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.)
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