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About a Girl by Joanne Horniman

About a Girl (2010)

by Joanne Horniman

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Actual rating: 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3, not because it's poorly written (it has a dreamlike, disconnected, but lyrical style that occasionally, at least for me, becomes a little pretentious) but because I didn't enjoy reading it. A solid "meh" from me. Real review later possibly.

It was sent to me as a YA book, but I think it straddles the YA/adult market, learning more toward 20-somethings than high schoolers. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Once I’d got over my surprise about another teenage book with a seemingly adult theme – lesbianism – I found myself enjoying the way Horniman writes. Although there’s once again the references to literature that I’ve found in other CBC short-listed books this year, her narrator’s to ‘Finnegans Wake’ seems much more integral, an outsider enjoying a novel that most people can’t comprehend. I also like the subtlety of Horniman’s prose. For example, after realising that an early attraction to a conventional girl isn’t what she wants – she’s after someone wilder – she heads home realising her aloneness and this fragile emotional state is conveyed by her bicycle light ‘making a little wavering beam in front of me’.

Horniman can also be quite direct. I guess she’s pitching this at all those girls with lesbian leanings, as well as a wider audience, to get them to realise this is not something to feel bad about. ‘My liking girls was a fundamental part of my nature. It had been acquired involuntarily, the way I had red hair and pale skin.’ Appropriately, too, in a book asserting the integrity of someone outside the norm, Horniman has her Anna have a go at the sort of pulp fiction reigning today – talking of customers in the bookshop where she works, she says ‘They insisted on buying crap like vampire books’. Actually, tapping in that quotation reminds me how little coarse language there is in this novel, not a virtue in itself but indicative of the way Horniman is more articulate in expressing her ideas.

A well structured novel, with quite a few parts told in retrospect, it offers a positive view of not being like everyone else without diminishing the difficulties of such an existence. ( )
  evening | Apr 29, 2011 |
This is a story about a girl who would like to find love and be accepted for who she is. Her attraction, is towards women, she has always known this but has been unable to express her desires due to her inexperience or age, 19. It’s another YA story about coming of age and finding one self.

Anna is primarily concerned about unresolved desires. She feels she is unlovable and this makes it difficult for her to establish relationships and friendships to a lesser extent. She knows herself to be intelligent yet she rejects this, she know herself to be independent and strong yet she fears this.

When Anna falls for Flynne she discovers that her unrelenting desire to be loved is once more incomplete. She finds the Flynn ambiguous nature greatly disappointing. Anna is more stable and committed in nature yet she finds herself attracted to women who are more adventurous than committed. This dilemma creates heart ache for Anna but she is able to work through it and become more decisive and self assured as a result.

A very frank and well structured look at a young girl coming to terms with her sexuality. Horniman writes beautifully and creates the self talk with regards to intimacy, that all women must experience really well. The book is richly textured around the character of Anna, with particular reference to Dostovesky's, 'Tales from the underground' as the character she identifys with. ( )
  esther.tp | Mar 25, 2011 |
Anna's past is dark and painful, she never meant for the bad things to happen, she never meant to feel the things she feels, she never meant to be so different, but she couldn't help it. And it was all her fault.

Moving to Lismore had seemed ideal; Anna had a job she enjoyed and her own apartment, what more could she want? And then one day she saw a girl with a white guitar running down the street, and from the moment she heard that girl play she was in love. But she knew that she would never see that girl again.

Days later, though, she did. Her name was Flynn, and when she played she called herself Every Little Thing, but to Anna she was everything. The day they met they sat on Flynn's roof drinking tea and eating banana bread. The day they met Anna was the happiest she had ever been.

The only problem was Anna wasn't sure Flynn shared her feelings for her. There would be days, weeks, when Flynn could not be found, other days she was constantly by her side. But there was always something between them. Anna assumed it was Flynn's secrets keeping them apart, but Anna had been keeping secrets of her own.

This is a story of two girls, a couple of cats and a teapot named Lavinia. A story of falling in love, having your heart broken and losing those you love. A story about learning that everyone is different in their own way. A simple, honest and moving story About A Girl who just wants to be loved. ( )
  LarissaBookGirl | Mar 2, 2010 |
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Tanka for my muse, Tom.
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This morning I woke and remembered her, and went to the window to look out into the leafless garden, leaning my forehead against the cold winter glass. Flynn.
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"Anna is afraid she is unlovable - until she meets Flynn. Together, the girls swim, eat banana cake, laugh and love. Some days Flynn is unreachable; other days she's at Anna's door - but when Anna discovers Flynn's secret, she wonders if she knows her at all."--Cover.… (more)

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