Thursday, 24 March 2011

Review: Undiscovered Gyrl - Allison Burnett

Published: August 11th 2009, Vintage
Pages: 293 pages, paperback
Series?: Nope, standalone
Acquired: Purchased myself

Summary (from Goodreads): Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely. Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion.

Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor.

Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But when Dan stops taking her calls, when her alcoholic father suffers a terrible fall, and when she finds herself drawn into a dangerous new relationship, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humour, Undiscovered Gyrl is an extraordinarily accomplished novel of identity, voyeurism, and deceit

My review:
I bought Undiscovered Gyrl in Florida a couple of years ago and I'm still not sure what it was that drew me to it. The spine isn't particularly noticeable but something made me pick it up and I'm so, so glad I did. It's an absolutely fantastic novel that I adored reading - there aren't many reviews out there for it but that definitely needs to change. If you enjoy contemporary YA and aren't afraid of the controversial then you need this novel in your life.

The story's described as a modern version of Lolita and I think that's a fair comparison. After deferring from university, Katie decides to spend a year 'finding herself' and keeping a blog to detail how she spends her year. While most YA novels of this type would see the protagonist meet a nice Indie boy and have an epiphany about 'who they really are', Katie's main priorities are to party and have sex with a middle aged college professer. Awesome.

I know we're supposed to be politically correct these days but I can't resist novels like this. Katie drinks, smokes, has reckless sex and swears like a trooper but I couldn't help but warm to her. She's such an interesting character on so many levels - we all have a friend like Katie, beautiful and wild but sweet with it.

It really interesting to read a book written as a blog as I haven't come across one before. Katie reacts to her followers and responds to her comments - I loved the style and I'm keen to check out more books written in blog form, especially as a blogger myself! Katie's narrative is engaging and the pace doesn't let up - this girl leads one interesting life, that's for sure.

Undiscovered Gyrl isn't one for you if you're easily offended but if you like your YA with a bit of spice then definitely pick this up - it's brilliant. Oh, and the ending will completely BLOW YOUR MIND (that's all I'm saying). Weeks after finishing the story I'm still pondering it! Really, really highly recommended.

First line: 'Last April when I decided to defer college for a year my friends said I was insane, but I'm not.'

Read if you liked…: Girl - Blake Nelson

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 18/20


  1. I love that it is written as a blog. I would definitely read this.

  2. This is one of my favourite books! I love it and keep meaning to re-read it so I can review it for my blog! It's amazing! You are so right about the ending too - very clever, isn't it! They were meant to be making this into a movie with Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus, but I haven't heard anything about it in a while.

  3. Sounds like a really interesting book, I hadn't heard of it before. but it looks intriguing.

    I shall keep an eye open for it

  4. Yes, I think I heard about it before, but I don't recall the book cover. I shall check it out and place it on my list.

  5. Wow, great review. I think this is going on my wishlist! :)


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