I have previously received PR products (free review copies) from Penguin
TWs: rape, domestic abuse.
Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize (joint with Atwood’s The Testaments) in 2019, and now in 2020 has been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction award. Being so highly recognised made me really want to read this book, and having seen a lot of other people picking it up recently, I knew I had to get round to it.
TW: This book contains a lot of sensitive topics, including cancer, rape/sexual assault (underage and not underage) and various forms of abuse.
As you will have gathered from the above trigger warnings, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing deals with a lot of hard-hitting topics, so I appreciate that it is not for everyone. Absolutely no shame if you don’t want to read this review because of that. The topics listed above may be mentioned in this review, but I won’t go into detail. This debut by Eimear McBride is very impressive. I have read so much great Irish literature in the last year or so and if you haven’t been reading Irish authors, please please change that! Some of the greatest, most forward-thinking, boundary-pushing books I’ve read have been from Irish writers. (A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, Solar Bones, Normal People, Joyce, Boland).
My first read of 2019 was An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (AART) by Hank Green. Green is best known for creating educational videos on YouTube including Crash Course and SciShow videos, and his brother, John, is known for his YA novels including The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down. As a fan of Green’s from YouTube and other places on the internet, I didn’t want to write off AART as just another ‘YouTuber book’. I felt, or rather hoped, that he hadn’t got a publication deal for being Hank Green, and that the publishing house had felt his work worthy of publication on its own merit. Having read videos scripted by Green as well as essays and thinkpieces published online I was confident he was capable of writing in a sophisticated and considered manner, though essay-writing and script-writing requires a different set of skills to novel-writing.