Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today, I'm welcoming back the lovely Mckenzie Kate to review another middle-grade title for us.  I love hearing what actual teens think about the books that are targeted toward their age group, and Mckenzie never disappoints.  So, without further ado, here is her engaging review of Roddy Doyle's A Greyhound of a Girl:

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Title:  A Greyhound of a Girl
Author:  Roddy Doyle
Series:  n/a
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Source:  ARC

Mary O’Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can’t let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary’s street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny’s own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Mary O’Hara is a twelve-year-old girl living in Dublin, Ireland. Unfortunately, things haven't been going very well for Mary lately. Not only has her best friend just moved away, but her grandmother, Emer, is extremely sick and has been admitted to the hospital. To add to that, a strange woman keeps appearing in Mary’s neighborhood. Mary assumes she is a new neighbor, but finds out later that that is not true at all. The woman, Tansey, short for Anastasia, is a ghost. A ghost of Mary’s grandmother’s mother. She’d heard of Tansey plenty of times in stories, but, of course, had never met her in person. Now, Tansey is asking Mary and her mother (who, oddly enough, are not all that shocked about a ghost in front of them) to help her reach Emer again so she can talk to her. Mary and her mother agree to help Tansey and take her to the hospital to see her daughter, and that’s where the adventure begins.

This book was so fun and interesting to read. And set in Ireland? Even better! A lot of Irish references and words throughout the story had me laughing out loud, along with several other parts, but then, there were parts that had me on the verge of tears, as well. I’ve never read any books by Roddy Doyle before, and, though A Greyhound of a Girl may be my first, it definitely won’t be my last! The writing style was unique and captivating, and I was hooked from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, exciting read. Also, the cover and pages are beautiful, and that is always a plus!

Now, for my favorite characters!

~ Scarlett: Scarlett, Mary’s mother, was so hilarious and eccentric that I couldn’t help but love her. Though my mother is not eccentric by any means, she is also hilarious and always in good spirits, and Scarlett reminded me of her. She was always shouting things and ending sentences with !!!s, as Mary said.

~ Tansey: Tansey’s story, though sad, was enjoyable to read about. I loved reading about her and what happened, how she died, and how she was able to stay on earth as a ghost. Tansey and Emer had a beautiful mother/daughter relationship, and I could really relate to that, as well.

~ Dommo and Killer (Dominic and Kevin): Though these two boys (Mary’s older brothers) did not appear in the story often, it was interesting, to say the least, when they did. They were usually very funny, and a lot of parts involving these two had me cracking up. Like this (also an example of Mary’s hilarious, overly-excited mother):
… the boys charged into the kitchen, in a race to the fridge that Killer was winning.
The boys stopped when they saw Tansey.
“We’re talking about death, boys!” said Scarlett.
“Cool,” said Dommo.
This was an amazing story, and, after reading in the back of the book where some of Roddy Doyle’s books have become movies, I hope this is made into a film, also. I have a feeling it will - such a wonderful book deserves to be on the big screen! I hope to read more of Roddy Doyle’s fabulous work… and soon!

Thank you so much, Ms. Jen, for sending me this book for review!

Rating:  Photobucket


Thank YOU, Miss Katertot, for taking the time to read and review another book for us!  I know this one, in particular, was a little emotional for you, but I really appreciate your thoughtful, insightful review.  If you do pick up any more of Roddy Doyle's works, please do share your thoughts with us!


  1. You better look out, Jeannette. McKenzie is quite the reviewer.

    I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds good. Im happy you enjoyed it so much. Excellent review!

    1. Aww, this comment is going to make Mckenzie's day - it definitely made her mom's! ;) Thank you, Andrea!

  2. Thank you so much for sending her this book, Jen. She really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of this cover. I love how the roses represent the stages of life for each character. Such a lovely book! You're the best! <3


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