(I compare things because I love them, I do have some librarian left in me).)
Also, about the Pacific Northwest; also, a crabby but ultimately likeable heroine; also, a diverse cast that feels true to the places where it is set, also, the dangerous, sexy love interest is NOT evil and there are no easy answers to any of the questions brought up in the novel.
My name is Atalanta, and I am going to be an astronomer, if one's inclination is towards the romantic and unspecific. My own inclination is neither, as I am a scientist. I am interested in dark energy, but less so in theoretical physics; it is time at the telescope that calls to me most strongly--we have telescopes, now, can see all the way to the earliest hours of the universe when the cloud of plasma after the Big Bang cooled enough to let light stream out, and it is difficult to imagine anything more thrilling than studying the birth of everything we know to be real.
Tally has an unusual family, a passion for astronomy, a deep, deep crush on her best friend (in a well written bisexual cis girl and unspecified trans boy relationship, nicely done), and a quest. Her mother disappeared, her father may be a rock star, a god, or both. She leaves Brooklyn, her bookstore job and gentle muse of a boss, her Aunt Beast (!!!) and beloved uncles to find answers in the Pacific Northwest. Tally finds, instead, Maddy--a mysterious, seductive, earthy woman who takes her into her home. She falls in love, but the mysteries abound, and her quest still waits--what lies in wait for Tally? And where is her mother, anyway?
This was one of my favorite books I read in 2015, and rereading it has been such a pleasure. The writing is funny, gorgeous, transcendent--yeah, Tally is kind of judgmental and cranky and florid, she's a teenager, and that felt very real. I'd only read the first book in the Metamorphosis series, All Our Pretty Songs, but was still able to follow the plot--having a working knowing of Greek myth helped.
...You grubby little animals with your tiny brains find questions in the heavens larger than those we have ever thought to ask. You built a machine under the earth seventeen miles in circumference and use it to shatter light into the smallest particles that exist. And even still you write symphonies, and paint pictures, and till the ground and make it fertile. It is not enough for you to have bred a single flower; you must breed a thousand kinds of rose. From our mountains, from under the earth, we can only cover what you have done with the short lives you have been given.
A stunning, unusual read to add to your collection, About a Girl has me ticking off the predecessors--and whatever is to come--from Sarah McCarry.
Sarah McCarry: Website