By: Melanie | August 21, 2014 | (20) Comments

Review: The Minnow by Diana SweeneyThe Minnow by Diana Sweeney
Publisher: Text Publishing Australia
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 256
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby.

Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings.

And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.

The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming of age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.

I cannot remember the last time I’ve read something like The Minnow. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I’ve ever read anything like The Minnow. Utterly beautiful and magical, The Minnow sucked me in completely, and I’m sure Tom’s story won’t be leaving my head any time soon.

Tom is a girl. Her real name is Holly but everyone calls her Tom. The reason? You’ll just have to find out yourself. Tom, for me, was a fantastic choice of a protagonist. Though odd and strange, she was a very determined girl who I became to love quite early on in the novel. She’s only 14-15 years of age and that’s just about the age I am so with that addition, I could really feel for her. My only qualm with Tom was how she was always, constantly crying. I can see why she does cry, but I don’t like how I became hyper-conscious of it because she was crying so frequently.

Nothing much changes.

You love someone, they die. You miss them. You grow older.

Where this book’s strongest aspect lays is in the narration. It is poignant, and I ate up every word. The author’s use of short sentences was well done and it gave such a fantastic effect. Like Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer said, the writing is just so calming. You literally just fall into the words, because they’re so damn perfect and glorious in every way. Don’t even let me get started on how gorgeous the imagery is. *sighs* I definitely want to be reading more of this author’s works because of the writing. For a change, I think I might love the dialogue more than the prose in this case.

So while I was reading this book, this happened:



Let me warn you now, as fantastic smelling this book is, don’t smell it until you’ve finished reading or else you’ll be at mercy to spoilers. I got spoiled and I seriously regret it because that ENDING. I cry a million times. ;____;

Another thing that I fell in love with? How weird Tom’s conversations were. She talks to fish. Waiiit but that’s not all! She talks to her dead relatives like her Papa and her sister Sarah. Aaaaaand…. She talks to The Minnow. Tom, a 14-15 year old girl talks to The Minnow. The Minnow is inside of her, The Minnow is in her stomach. Yep, you didn’t read that wrong, Tom, a 14-15 year old girl is pregnant.


Okay that came out wrong. It’s not a good thing she’s pregnant of course, but I loved how unique that made this book. It made me curious and I wanted to give Tom a big big hug. The Minnow is one of my favourite characters in this novel, Tom and her conversations with the unborn baby are so interesting and left a smile on my face. It was truly something beautiful and compelling, their relationship.

The only thing I had a problem with was the fact that I got confused a number of times. The tense changed without hesitation and I was thrown off balance and confused on what was really happening now and what wasn’t. It took me some time to adjust each time. But apart from that, I don’t have any other quibbles.

Ineffably beautiful and spellbinding, The Minnow was a richly crafted tale that was filled with diversity and gorgeous writing. I will eat this book for dinner if I could.

~Thank you Text Publishing Australia for sending me this copy!~

4 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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20 Responses to Review: The Minnow by Diana Sweeney

  1. I just reviewed this one on Monday too and I thought it was such a beautiful, diverse and unique book. I couldn’t help but love Tom for her strength of character. It was confusing at times though. Awesome review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner Review: Bittersweet PainMy Profile

  2. Rashika says:

    I read Jeann’s review for this the other day and I am becoming increasingly jealous of the fact that this book is only available in Australia at the moment. I am hoping someone will realize what a gem it is and pick it up and publish it for the rest of the world to see.

    I am so glad you enjoyed this, Mel!!! I am pretty sure the confusion wouldn’t bother me too much though because I get the feeling that’s kind of the essence of Tom’s character. She just sounds so.. desperately in need of a big bear hug.

    Gorgeous review, hon!!! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Jewel by Amy EwingMy Profile

  3. Megan says:

    Wow, this book sounds beautiful and amazing. Great review.
    Megan recently posted…Throwback Thursday Review: SabrielMy Profile

  4. Tanja says:

    Ouch! I’m so sorry you spoiled the ending >.< That's really a shame and that's why I sniff only the first page of the book 😀 But this sounds really good and magical. I really love the sound of it and Tom's story seems so good. Great review, Mel 🙂

  5. I loved this one too! I got confused a lot…but somehow I didn’t even care because it was just so so beautiful. The style? TOM HERSELF. Although the Minnow was definitely my favourite character and the ending kind of made me cry, I won’t deny it. It’s probably the myst beautiful book I’ve read this year, for sure.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Notebook Sisters Approved || Crazy Writers, Coincidences, and 354My Profile

  6. This sounds really great. I think I’ll read it… and I promise not to smell it until AFTER I read it in its entirety. 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Review: Just Like the Movies by Kelly FioreMy Profile

  7. Zoe N. says:

    WOW! This sounds… intense Mel! The writing sounds absolutely gorgeous – I love it when the author is really able to use imagery and short sentences well. And Tom sounds like such a wonderful character. It’s always great when there are characters you can really connect with, because they really make the story more relatable. Definitely going to give this a try – I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about it! Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…The Body in the WoodsMy Profile

  8. Amelia says:

    OMG you have no idea how badly i want to read this book. i have been reading praise for this like everywhere and i am drooling at the sight of the cover. it’s beautiful! i am glad that this one lived up to it’s name and was worthy of the text prize. feeling really sorry for tom–can’t believe that she’s only 14 and pregnant. *hugs for her*

  9. Bennari says:

    Oh lol I hereby pledge that I will not sniff this book until I finish it in case I spoil myself with the ending. You have me curious, Melanie! I wanna know what happens in the end. That quote is quite hard and true! This sounds so beautiful. Love your review

  10. Yooo Mel!

    I haven’t heard of this one before but the cover alone is enough to sell me on this. I will definitely be picking this one up if I see it at the store because seriously, 4 stars from you? Heck yeah!

    Awesome review, Mel girl 🙂

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