Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Which Allison Burnett Discovers I'm Easy

If you're a regular reader, you saw my quasi-review of undiscovered gyrl by Allison Burnett.  Don't forget to see the postcript in which I explain the Salinger comparison a little more, as well as a strange connection to author Saundra Mitchell.

undiscovered gyrl made me cringe, made me angry, made me confused, made me think.  I hate when reviews say that books "make you think."  It's as though being thought-provoking is the best you can say about it (as opposed to being witty, eloquent, well-paced, etc.)

I've vacillated from anger to awe, from being impatient to being impressed with Burnett.  I think I'd jump on any bandwagon that tried to convince me one way or another.

Well, Allison got to me first.

You can submit your review to the undiscovered gyrl site, which is what I did. About a week later, I received an email from Allison Burnett.

What can I say? I'm easy.  Authors receive more of my adoration than "celebrities," so to have one engage with me feeds my bookish narcissism. And Burnett's not only an author, but also a force in showbiz; his career includes screenwriting. (How much do I love that he wrote the script for this fall's FAME?!)

The end result, anyway, is that I am declaring myself a news-bringer, a non-neutral force in the viral marketing campaign for undiscovered gyrl. Behold, two videos made by famous people.

The first, directed by Zalman King (he co-directed 9 1/2 weeks), features Burnett talking to the camera about how much he loves Katie, the main character of undiscovered gyrl. The only part that bugs me is his claim that we've all felt like Katie, at some point in our lives. I have to beg out of that one, actually. And I think Holly would agree with me. The vid, however, shows Burnett at his charming writerly best, and it's definitely worth two minutes.

The second video was made by Jordan Alan, and stars his wife Amanda Righetti. I appreciate the attempt, but right away it's obvious that Righetti is too beautiful, too old, too poised, too old, too polished, too old to actually be Katie as she retells the first pages of the book. Still, Righetti is stunning, so watch anyway:

Well? What do you think?

Copies of undiscovered gyrl have gone out to Beth and to Lorna, so if you didn't get an ARC, at least reserve this book at your library. It's definitely something you should read before school starts again - awesome lunchroom discussion that makes you seem both smart and funny, sort of like Amy Poehler.


  1. *gulp* I just realized that while I posted a review on GoodReads, I totally forgot to post one on my blog.

    And I agree--I don't think everyone has had an experience like Katie's. In fact, I *definitely* never experienced...er...anything in Katie's life. I cannot think of one decision she made that I would make the same way. Not one. From the things she did to the way she felt about people and situations, I did not agree with here *at all*.

    But on the flip side, that's what made it so fascinating for me--that here was someone who was as alien to me as someone could be, and still be a girl on Earth. She was so strongly *herself* that it didn't matter that she was *nothing* like me--it made it that much better, actually, like I was getting to know someone through a book who I would more than likely *never* know in real life. Because honestly? If I'd known her in real life, I probably would have hated her.

  2. Whoa. I somehow missed the Saundra Mitchell article. How weird!!!

  3. I have yet to read this, but it's in my queue of "will read once school is done". I am looking forward to it as it does sound very interesting and thought provoking.

  4. I am so delighted to have appealed to your narcissism. And to have inspired you to, perhaps, be just a little less tough on Katie.

    As for those who say that there is no Katie in themselves -- someone hungry, reckless, irreverent, naughty, self-destructive --maybe I should have said, "Whether we know it or not, there is a little Katie in all of us."

    An arrogant thing to say. See? There is Katie in me, too.

    Thanks for being so open-minded and helping to get the word out. I really appreciate it.

    I've seen Fame. It skews pretty young -- nothing like the R-rated original -- but it's wonderful. Great music and dance....

    Best, Allison Burnett

  5. Wow, that looks fantastic! I'll have to check it out, definitely!

  6. This has been on my wishlist for ever now. I can't wait to read it!



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