Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > Undiscovered Gyrl

Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett
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Aug 27, 10

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bookshelves: fiction-general, advanced-reading-copy, indie-authors
Read in August, 2009 , read count: 1

This is the story of a 17 year old girl (she turns 18 during the course of the novel) who blogs about her life. In fact the entire book consists of her blog entries. Due to the anonymity of the internet, bloggers can be extremely truthful when writing about their innermost thoughts and emotions. Such is the case here. The protagonist, Katie Kampenfelt (she is quick to point out that this is not her real name, for safety purposes) has chosen to defer college for a year until she can get her head straight.

Her blogs cover almost a year of real time and provide fascinating insights to her life. And, indeed, her life is not pretty. She is sexually promiscuous with numerous partners, an abuser of drugs and alcohol, and emotionally scarred. Just how she came to be that way is masterfully revealed over the course of the book. The author seems able to really, truly get inside the protagonist's head. I was very surprised to learn that the author is actually male, so keen are his insight's into this girl's life. And since I have a daughter that is only about a year older than Katie, and I see her friends all the time, I can attest to just how real the language and expressions are in this novel.

Despite the darkness of Katie's life and the stresses she endures, this is a remarkably funny book as well. Her day-to-day descriptions of the people she interacts with are often hillarious. It's a careful balance for the horror of her reality. In some ways, this book is like a reality TV show. While it was an easy book to get into, and I definitely wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next, it was sort of like watching a train wreck. I grew frustrated with the way Katie was offered help time and again only for her to give up or ignore the advice all together. You really root for her and experience her ups and downs along with her.

For those looking for a nicely tied-up happy ending, keep looking. For those who want to experience how this internet generation of young people communicate, this is the book for you.
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