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Undiscovered Gyrl (Vintage Contemporaries Orig) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Original edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307473120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307473127
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Christopher Rice Reviews Undiscovered Gyrl

Christopher Rice is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Density of Souls, The Snow Garden, Light Before Day, and Blind Fall. The son of author Anne Rice and the late poet Stan Rice, he lives in Los Angeles. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Undiscovered Gyrl:

Undiscovered Gyrl is the blog of beautiful, blond, Katie Kampenfelt, an 18-year-old girl who seeks to record, for her own edification, the year following her high school graduation.

The novel begins as the diary of an ebullient, funny teenager, filled with the musings, mood swings, and escapades of youth. We are in her skin as she plots her break-up with her college-age boyfriend, battles with her mother, considers whether to sleep with a 32-year-old film professor, confronts a terrible truth about her new boss, and lands a new job as nanny to a newborn.

Soon, however, the story deepens into the engrossing record of a young soul in peril.

Gossip Girl this ain’t.

Allison Burnett's novel reads as both a searing glimpse into a tortured teenage psyche, and a skillful meditation on the cruel excesses of the Internet Age. Katie Kampenfelt's voice feels utterly authentic, disturbingly so, making for a protagonist who is as riveting as she is infuriating.

The story is revealed through a series of terse blog entries, but they are studded with haunting imagery and unforgettable turns of phrase. Ultimately, this is the dark tale of one girl's unquenchable thirst for love and acceptance, but Allison Burnett tells it with a fearlessness that elevates those time-worn concepts above the realm of Hollywood cliché.

Prepare yourself for a page-turning, single-sitting read that will leave you disarmed and disturbed and questioning your own engagement with the Internet's capacity for anonymity and fantasy.--Christopher Rice

(Photo © Gwen and Eddie Photography)

From Publishers Weekly

Written as a blog, this debut novel stars Katie Kampenfelt, who types away at her very own Internet reality show. A sassy suburbanite teenager who defers college for a year, Katie takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy family and chronicles her day-to-day life online in the time of Netflix, Barack Obama and Internet lingo. The divulging blog entries start in October 2007 and end in May 2008, instantly gaining popularity as Katie confesses her promiscuous behavior and charts her uncensored thoughts and emotions. Her audience provides constant feedback, both supportive and critical. She notes that only on the Internet can one be both lonely and popular simultaneously, which is a comment on our culture and being 17. When Katie's admittedly superficial arrogance is under control, she is insightful and hilarious, exposing her fears and insecurities. Name and event changes in order to keep the blog's anonymity are disappointing, a fiction within fiction, and raises the question, what is truth? On the Internet, who is really anonymous? Perhaps our dear Katie wasn't such an undiscovered gyrl after all. Burnett's novel is intriguing, but seems at times contrived. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Allison Burnett is a novelist and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He was born in Ithaca, New York. and grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Evanston, Illinois, where he attended Northwestern University, majoring in the Oral Interpretation of Literature. His debut novel, Christopher, was a finalist for the 2004 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Fiction. His second novel, The House Beautiful, was published in the fall of 2006. His third novel Undiscovered Gyrl was published by Vintage Books in 2009. In 2011, the third book in his B.K. Troop trilogy, Death By Sunshine, was published by Writers Tribe Books.

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Customer Reviews

Allison Burnett's "Undiscovered Gyrl" is a MUST READ for all ages, male and female.
Gillian A. Lefkowitz
I liked that you could sit down and read this book in one sitting, and walk away with impressions that you will remember for a long time.
Stephanie Manley
It's both funny and sad at the same time, and very smartly written, even the when the character is being anything but smart.
Jeremy A. Milks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allison Minnick on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Undiscovered Gyrl" moved me in so many ways. I was completely engrossed and mesmerized by the dichotomy of Katie Kampenfelt. She is courageous and confident, yet vulnerable and reckless. I am a 51 year old housewife and have a 12 year old daughter. The book brought back memories of when I was that age: the mind and drive of a young woman, the power of seduction and its ugly components and our need for validation. Burnett's book exposes multiple layers that affect not only "Katie" but the reader as well. We are all victims of delusion in one form or another. I am still reeling from the aftermath of Katie's sexcapades and the consequences that befall both her and the reader. This book will stay with me for a very long time. I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Piccolotti on March 24, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I have not read book in a very long time that has stuck with me the way Undiscovered Gyrl has. I was a bit hesitant to purchase this at first because I didn't know if I would get annoyed with the "blog style" of writing, but after reading just a few pages I was hooked. The author does a great job of getting the reader to connect with Katie and have many different emotions about her. Sometimes I hated her, sometimes I thought she was funny and sometimes I just felt bad for her. I was very surprised to find out that Allison Burnett is a man, but he did a great job of capturing an older teenager girl's voice on paper. Katie is just as immature, impulsive and cocky as I remember being at that age. The ending of the book is a very unique twist that I did not see coming at all. A definite must read, and you will keep thinking about it long after you finish reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trisha's Book Blog "Trisha" on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a difficult review to write. While I liked the book a lot it was still different.
I liked it because it was written in blog form. I have read books written like diaries but never blogs.
Some other things I liked is that the author makes you feel for Katie. She is a troubled teen who drinks, smokes, has a bad relationship with her father, and sleeps with older men. You can't help but feel sorry for her.
Saying this, there are some things in the book that were very bold and detailed. Like Katie's language got raunchy once in a while, and her sex life is explained. And even though Katie is a teenager I wouldn't think that this book would be for a young reader.
And I did not see the ending coming.

I'm not going to say who picks up Katie's blog from here because I don't want to give anything away. But I have to say that I was not expecting the ending. And I am also still wondering what exactly happened. I wish the ending would have been a little different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Ebert on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Burnett seems to capture the voice of a teenaged girl pretty well. I'm not a girl, so I can't say for sure, but this book seemingly captures the vulnerable, painful side of the new American teen heartbreakingly well.

The book might have been cribbed from blogs on MYSPACE, I don't know, but middle-aged parents HAD BETTER read this book if your children are on the computer all day. It is a realistic story of a coming of age in a dangerous world.

Parents: do you remember keeping things from your parents? Stolen kisses, sneaked cigarettes, going to parties you were warned against? You need to read this book, and see what your daughter may be keeping from YOU.

This book is an important new morality play, not to be missed by any parent, especially if your daughter is becoming a teen.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cherise Everhard TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
17 year old Amy has just decided not to go to college for a year and to kill time she begins to write a blog. Writing under the name of Katie she begins to amuse her readers with tantalizing tidbits of her life. By changing names and pertinent facts she is able to keep her sordid tales about sex, drugs, drinking, and the dysfunctional relationship with her parents and much older men, anonymous.

Amy longs to be discovered and truly loved, but there is so much about herself and life she needs to discover first and the lessons aren't always easy.

When I was younger the book to read was Go Ask Alice, the supposed real life diary of a good girl gone bad with a heavy dose of drug abuse. This book reminded me of that one, immediately. I guess because the blogs of today are the diaries of yesterday. It has the same concept, except I think this one is solidly more compelling. I began reading this book with the promise that after 20 pages I would clean my house... 290 pages later I finally finished the book and was at least able to vacuum before the hubby got home.

It is a hard book to set down, and the blogs are all interesting although some are simple, some childish and selfish, some are sexy and some are downright sad. While reading I wondered how someone so physically and mentally mature could be so emotionally immature. She was at once a child and a whore, innocence and corruption; half the time I wanted to smack her, the other half I wanted to hold her.

I can highly recommend this read; on entertainment value alone I would have given it 5 stars. However, the ending was unnecessarily dismal and left you with more questions than answers and no real closure. I hate that. I am not a fan of unanswered questions or cliffhangers; I like a tidy clean ending. But maybe that's just me. Enjoy!

Cherise Everhard, January 2010
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