Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Review: Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett

Only on the internet
can you have
so many
friends and be so lonely.

Katie Kampenfelt is 17 years-old who has just graduated from high school. She is taking time off before she starts college and to help sort out her intense conflicts she decides to start a blog. The book is a series of posts written by her about her life, and what a life it is! She doesn't hold back and shares intimate details about everything - her relationship with her divorced parents, her friendships, her sex life. While it appears at first to be a story of a typical teen it quickly spins into a tale of her destructive behavior.

Katie's actions become more and more disturbing as she spins out of control. When her attempts to get attention from her absentee father are rebuffed she eventually seeks out comfort from older, unattainable men. Her emotions are out of control and she goes from seemingly random sex acts to outbursts of uncontrollable crying. Her friendships are dwindling and she turns to drug and alcohol to dull her pain. She reveals it all in her blog posts with crude language that is very disturbing but also appropriate for her situation.

My feelings about this book were very confusing. I found it to be shocking and raw but also compelling. I wanted to know what was going to happen to this teenage girl who was spiraling down into a pit of despair. It was like a car crash that I couldn't turn away from. I felt so bad for the child but I wanted to grab the teenager and tell her to wake up! But I did feel sympathetic for this character and understood how her poor choices snowballed out of control. The ending was quite a shocker that I never saw coming. I won't give anything away here but it did leave me wanting more. It was appropriate for the story but it was very frustrating. I was also surprised to find out that the author was a man. His writing was very believable as that of a broken young girl. This would be a very interesting title for group discussions.

Thank you to Vintage Books for an ARC of this book.

Publisher: Vintage Books
Release date: 8/11/09
Pages: 304
Price/Format:$14.00/Trade paperback
Type: Fiction


  1. I found this book disturbing too. I certainly hope it's not typical of today's kids. The ending surprised me too!

  2. I'm intrigued. I'm adding it to my list so I can be surprised at the end!


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