happen if you did. Katie is rough, mean, selfish, and raw. I enjoyed being in her shoes. I imagine there's a little Katie Kampenfelt in me, but I can't going around being her because unlike Katie I fear consequences.

It's very often unbelievable, and I didn't mind that at all because I get a weird enjoyment out of tossing a book to the other side of the room exclaiming I can't believe anyone could do that! But I go pick it up and keep reading it because if Katie were to fall to her mistakes soon after she'd made them, the book would be dry. The fun of this book is in the constant way she manages to get away with what she does.

It was also often times predictable, maybe because Katie as a person is a bit predictable. Either way, I cannot forgive this, which is why I gave it 4.5 instead of an entire 5.

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