About a Girl

About a Girl mainAbout a Girl
Sarah McCarry2 stars

Spoiler Rating: Low

Most Brilliant Katie,

I’m apparently an idiot, because I started reading this book without realizing it’s the third book in a trilogy. I just saw girls kissing on the cover and thought LESBIAN ROMANCE? SIGN ME UP. Oops?

It’s possible I might’ve enjoyed the climax of this book a bit more if I’d read the first two installments in the trilogy first—but the books are set in different times and features different protagonists, so I just skimmed the synopses of those books then dove right into About a Girl.

It did not go well for me, and not because I skipped those first two books.

W-Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her chosen family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel Prize-winning astronomer. There’s no room in her life for heartbreak or uncertainty—or the charismatic, troubled mother who abandoned her soon after she was born. But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past—and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future. The deeper she falls in love with Maddy, the more Tally begins to realize that the universe is bigger—and more complicated—than she ever imagined. Can Tally face the truth about her family—and find her way home in time to save herself from its consequences? 

W-Praise

  • Atalanta is a bisexual young woman of color!
  • She’s an intelligent young scientist and has ambitions for her future (brilliant) career!
  • She experiences a type/degree of social awkwardness that I haven’t seen in a protagonist before!
  • Atalanta’s family consists of an adopted mom who’s maybe bisexual, and two adorably-in-love adopted dads who are gay (and people of color)!
  • Atalanta’s best friend Shane is a transguy, and his transness is a non-issue!
  • Sexy Girl Maddy is a mesmerizing combination of mysterious, enticing, terrifying, and dangerous!
  • The real focus of the book is on Atalanta, not on her romance(s)!
  • The story’s influenced by (but is not a retelling of) Greek mythology, in a very interesting way!
  • The paranormal aspects are legitimately intriguing and sometimes creepy!
  • A surprisingly realistic conclusion for the romance!

W-Criticism

  • Atalanta is an arrogant jerk, and the story’s told from her stiff/borderline-emotionless first-person perspective.
  • The narrative is in a long-winded, almost stream-of-consciousness style, and consists largely of info-dumping and flashbacks.
  • Atalanta is instantly obsessed with Maddy.
  • There wasn’t really a conflict.
  • What little plot (and character arc) there was felt underdeveloped.
  • The climactic reveals didn’t actually reveal very much, and therefore didn’t feel very climactic.

W-InClosing

There was so much potential in this book, and I’m really disappointed to give it such a low rating.

But there are readers who’d love this writing style, and who would feel more of a connection with Atalanta than I did. Those readers might be able to overlook the lack of conflict and plot, and just be swept away by her journey and discoveries.

You might really enjoy this book, Katie, especially since you’d relate to Atalanta’s scientific view of the world and life. But if you do give it a try, you might want to read the first two in the series first, to give this one a clearer context than I got from just reading their synopses.

Love,

Liam


12 thoughts on “About a Girl

  1. Atalanta is such a quirky name. I Googled it and apparently it’s a Greek myth character who’s a virgin huntress unwilling to marry. I assume that’s the myth this book is influenced by…?

    The diversity sounds THICK with this book with all those LGBTIA+ characters! I don’t think I like arrogant jerks, though, and the lack of conflict as well as the insta-obsession would bother me a lot. I think I’ll definitely be giving this a pass! Are you going to read the other two?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Atalanta was actually one of my favorite figures in Greek mythology (I’m a Artemis/virgin huntress kind of person), so I was really excited about that aspect of the book. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a parallel between this Atalanta and the mythological figure. Oh, well.

      The diversity is A+, for sure–but I don’t blame you for giving this one a pass. It’s pretty meh. Since the reviews for the previous two books seem fairly similar, I don’t think I’ll be giving them a go. Oh, well. 🙂

      Like

  2. With the massive a amount of diversity and LGBT+ characters you’d think this would be a better book in terms of the actual plot. I don’t mind books with a less adventurous plot if it focuses on the development of the characters. I’m not sure if this’ll be the case with this book considering, well you said it yourself, the plot and character arcs were underdeveloped.
    It’s all well and good having books which shine a light on the LGBT+ community but they need to be good books, they can’t just coast by on the diverse cast of characters they feature.
    Great review! Also I will admit to doing that as well, picking up a sequel without realising it was a sequel and being very confused by some of the throwbacks to the first book mentioned even though it focused on different characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on that: a book doesn’t need much action if it has great character development and strong arcs. Too bad this one didn’t fit that bill.

      And you’re so right on the second point, too: we need GOOD LGBTQIA+ books, please and thanks.

      Oh, whew; I’m glad I’m not the only one to make that mistake! Hopefully it didn’t ruin your reading experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a shame this wasn’t a book with great character development. Good LGBTQIA+ books are a rareity in YA fiction, though I am seeing more of them now that I was a few years ago, it woud be nice to see some with decent representation and a great storyline as well!
        I think it is an easy mistake to make, especially in books with different main characters, you know. I’m sure plenty of other people have done the same thing! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh goodness, haha. That’s the problem with book cover buys. 😉 I’m definitely guilty myself but I don’t think I’ve picked up the last installment to series before-well aside from Harry Potter (I actually read Deathly Hallows first). Anyway, sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you for many reasons aside from reading it out of its supposed order. But yay for LGBT lit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You read Deathly Hallows first? What on earth was that like? Did things make sense, or were you just confused the entire time? And did it ruin your experience of reading through the whole series sequentially?

      Yay, diversity stuff! I’m definitely glad to support diversity, even if I didn’t enjoy a particular book myself. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I WAS SO CONFUSED yet I could totally still follow the plot at the same time. I remember crying about Snape and other characters (even though it probably would have been a full out sobbing session if I knew their roles throughout the other installments). And I’m sort of glad that I read it that way because Deathly Hallows was actually the book that got me into reading. Like prior to it I didn’t read at all-unless I was made to because of Accelerated Reader or English. I know all about this story doesn’t add up. Like why would a girl read a massive book and the last installment to a beloved series when she wasn’t into reading? Beats me. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a fantastic How I Fell In Love With Reading story! And it’s really neat that not knowing what led up to Deathly Hallows didn’t prevent you from getting attached to the characters and invested in the plot. That’s A+ book-writing on Rowling’s part, right there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. YAAS TO ALL THE DIVERSITY IN THIS BOOK! At first Atalanta seemed like she was going to leap off the pages, but later on her arrogance didn’t really seem appealing. I don’t see a point in reading a book without a plot or conflict though, so I don’t think this one would be for me. 😛 Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

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