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Metamorphoses #3

About a Girl

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Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There's no room in her tidy world 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?

About a Girl is the powerful and entrancing conclusion to Sarah McCarry's Metamorphoses trilogy.

256 pages, Hardcover

Published July 14, 2015

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About the author

Sarah McCarry

11 books154 followers
I'm Sarah McCarry. The Rejectionist is my blog. I was born in Seattle and live in Brooklyn. I write books and eat a lot of dumplings. I like fomenting insurrection, crushed velvet, and getting in trouble.

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5 stars
116 (23%)
4 stars
131 (26%)
3 stars
157 (31%)
2 stars
69 (13%)
1 star
27 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 145 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
May 26, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.)

“My name is Atlanta, and I am going to be an astronomer.”

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

This was an okay story, but it was just as weird as the previous two books in the series.

Tally was intent on finding her father, and I couldn’t really blame her. As Aurora’s daughter, she had been dumped on the doorstep of the main character from book 1 – who was still nameless, so I’ll continue calling her Jane – and basically just abandoned. As if knowing that your mother abandoned you wasn’t enough, she also had no idea who her father was.

“My biological mother, Aurora, ran off right after I was born, which is unfortunate, but I’ve had seventeen years and three hundred and sixty-four days to accustom myself to her untimely departure.”

The storyline in this was pretty much about Aurora going off in search of her father, which basically involved running off on her own, and letting Jane worry about her! There was also some kissing going on with another girl called Maddy, but very little was actually discovered about the identity of Tally’s father.

“Then she kissed me and I kissed her back, fierce and hungry,”

The ending to this was once again a bit of a non-ending, with lots of questions left unanswered.
6 out of 10.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
October 2, 2015

"There were two ways of arriving at the truth. I decided to follow them both." -- Georges Lemaitre, cosmologist and priest

18-year-old Atalanta, much better known as Tally, budding astronomer, believes in the empirical world. If she can't measure it, it's probably not real, and certainly not to be trusted. Mysticism, witchcraft, poetry, art, emotions ... these things are for other people. Like Tally's crazy extended family, who love her but maybe don't quite get her.

When the story opens, Tally is awash in feelings she doesn't want to think about, much less try to deal with, especially as they involve a confusing situation with her best friend. So when a neighbor offers her the chance to literally fly away and look for information about her biological parents, whom she has never known, she jumps at the chance.

Then she washes up in a place where people go to forget; not to get a fresh start, but to find oblivion. She, and the reader, end up amazed at what you can learn about yourself in a place like that.

I loved this book. It's not perfect -- the middle is a little slow, what with all the forgetfulness. But I personally found this the most accessible of the three books in this trilogy, and I enjoyed feeling at home in the Greek mythology. As usual with Sarah McCarry, the writing is beautiful, deeply observant, and emotionally resonant. I loved Tally and her stiff, righteous, judgemental self -- she is such a typical bright teen who's used to being the smartest kid in the room. Her journey to allowing herself to be vulnerable was touching and believable. The twining of fantasy and reality felt completely organic to the story to me. And it ends up illustrating the Georges Lemaitre quote, which is in the book, perfectly.

My only quibbles with this trilogy are: (A) The timeline doesn't work at all. Cass and Maia, Tally's grandmothers, talk about the Pixies in their book, which places them as being 17 in 1987 or so. Which means that Tally would have been born around 2006, and sets her story in 2024. But (B), you can't tell what year it is in these books, because they take place in an alternate universe where cell phones and email seem not to exist. This gives the books a sort of timeless feel that I like, but which also annoys me a little.

I loved these books enough that I bought the whole set for my best friend, and I'm going to buy them all for myself, too. And I can't wait to read whatever Sarah McCarry writes next. These definitely aren't to everyone's tastes, but they are mine. Even though I've given each book a 4-star rating, I'd give the trilogy as a whole 5 stars.

I think the trilogy can be tied together by these lines near the end of this final volume: Now I understood the thing I'd never been able to see before: that our stories are our own, even when they overlap with other people's, and that sometimes keeping them safe is a part of keeping ourselves whole.


Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 13, 2015

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to like this book. Everything about it was very different and we really need YA books portraying different kinds of relationships and families, whilst also offering an honest depiction of sex. But I did not enjoy the writing at all. I found Tally's narrative to be cold, detached and emotionless. Almost halfway in and I didn't care about a single character. Also, McCarry seems to like to write in huge paragraphs of text that make the story feel even more slow and boring.

Not for me.
Profile Image for TheBookSmugglers.
669 reviews1,984 followers
July 14, 2015
Tonight is my eighteenth birthday party and the beginning of the rest of my life, which I have already ruined; but before I describe how I arrived at calamity I will have to explain to you something of my personal history, which is, as you might expect, complicated—

About a Girl is the third novel in Sarah McCarry’s breathtaking Metamorphoses series of awesome Greek retellings that centres its stories on girls. I say Greek retelling in a loose way – there isn’t a definite, clear-cut retelling of any one particular myth here. Rather, this series delve deep into that kind mythology building that pays homage by subverting and transforming, by creating an ever-changing landscape featuring young people as they change themselves.

Sometimes they do that under the looming threat of a Greek personage. Sometimes they travel to the underworld. Sometimes they eat pomegranate seeds. Sometimes they fall in love with murderous witches.

I talked about my love for Sarah McCarry’s girls before. How they are very human and allowed to make mistakes, to grow, to experience, to try and to fail, to just be.

Sometimes they are part monster too.


Tally is sure of everything. Her world is ordered. She knows exactly what she wants from life: to go to college and be an astronomer, a Nobel prize-winning one. She knows she is loved by her family and by her best friend Shane. She knows she doesn’t care – or at least have most definitely one hundred percent come to terms with– that her mother left her as soon as she was born and she never knew her or her father.

Then what was once a life of order and certainty becomes messy and surprising. First, Tally falls in love and in lust with Shane. She can’t believe she is victim of pesky teenage hormones after all. Confusion and uncertainty follow and that is exactly the right time for Mysterious Forces to approach Tally with tasty morsels about her unknown father and her long-last mother.

The story follows Tally, in this brief moment of time as she goes on a Quest to find her father, only to find a mother she thought she didn’t care about. On the way, she gets lost. She loses all sense of time and place. She behaves completely unlike the image she has of herself. She falls in love.


One thing I love about this book: Tally asks if it is ok to be in love with two people at the same time: one of them a trans boy and the other, a girl. The story, the narrative, the characters are all like: sure. Because of course.


When Odysseus is coming back from Troy he gets lost. He goes on Quests. He gets trapped in a place having an affair.

Tally ends up in a town where recalcitrant immortals go to forget. She too gets trapped there, with fuzzy memories, and confused sense of time and the certainty she is falling in love – and in lust, so much lust – with Maddy. Maddy, who also wants to forget, except her past is way more complicated. Sarah McCarry wrote about Maddy – under her other name, Medea – and how there are ways to think about her. I am thinking of her still.

In many ways, this is Tally’s own Odyssey.


Tally is deconstructed and put back together throughout the journey of a lifetime. Everything she thought of herself is questioned but not exactly overturned. This is another thing I loved about this book.

It broke me then put me back together. It also made me laugh a lot, which considering the tone of the review, might come as a surprise. It surprised me too, for About a Girl is actually very funny in tone at least to start with. And to end with. The middle is mysterious and heady and sensual.

The journey in those books and with those books has been epic. I am very sorry to see it end and I will miss Sarah McCarry’s girls very much indeed.
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews127k followers
July 15, 2015
Big, huge congratulations to fellow Rioter Sarah McCarry on the release of the the third book in her Metamorphoses trilogy! These books are amazing. Don't be frightened by it being the third book - each book is really a stand-alone, so you don't have to read them in order. Just read them! In this one, Tally meets, and falls in love with, a mysterious girl who may hold the key to her future, and will help Tally face the truth about her family. These are kick-ass punk rock fairy tales.

Tune in to our weekly All The Books podcast, dedicated to all things new books: http://bookriot.com/category/all-the-...
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,163 reviews458 followers
August 25, 2015
**I received this book for free from (Publisher) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0

*My Thoughts*

About a Girl is the third installment in the Metamorphoses trilogy by author Sarah McCarry. The book features 18 year old Atalanta. Tally is a bright student who wants to be an astronomer. Her ultimate goal is to study the relevance of dark energy on the solar system. When Tally was a baby, she was left on the doorstep of a couple she calls Aunt Beast, and Uncle Raoul. She's never known her mother or her father, but is given an opportunity to find out, when she travels 3,000 miles to a place that makes her lose herself.

*Full Review Posted @ Gizmos Reviews


*Recvd via Publisher 06/20/2015* Published: July 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Profile Image for First Second Books.
560 reviews547 followers
October 26, 2015
I loved this book.

The voice was wonderful. The opening scene -- which is narrated by the main character while she's at a bookstore, and continually interrupted by annoying customers being annoying in a way that also shows her personality -- is just fantastic.

Also: more girls in science FTW!
Profile Image for Melissa.
270 reviews62 followers
July 17, 2015

I was quite looking forward to reading this one as the blurb instantly intrigued me, but unfortunately at 27% I am unable to continue reading it.

I had great difficulty making any kind of connection with the story or the characters. Tally's narrative is excessive and distracting and the diversity of the supporting characters is overindulgent and unnecessary.

The lack of chapter breaks coupled with the excessive narration and drawn-out paragraphs makes the pace of the story feel sluggish and dull.
Profile Image for Jana.
1,419 reviews86 followers
December 8, 2015
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was really interesting. It's a lovely contemporary mystery with really good LGBT+ representation. I thought it was well written and the story very well thought-out, but I was a bit annoyed by Tally's irresponsible behaviour in the beginning which was just very out of character. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Liralen.
2,760 reviews161 followers
July 26, 2015
I am considered precocious, for good reason. Some people might say insufferable, but I do not truck with fools. (6)

McCarry's books seem to be hit-or-miss for readers on GR, but I remain solidly in the 'hit' category. For all that this is the least standalone of the three Metamorphoses books, I loved it. Combining mythology and astronomy and Shakespeare? Come on now. We get casual, matter-of-fact diversity (in terms of gender and sexuality and race); a heroine who is sure of herself and sure of her intelligence and confident in her 'unconventional' family; a dreamy, suspension-of-disbelief plot and general feel to the book. Tally is kind of irritating in the beginning, but in a she-is-supposed-to-be-that-way manner, and she's pushed to grow up quite a bit over the course of the book; she stops thinking and starts feeling.

My biggest complaint has nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with the cover, which I liked just fine until I read the book. What's up with the whitewashing? According to the text, Tally's hair 'falls down my back in a waterfall of coal' (10); her skin 'is quite smooth and a pleasing shade of brown, but not even a white person ever got cast as the lead of a romantic comedy because they had nice skin' (11). There are numerous other mentions of 'white people' and Tally not being white (e.g., 'Additionally, white people are not subject to the regular and exhausting lines of enquiry my skin and vaguely ethnic features occasion ("What are you? No, I mean where are you from? No, I mean where are you really from? No, I mean where are your parents from?")', p. 11). Meanwhile, Maddy is described, in part, as such: '...her knuckles were streaked with dirt; and her bare forearms were alive with black tattoos...and crisscrossed with pale scars that stood out sharply against her dark skin. A tangle of black-dyed hair rioted down her back in a serpentine mass.' (87)

The girl on the left of the cover looks like neither of these descriptions. The girl on the right could be maaaaaybe stretched out to one of them, except I really don't think either Tally or Maddy is the type for hoop earrings and nail polish. (Perhaps added to make it clear that both cover models are female?)

Makes me very cranky about publishing, but doesn't change my feelings about the writing, which I loved.
Profile Image for Sarah.
5 reviews
February 19, 2023
i finished reading this over a month ago but never got around to writing my review. i enjoyed this thoroughly, reading this was not hard and it didn't feel like a chore at all, i guess because it's exactly my type of book. i loved it, i loved how the main character evolved, but if im being honest i was a bit confused by the fantasy nature of some of the events, i feel like it didn't fit very well with what the genre of the book was but maybe I'm biased cause I'm not into supernatural shit
Profile Image for Emily.
628 reviews
April 26, 2016
My feelings about this book have, well...undergone a metamorphosis (sorry! corny, I know) over the past several days, but I'll be true in my rating to how I felt as I was reading the novel initially.

Read 1: I didn't enjoy the book at all. In the first section of the novel, I didn't care for the narrator's voice and I found her retelling of her recent experiences, interrupted by her one-sided conversations with customers at the bookstore where she was working, grating. I longed for chapters. When, in part 2, the novel shifted locations (NYC --> a rural town outside of Seattle) and Tally (the narrator) sets off to find her father and potentially her mother, I hunkered down, but quickly became impatient because Tally got stuck. She lost sense of time. She kept having strange, bloody dreams. She hooked up with a gorgeous girl in town and they spent languid days and nights together having sex. She forgot about her quest. Throughout this section the writing is beautiful and there's some gorgeous imagery and, I assumed, allusions to mythology, but I just wanted it to be over. Eventually it is, and Tally finds out what she needs to know and returns home (part 3).

When I finished the book, I was so irritated I figured I must have missed something. Yep. I did. I missed a lot. Because I didn't know anything about the novel or the author prior to reading the book, I didn't realize the book was the third book in a trilogy. The book reads as a stand alone novel, but there are characters introduced in an earlier book who are important here. Also, this is a fantasy novel, which I realized as I was deep into part two, but McCarry's project wasn't obvious to me and I didn't remember enough about the story of Medea and Jason to see how she was not only threading that ancient story into this contemporary one, but also how those characters were, in fact, characters in this story; she wasn't just alluding to Medea, Maddy (Duh!) IS Medea.

So, after doing my homework, I started the book again.

Read 2: I still didn't care for part 1 (important to mention here: Tally's first sexual encounter is with her best friend Shane, a transgender boy, with whom she's fallen in love). I did, however, appreciate part 2, particularly the pacing (Tally IS stuck), the hazy sense of time, and the way in which pain and grief are explored through the use of the mythology. Maddy/Medea is both a monster and a healer --she provides solace and sex and the story that Tally needs to find her parents and herself. Part 3 (The Return Voyage) reads even more hopefully in this context.

I still didn't love the book (3.5 stars), but I'm no longer irritated. Instead, I'm intrigued, made curious about the other, earlier two books in the trilogy.

Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,441 followers
July 13, 2016
I knew as soon as I saw the cover that I had to read this book. Look at that beauty!

It’s the final book in a trilogy but I have to admit that I hadn't read the other two books when I read this. I didn't find that a problem, as the other books are about different people in the same family, rather than Tally herself. I read the blurbs on the first two books and got the gist of most of what happened. I’m sure there is a lot of stuff I missed, but it was a great standalone read regardless of connections to other books.

I actually think it was good that I hadn’t read the others- a lot of the big reveal at the end seems like it would have been less interesting to a reader who has read the others, and so knows what was going on all along (especially with Jack and Aurora).
I absolutely loved Tally’s voice. She’ very prim and intelligent and into physics (I’m a physicist so obviously this is a huge delightful bonus for me). She’s very charming and lovely, and I really rooted for her.

I did find the prose a bit thick in parts, which I think other people have mentioned about McCarry’s writing. I think this is a matter of personal preference, but at times the full pages of pure description of things just made me bite my tongue to get through it. However, the descriptions are beautifully poetic, so for the style it’s incredibly well written.

My favourite character as Tally’s best friend, Shane, a trans guy she is in love with. Their friendship/romance was amazing, and I wish more of the book had been dedicated to the love story between Tally and Shane.

The love story between Tally and Maddy was hypnotic and dreamy and precisely perfect for the story, and while I definitely prefer Tally with Shane, I could read a lot more about these two and their time on the island.

Overall this was a lovely dark and magical coming of age story, and absolutely unique. It definitely deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone who loves Greek myths, mysterious islands filled with hazy memory loss-magic and friendly crows, and tattooed hot girls.

3 stars

Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,211 followers
December 13, 2014
A brilliant, lushly-written conclusion to an exceptional fantasy series. This final entry, about Tally, the daughter of Aurora of ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS, is my favorite one. It's about a girl learning who she is, discovering who she is, and finding who she is -- those three things all very different, all very important.

This book features a trans character, lesbians, and a cast of characters of varying colors and backgrounds. It's so, so great. Talk about a solidly feminist book (and series!).

If you haven't read this series, fix it. Though you can read this book without reading the other two, the experience of seeing them all tie together -- to see the history in the same way that Tally learns it -- makes it even more rewarding.

This is some of the finest, most gorgeous, evocative, and enveloping writing in YA.
Profile Image for Miranda.
450 reviews90 followers
June 27, 2015
I received a copy via net galley.

This was a very lyrically written story. I might've enjoyed it more if I'd read the previous installments but I'd gone with others who'd said each could be read separately. Which it can be but I'd recommend reading the others first, you'll grasp the secondary characters a lot more. The writing style is interesting, with a liquid like quiality to it. It's stagnant, flowing, and utterly mystifying.
Profile Image for A.
298 reviews20 followers
April 2, 2019
Really, really charming. Like reading a really good fanfic; you feel like you know these characters, their pasts and relationships lived-in and believable. Tally is insufferable but she learns - I’m still not sure whether everyone around her was acting like she was such an astounding genius because they were putting her off or humoring her, or because the author actually thought she was - I’m choosing to give McCarry the benefit of the doubt and believe the former. To be totally honest, I felt that her love story with the girl in the book was the weakest part, as I’m more of a fan of slower builds than magic-induced instalove, but her dynamic with the other love interest was really sweet. I was rolling my eyes a bit at the really obvious cosmology references Tally was making at first but as the book progressed they got to the point where I didn’t know what she was talking about and the fact that her Great Intelligence is in reality a mixture of pseudointellectual nonsense and actual brilliance that she downplays in favor of the fake obvious stuff felt very real and teenagery. Can’t wait to read the other two books in this trilogy. (The book is also very diverse but that’s not nearly its top selling point; Tally is of ~ambiguous ethnicity~, her male love interest is a biracial Asian trans guy, her three guardians are all somewhat gay and the two men are Black and Native American respectively, but none of this feels shoehorned in - it isn’t a colorblind book by any means - lots of discussion of Native American culture and history + gentrification and ongoing colonization of Native lands, and Tally’s lack of racial identification doesn’t make her functionally white as seems to occur in lots of fiction)
Profile Image for shrug city.
628 reviews
April 10, 2017
I could write something very eloquent about this book, but mostly I just want to devolve into shouts of BI LOVE TRIANGLE!!. About a Girl is a beautiful, surreal dream of a book, so pretty in its depiction of a rural Washington town and long bike rides near the ocean and kissing a girl who is maybe supernatural that it took me until at least four hours after I'd finished it to realize that I wasn't really satisfied with the amount of mysteries left hanging (perhaps, though, that's because I haven't read the first two books in the series). Still, everything about Tally's life is highly #aesthetic, the writing is intricate and lovely, and I really like the commitment to having a diverse cast. Tally's smart and odd without being self-congratulatory about it, Maddy is wild and rather believable both as the supernatural and as the girl, and Shane is pretty cool as the back-home swoony best friend (I also really dug that he was a trans dude).
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,226 reviews391 followers
February 12, 2021
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via NetGalley.
* Tally and her mother are brown-skinned
*Tally's BFF Shane is trans; Tally's dads are gay and both her adoptive mom and bio mom are bi; Tally is also bi

So I didn’t care for McCarry’s debut novel All Our Pretty Songs and didn’t read her second book Dirty Wings, but thanks to the girls-kissing cover, I knew I needed to read About a Girl. It sounded like a fine novel on its own too, but the promise of girls kissing is the best because the G in QUILTBAG is the one that gets all the representation. McCarry finishes out her generation-spanning trilogy with a highly intelligent journey of self-discovery.

This is the most diverse book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Tally is brown-skinned and bisexual, her biological mom Aurora is also brown-skinned and bisexual, Tally’s adopted mom is bisexual, Tally’s two adoptive dads are a gay couple in which one man is Senegalese and the other is Navajo, Tally’s best friend is trans,… Anyone who wants to call it unrealistic for so many different minority identities to be together like that can get out because I will take diverse representation over “realistic” representation any day. That doesn’t even include the wonder that is the cover with two girls kissing. (Also, 10000 bonuses because Tally and her best friend Shane have sex and it’s apparently amazing. Trans sex in YA is SO IMPORTANT.)

Tally’s atypical personality is another great selling point. Quite a few YA heroines are in love with literature or art and generally lean toward the fine arts, which is A-OK in my book because girls can love whatever they want. Tally’s interests are less in Shakespeare and more in astronomy and physics. All it took was one night looking at the stars and Tally found herself certain of her future in a way many of us wish we could be. She’s not unaware of the sexism in STEM fields either:

“I’m just saying, it’s not that women aren’t smart enough, it’s that they don’t get credit, or they get written out of the story. […] Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars when she was a graduate student in the sixties–discovered them, herself–and her professors won the Nobel Prize for it. Her name wasn’t even mentioned.” (p. 137)

Tally’s first-person narrative is a little detached thanks to her habit of using technical or 1800s-esque language, but it’s a welcome new point of view. Once she goes on her quest to find Jack from All Our Pretty Songs because she thinks he’s her father, the magical realism elements begin and the story of Medea gets a new epilogue-like spin put on it.

My one regret is that I’m not nearly smart enough to understand this book and all of McCarry’s smaller details, parallels, etc. she makes with Greek myths. Sometimes, I don’t know if McCarry’s novels make sense at all or if she’s just going so far over my head that only a regular reader of highly literary novels (or the @GuyInYourMFA-like guy who fakes his way through understanding literary novels) will really get what she’s going.

If you love high concept magical realism and offbeat retellings of Greek myths, please please please pick up About a Girl and maybe even the other two books in McCarry’s Metamorphoses trilogy, All Our Pretty Songs and Dirty Wings. Even having only read the first book of the trilogy, I saw elements of it being pulled together and brought closure in About a Girl, so readers who read/loved the first two books will get plenty out of the finale.
Profile Image for Terry.
857 reviews37 followers
December 30, 2016
This isn't really my genre, and it is the third book in a series I've not read, so my evaluation is colored by these limitations. McCarry has set up some real strengths by populating her story with as diverse a cast as could be imagined by any Brooklyn hipster, which the protagonist, Tally, shrugs off as routine: "my household of two gay not-dads and a sometimes gay not-mom doesn't even rate a raised eyebrow." LGBTQ merit badge? Check. There is some interesting world building, as McCarry weaves contemporary realism and ancient mythology together in a way reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

The book appeals to and demands a level of intellectualism, as Tally moves from her work in a bookstore and obsessions with astronomy and physics to her mythic quest in the wilds outside of Seattle. Books, book stores, and reading figure prominently throughout. The frankness of several sex scenes makes this an older YA, although there's really nothing here that any youth hasn't already seen with a few mouse clicks. There are also narrative leaps that a familiarity with Greek mythology will make clearer. By the time our hero gets home, she has moved through the heroic journey to come back changed, without the thing she initially sought, but still wiser.

I didn't love this book for several reasons. The main character spends a good portion of the book struggling with a malaise of forgetfullness/lack of motivation, which isn't the most compelling conflict. Characters seem to pop in and out randomly, with little more explanation than, "I was on the boat." Tally, an active and at times assertive young woman, seems unable to seize her own sexuality, following the leads of her paramours in a disappointingly passive way. There are many characters that didn't seem to quite get their due.

I am curious about the earlier two volumes; I wonder if they would have made this one more enjoyable, even though it worked adequately on its own. But this will have narrow appeal.
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,445 reviews192 followers
July 12, 2015
2.5 stars. "About a Girl" is the story of Tally, a very smart and very independent 18-year-old who seems very happy in her New York City home. She was adopted and is very happy with her family but it is interested in her past and to see if she can find out who she really is. This book is the third book in Sarah McCarry's Metamorphoses series. Each of these books focuses on a present-day story based on mythology. You definitely don't need to read the first two books in this series in order to understand what is going on with this book. This book is based on the myth of Atalanta, a myth that I was not familiar with before reading this book. I do suggest getting familiar with the myth before you read this book in order to understand it better. Eventually there is a little more of an explanation but it doesn't come until about the last third of the book.

The story itself was a little bit hard for me to get into. Tally goes in search of her father but by the end of the book we still don't really know much about him or Tally's origins other than she was abandoned by her mother. While Tally is on the other side of the country trying to figure out who she is, she falls for Maddy, a mysterious woman who has a hidden past. Again, I wish that I had a little bit more of a background in mythology and then maybe I would've understood where the story was going out little bit more.

One thing that I really enjoyed it about this book is that Tally's voice is very original. Tally is very sure that she wants to be an astronomer and she is extremely smart. The way that the author wrote her character was wholly original and I really did like her voice. I wish that I had liked this book a little bit more. I like that the author chose to use mythology and put a present day spin on it. I will definitely try other books by this author but the story was not my favorite!
8 reviews
January 23, 2017

In all honesty, it was a decent book. Being a young adult reader, there was a lot of scientific terms tossed around that i didn't fully understand. The way it was wrote, was nice but aggravating at times. I'm stubborn and had an interest in how it ended so i pushed through it. Tally, the main character, runs off at the mere chance of a stranger being her dad. She arrives at a place where she continuously forgets things and loses track of time. Her mom, who had "abandoned" her as a baby, was non-existent till the end of the book. In the beginning her and her friend Shane were best friends and she had grown more feelings for him. Although when things get steamy between the two, they act as strangers. When she met Jack, who was believed to be her father, he'd would go sailing and delay her reason for appearance. Along the way, she meets Maddie, the golden eyed mysterious girl. She believes she had fallen in love but soon realizes the had to head home. In the end of her voyage, her story falls into place. She is Atlanta and her mother is Aurora, their story goes back many years, before the stars appeared in the skies. Maddy, withholding magic, helps Aurora meet her mother. She walks across the sea and into a dark place much like the Underworld. There she learns that her mother couldn't leave again. once had been enough for her and Tally couldn't stay. On the way back Tally is late, she gets attacked by creatures under the waters and but eventually fights her way out. She goes home and makes up with Shane and continues on with her life. this left me with so many questions. Do he rand Shane build a relationship? Would she be able to go see her mom again?
In all, this book was good but frustrating.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nicole Field.
Author 18 books143 followers
February 10, 2017
I really wanted to love this book, as I had loved the previous two books before it. Added to Sarah McCarry's gorgeous, rich prose, this book also promised a lesbian romance.

Although About a Girl was just as much a modern myth as the other books in the Metamorphoses series, I felt that this book was two different stories: the story of Tally and Shane, and the story of Tally and Maddy. Unfortunately for me, I was more interested in the story of Tally and Shane, the transgender boy whom Tally had grown up with.

Instead, Tally ran away from any potential discomfort with her changing relationship to Shane and found Jack, whom readers may remember from the first book in the series, All Our Pretty Songs. Just like Raoul and 'Aunt Beast', Jack is an older version of the self we had seen. But there's something also very strange going on in the town in which he, Maddy, and a handful of other characters live in.

Ultimately, even the promise of some truth about Tally's family almost wasn't enough to get me to read all the way to the end of this book. The writing was more fractured, filled with less of the poetic imagery that I've become used to in Sarah's books. I will say, however, that the book was incredibly well researched with regards to the astrology that was Tally's passion, and brought out my own memories of childhood interest in the stars.
Profile Image for Kate Reads.
647 reviews27 followers
July 13, 2015
First I want to say that the language/writing style of this book is intense and I found a lot of the descriptions beautiful e.g. “There were a thousand questions I could have asked her, but I didn’t know where to start, and so I left them all buzzing in my mouth like bees battering a windowpane.”

I was not prepared for the sheer weirdness of this story especially given how normal the first half of the book feels. I mean this girl's family life is non-traditional (which I loved) but the first half of this book seems like a fairly real story - a girl is struggling with first love and having been abandoned by her mother with no real idea who her father is.

Her journey to find her family at best strange and at worst disturbing and completely magical.

I never grew particularly fond of any of the characters in this book except perhaps Raoul and Henri, but I had to know what all the weirdness was about once it got started.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Artnoose McMoose.
Author 1 book36 followers
November 10, 2015
I liked this last book the most out of the entire trilogy, which surprised me. I felt kind of meh about the first two, and was feeling pretty ambivalent about finishing the trilogy. Somehow this segment of the story tied up previous bits of story from the first two books. I also admit I'm a sucker for people meeting up after many years apart in stories. Jack had always been this big question mark, and it was cool to find out what happened to him.

Tally, the baby Aurora dropped off on her friends' doorstep, grows up in a multiethnic queer household in New York and is graduating from high school--- bound for a life as an astrophysicist--- when we meet up with her. She spends her last summer before college in Washington State, where her family is from, and gets into a relationship with a somewhat supernatural person.

All in all, I think things got wrapped up tidy enough but not too tidy. It's hard to impress me with endings, and this one was pretty good.
Profile Image for Debrarian.
1,245 reviews
August 7, 2015
The time I spent reading this book could have been an hour, a week or a year -- I had no way of knowing, and also I had no way of knowing what was going on most of the time, and neither did the protagonist, who started out supposedly a science genius and then became a fogged-up lust rat, forgot what she knew about herself and didn't know most other things. It felt like stars expanding outward at an increasingly slow pace, like supernovae if supernovae had skinny arms and kissed a lot in a hallucinatory stupor, like other things that are galactic metaphors applying to other stuff. Various things happened to various other people at some point before this book, or possibly before time began, or maybe they weren't people, maybe they were actually crows. Also, Pacific Northwestiness.
Profile Image for Angelina.
226 reviews32 followers
May 26, 2015

This makes me feel disappointed because Im very looking forward to read this book but the thing is I cant get into it. It hard to connect to the story and characters. I guess maybe next time I'll pick it up again and finished what I started but right now I gave up and need to move on to my next read.

**ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 6 books66 followers
August 9, 2015
i think this one is my favorite of the trilogy <3
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