BOOK REVIEW: Undiscovered Gyrl


sydneyscottavatar.thumbnail.jpgBY SYDNEY SCOTT Pretty much everyone on the planet, it seems, has a blog. Sharing your ideas, opinions, and life stories with millions of anonymous Internet users is now commonplace. Allison Burnett blurs the lines between blogging and book-writing with her novel Undiscovered Gyrl. This book surprised me. What looks like an annoying chick lit novel is the surface turns out to be anything but: Katie Kampenfelt is a seventeen-year-old high school graduate who decides to start an online journal chronicling her life and sexual escapades. She posts stories of her first job, an affair with a married man and a professor, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her father’s alcoholism. Through Katie, Burnett delves into the ambiguities of cyber -identity and online anonymity, as the reader begins to feel like a voyeur as Katie goes into greater intimate detail about her life. Along with her blog’s growing popularity comes criticism from readers. While Katie not only narrates her life through her blog, she also comments on mail she gets from readers and the book is intentionally littered with those common spelling and grammar errors that spell check doesn’t catch. The only downside to Burnett’s character is that Katie can be quite annoying. She’s a 17-year-old lolita who sleeps with a married man and a college professor and time and again she blames someone else for her actions. It’s the wife’s fault that her husband cheats or the girlfriend’s fault that her boyfriend’s a tool.  The best part of the book is the ending. It’s a twist that leaves the reader questioning everything they’ve read and makes you realize there are real-world consequences in creating a whole new identity online, that everything you put out there will come back to find you, for better or for worse.

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