Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely.
UNDISCOVERED GYRL by Allison Burnett
A Vintage Trade Paperback Original, on sale: August 11, 2009
"I'm concerned. A girl like you needs structure." Just what Katie Kampenfelt wanted to hear from her English teacher the day she informed her that she was NOT going to college and that she wanted to take a year off to discover herself. And although she could only think of getting away from her teacher she remembered some advice that was given to her; start a journal or a blog so that she could look back on her year and learn from her experiences.
Initially Katie rebuked the idea of blogging for she could not stand the idea of recording the mundane nuances of everyday life. So she decided to only post about things that really mattered. Little did she know that her "life" would become so interesting to others. Yet, who would not find it fascinating? A young girl fresh out of high school who honestly journals about her provocative adventures and the tangled mess of her life that for all her popularity is shrouded in loneliness and heartbreak.
As the blog begins we soon realize that Katie is dating one guy while sneaking out and seducing an older man. A fact she feels guilty about but not enough to stop. She has no will power which she freely admits and you witness this in many situations especially the one where she is attracted to her boss because you know where it is going. Katie's bizarre friendship with her BFF jade seems to only exist because they are both attractive but don't like the same type of guys and they love to get drunk and high. Perfect! Also, Katie's fractured relationship with her father is painful to witness, a dead beat dad who is slowly killing himself with booze and whose crude jokes are the only form of conversation he can ever seem to manage.
Katie's blog is getting more popular and yet she feels more and more alone. You can see the recklessness of her actions take root and overwhelm her but through it all she manages to keep going, trying to find the true meaning to her life and true love.
My Thoughts (major spoilery involved)
I did not know much about this book prior to reading it. I read the blurb, visited the website and became intrigued. When I was asked if I could review it naturally I said yes. I was curious to see how an older gentleman could write about being a teen aged girl.
Upon finishing Undiscovered Gyrl I was left a bit perplexed and sad. I had just laid witness to Katie's life. Seen her struggle with horrible relationships, alcohol abuse and poor judgement calls...but towards the end you can see that she was getting better. Katie was taking control of her life and you wanted to see her succeed, then it gets cut short and you feel as if you have been pushed to the edge and then left there, awaiting the next step that will never come.
Undiscovered girl is brutally frank, at times funny and shocking. A page turner into voyeurism that I wanted to know what would happen next. I have to admit I would cringe at times because some situations were so painful to witness. I could see that Katie was going down such a dark path and with each entry I did not know what would unfold before my eyes. Heartbreaking that she wanted to share her life with the world, but she did not ever want to be discovered a fact that one day will haunt those around her...
Undiscovered Gyrl is an interesting read,but not my preference not one that I would recommend to my 14 year old godchild due to it's strong sexual situations, drug and alcohol use. I did find the story a bit harsh for younger teens but could see how adults might enjoy it.
Come back on Thursday for I will be interviewing Allsion Burnett and asking him some questions.