Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett

undiscovered gyrlTitle:  Undiscovered Gyrl

Author:  Allison Burnett

Paperback: 293 pages (ARC)

ISBN:  9780307473127

From the back cover:

Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely.

  • We’re all famous in our own minds.
  • Complete honesty is a complete lie.
  • What’s worse than keeping a shameful secret?
  • All sex has consequences, most of them dire.
  • Don’t read my life.  Go live your own!

“Imagine an 18-year-old Lolita, updated to the 21st century, blogging her own provocative adventures.  By turns charming and crude, disturbingly reckless and achingly tender, Undiscovered Gyrl seduces…  Shot through with teenage yearning for ‘true love,’ each page vibrates with the quicksilver spirit of youth.  As we follow the narrator on her ever-darkening journey, questions arise about voyeurism and identity in an age of cyber-anonymity.  Allison Burnett’s masterful page-turner lingers long after the last page.” -Rachel Resnick, author of Love Junkie

When I saw the banner for this Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett in Shelf Awareness, I was hyper-excited to get my hands on the book, and when I got a positive reply to my email requesting a copy to review, I couldn’t contain myself.  It looked interesting and like one of those books you just can’t put down, especially for someone nosey… like me.

So, how did the book hold up to my anticipation?

Honestly, I was surprised by the book.  It’s set up as a blog-to-book, and in it you watch as the narrator (the definition of the “unreliable narrator” to be sure) grows as a blogger, and disintegrates in some ways as a person.  The idea of being able to be completely open in the anonymity is, at first, a relief and exciting thing for her, later it seems to be something that pushes her to more extreme and outrageous behavior… if for no other reason than to get a reaction from her readers.

Personally, there are parts of this that scare the hell out of me.  I have a 16 and 15-year-old, neither of which are really that into blogging and stuff… now.  Maggie, on the other hand, is 10 and a bit extroverted.  “Katie” tells about her mother and her boyfriend’s fighting, her dad and his girlfriend’s abusive relationship, and how she pits everyone against each other to get what she wants.  She continually tells her readers that there is NOTHING sexual behind her boss’s generosity, but relays stories about him in such a way as to leave it almost obvious.  She degrades herself over “Dan,” her college instructor on-the-side, and you can’t help but feel pity for her… she so wants to be loved, she’s willing to turn herself into that girl who waits desperately for his girlfriend to go away so she can devour the scraps. 

With Undiscovered Gyrl, Allison Burnett reveals a very real picture of the modern teenage life.  Unable to read and comprehend a book a year unless assigned by a teacher, but reads and responds to 20 emails, IMs and text messages a second.  She couldn’t fathom doing homework without the TV on, CD blaring and the Google open on the computer.  It makes me glad I’ve not given any of my kids a cell phone.  They don’t have TVs in their bedrooms, even.  We just got a second computer last June, so maybe mine will be safe…

Here’s the thing:  Undiscovered Gyrl is very graphic and I even learned a few sex-things from reading it.  I never knew what a “box job” was before this book.  But it’s not porn, per se, and it all goes into the story for a purpose.  It is shocking… at least for me, an over-30-parent.  “Katie” isn’t totally unsympathetic, yet says things at times that make me want to slap the snot out of her.  She’s so stupid and I just want to grab her up and say, “Wake up!  You’re throwing your life away!”  But, if there’s one thing I got out of this book it’s this:  The fact it came from an adult would render it meaningless all together.

I give Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett 5 out of 5 stars… it did NOT disappoint.

Here’s a video made for the book:

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Sookie Manga Undiscovered Skanks Strike at Random!

 grave

Okay, so I’ve decided to give in and join Beth Fish Read’s The Sookie Stackhouse Challenge.  It would seem that I’m going to buy the books anyway… lol, even though I told myself I wanted to wait to see if I LIKED the first book first, I went ahead and bought the second book.  So I’ll “goat head” as my mom always said,  and join the challenge.  There doesn’t seem to be any specific number for this challenge other than to read the books, so for now, I’ll just start off with the two on Mt. TBR.

 

 

  1. Dead Until Dark  
  2. Living Dead in Dallas

I’ve also got True Bloodseason 1 in my Netflix queue, but I’m waiting to read the first book before getting them.  I may be a little late to this ball, but I wanted to be sure.  Funny, I’ve gone from scairt to join any challenges to being in five?  Does the CDC know how contagious reading challenges are?  What are they doing to help the victims?  😀

manga challenge smallAnd, I found a Manga Challenge at Rhinoa’s Ramblings… Yay!  LOL.. Now, if you told me this time last year that, not only would Ibe reading manga, but that I’d be joining a whole challenge devoted to it, I would’ve quit reading altogether.  Funny how you can change in just a year. 

The challenge is simple, just read 6 mangas in 2009.  I don’t know if graphic novels are included in that, but since it’s a manga challenge, I’ll just stick with them.  My list for the challenge is:

  1. Fruits Basket, volume 1by Natsuki Takaya ~ I’m almost done with it already, and I have volumes 2-5 coming in the mail.  I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and it seems the only book I can focus on right now,  so if I’m not careful, I’ll end up just reading them and ignoring all the rest of the books I’m suppose to read.
  2. Death Note, volume 1by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
  3. Psychic Academy, volume 1by Katsu Aki
  4. Naruto, volume 1by Masashi Kishimoto
  5. Vampire Hunter D, volume 1by Hideyuki Kikuchi and Yoshitaka Amano, which is still in the mail, but should be here today or tomorrow.
  6. Cowboy Bebop, volume 1by Yutaka Nanten, et al.  It’s not been mailed yet, and I’d actually requested it once before from PBS, but the person never sent it.  So we’ll see if it gets here this time. 

I chuckled at the writing on the cover of Cowboy Bebop, “Done the Right (to left) Way!”  The one obstacle for Mags reading it on her own is the right-to-left, top-down, way you have to read it.  She’s making me read Fruits Baskets out loud to her.  AND I’ll be sooooooo glad to finally get through the mangas PAST the anime series.  Every other page she gripes how the show is better and the book’s inferior.  Bah!  I’ve been secretly reading ahead of her so I can enjoy it… shh, don’t tell!  I actually like the book better than the show, though, I admit, I read it with the voices from the show (and do the voices when reading it to her).

Let’s see… what else….  Oh, I just got an email the publisher that I’ll be getting my copy of Undiscovered Gyrl, and I’m sooooo excited for that!  I’ll probably just drop everything and read it as soon as the packaging is ripped from it.  I don’t get this excited for specific books very often, the last one I read straight from the envelope was Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank!  Hopefully I’m not looking forward to it too much and the only way for it to go is down…

And now, some random things from my digital camera:

These are my gorgeous girls:  Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right
These are my gorgeous girls: Gwen, 15, on the left, Maggie, 10, in the middle, and Sammi, 16, on the right

 

Demure little Missy.  How could you ever say NO to that face :-)
Demure little Missy. How could you ever say NO to that face 🙂

 and whether it’s the new computer, windows vista or IE 7, there are a few things that just aggravate the crap out of me.  For instance, those two pictures were a trial of patience to get them there.  It doesn’t want to let me SEE what I’m doing in HTML mode, it keeps flipping back to the top.  Some of the blogs won’t stay open for me to leave comments, usually the blogspot ones with the comment box embedded, so I’ve missed commenting on a couple, it seems to do it most to My Friend Amy‘s site.  And it seems to have an issue with doing the open IDs.  I keep having to re-enter “thekoolaidmom” in, until it finally decides publish.  Is this something IE7 related?  *growling sigh of frustration*

Great Googley! Why Does McAfee DL Whenever I Try to Work?

Okay, I didn’t get near the reading I had intended to this weekend.  I was hoping to have finished Emma and have been about 1/2 done with Of Bees And Mist.   Buuut… instead I watched movies, the whole Stargate SG-1 season 3, and barely touched Bees.  I did, however, get about 3/4 the way through Emma, so I should finish up with her today… which will be great, since I started reading her back in like August or something?

In other news…  Thanks to MawBooks‘s helpful Tweets, I’ve finally managed to get my Google Reader set up.  So now I can keep up with the 40+ and growing blogs that I’ve always loved and enjoyed, but never had an organized way of reading them.  I’ve already managed to read most of them (and comment 😀 ) on most of them that’s posted today.  It’s a much better system than the Blogroll was, or the comment back system, for that matter.

Here’s an example of what my Google Reader looks like:

My Google Reader view

Sample of Musings of a Bookish Kitty's post on my Google Reader

Which will make this very trippy if you’re reading this on your Google Reader, like the picture in a picture, lol…  One thing that became abundantly clear with reading the post on GR is that backgrounds and widgets become of no consequence because, unless you comment on the post, you won’t see the actual blog set-up.  Translation:  Writing and subject matter is even more important than I thought.

Some other things of random consequence:

I’ve become somewhat addicted attached to my TweetDeck application.  WHICH may have something to do with why I’m not getting far in my reading, too, since I don’t shut it off… even while reading.  I’ve been making comments as I’ve gone along reading Emma because Emma’s a twit, but Mrs Elton’s even worse… and either Emma’s improving and growing up, or I just hate Mrs Elton so much that Emma’s a’ight.

Some of the more notable TWEETS:

A fun one we had the other night was:

 lauram68 I’ve been nursing the same glass of wine for 4 hours!

thekoolaidmom White@lauram68 Are your nipples feeling tipsy yet?

lauram68 @thekoolaidmom not yet!

Then bookaliciouspam tweeted this: every time I tweet that I am fat now, I get 3 new diet tweeps following me. Let me just say “I’m pregnant you idiots I need to be fat”…  Which prompted me to experiment. 

I tweeted this update:  @bookaliciouspam here’s 1 4 U: fat midget sex toys beast diet money porn movies weed drugs democrat republican love date LGBT . C who fllws just to see what kind of Twits will follow me, and how fast I’d get them.  Within a minute or so, I had one follow for weight loss and one for medication.  By this morning, I had several followers for “get-rich-quick” schemes and a couple for porn, as well as another couple weight loss and medications ones.  Surprisingly, none from the “Legalize Cannabis” corner.  Hmm….

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And something I’ve been wanting to post about for a while….

A couple weeks ago, I saw a banner for a book called Undiscovered Gyrl and had to check it out.  The website for the book is really cool:  Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett.  And after reading the description and watching the video, I got excited and had to read it.  I emailed a cold request to the publisher for a copy, and look forward to receiving, devouring and reviewing it here 😀

 

Going out to stalk the mailbox, now….

P.S. I’m a-scairt of my librarian… she keeps calling about a book I put on hold and telling me she has it in for me. Hmm….