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The Minnow

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  112 reviews
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 los
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 28th 2014 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Well, I thought this was a sucky ass book. You have Tom (aka Holly) who loses her mom, dad and sister in a flood. She moves in with Bill (I never figured out who he was exactly). Well, Bill takes her with him when he goes to bang the neighborhood missus who runs a local store. Then Bill figures out that Tom is a girl and she becomes pregnant by him. *insert rage here*
Nothing happens to him for being a dang pervert. *head-desk*
I never did figure out how old Tom is supposed to be. (ETA: A lovely p
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Nothing much changes.

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

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 r
C.G. Drews
I totally admit! I wanted to read this book because of the swoon-worthy cover. There are other reasons, duh. Like, the blurb is interesting, it's written by an Aussie author (go us!), and it won the Text Publishing prize in 2013. But I really just love the cover. did my cover-judging go?


The writing is gosh darn beautiful. I seriously can't explain how beautiful the writing is. It's dreamy. And soft. And very artistic. This can also be a downside, if you like writ
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

I have just finished reading The Minnow, and I still have no idea what I just read. The Minnow was absolutely beautiful, in the way it presented the story that could have potentially torn us to pieces. But it was so unusual in the way that it was told, it kind of detracted from that grief, trauma and sadness.

Tom is a 15 year old girl who is pregnant, from the result of sexual abuse from an older man. She has lost her parents
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tom is 14-years-old. She lives in The Crossing, a small coastal town that recently experienced devastating floods. Tom’s Mum, Dad and sister all died and she has been living with Bill ever since. Now she finds herself pregnant with Bill’s baby, and caught in the middle of his shady business, which is gaining the interest of the local police.

So Tom moves into her best friend Jonah’s house – Jonah’s parents also died in the floods, and he’s happy to take care of Tom if it means getting her away f
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Minnow is a beautifully written tale about Tom, a 14 year old orphan who is pregnant to a much older man, and her best friend Jonah, who must navigate the world after the tragic Mothers day flood that stole both of their families. Throw in that Tom can talk to fish, and dead people, and the gorgeous character "the minnow" and you have a heartbreaking, lyrical and unique story. I have never read anything like this. I'm not 100% sure about anything in this book, and frankly that is a good thin ...more
Christine Bongers
Unique, beguiling and wondrous strange. Meet Tom, adrift at 14, and pregnant to Bill, a menacing charmer more than twice her age. Tom talks to the dead and her unborn child, the Minnow,as she and best friend Jonah navigate the loss of their families in a devastating Mother's Day flood. For those who like their fiction to stray into uncharted waters and can live with unanswered questions at the end.
A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Minnow is one of the most unique novels that I have had the pleasure of reading. I’m so glad that Text sent this book to me, because there is a chance I may have never discovered The Minnow by myself. There is no question in my mind why The Minnow won the Text Prize.

To me, The Minnow felt like Tom’s memoir. The tense was all over the place, and the descriptions were all but non-existent, however this added
The Minnow is one incredibly strange book. "Whimsical" doesn't even begin to describe it.

I've seen many claims that the narration is incredibly powerful. And while the narrative voice was indeed very poignant, with the innocent tone highlighting Tom's youth, at times I felt almost as if the narrative voice was too young. It didn't really seem like a year ten student speaking, but someone much younger. And while I could appreciate the author's attempt at a "moving and powerful coming of age story
Paris Williment
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If the author lets me, I’m making this into a stage show. It’s absurdly amazing. I love it and I can’t begin to understand some of the reviews on it- the writing style is obviously deliberate, the trauma she’s been through greatly influences how she reacts and interacts to the world around her. And Bill is never bad-mouthed by the narrator but somehow we all harbour seething hatred towards him. I love this book.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this, it was compelling and an interesting concept, but it got confusing at times when it jumped all over the place in time.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Actual Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Source: Received for review (thanks, Text!)
I think I'm crying right now.

The Minnow is such a beautiful, sad story full of love, loss, and life. It was a painful read, but Tom's prose is so beautiful and elegant and amazing that I kept reading and reading. It's about fear and sadness and happiness and everything in between. Jonah's story of acceptance, Tom's tale of moving on, and the Minnow's of coming into existence.
Tom lost her parents and younger sister, Sara
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text, loveozya
3½ Stars.
The Minnow is a story of grief, loss and one young girl learning to heal. Tom, who's nickname is all she's known by, is an incredible character. Although her short life so far has been ravaged by incredible sadness, she lives with a fairytale type, whimsical outlook. She talks to the spirit of those around her who have passed, she speaks with fish in the pet shop and inlet, and of course The Minnow, which is what she's decided to call her unborn c
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
The Minnow means small fry.
The Minnow is written in the first person, in the voice of Tom. Tom is a girl called Holly who, at the age of 14, lost her family when a flood deluged her town. Many of the townsfolk died and there was immense damage. It was still quite creepy to learn that Tom shacked up with Bill, a shady character about town, and no adults intervened.

It is therefore no surprise to learn that Tom's grief is compounded when she finds out she is pregnant following what seems like a sin
More like a 2.5 rating.

Find this review and more fantastical things at The Leaning Tower of Tomes.

Source: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affects my review; all opinions are my own. Thank you, Text Publishing!

The review:

I guess you could call The Minnow "whimsical", but it's stranger than "whimsical". It's a unique book about Tom, a fourteen-year-old girl who is pregnant with what she calls "The Minnow". A flood devas

Copy provided by NetGalley

As a girl whose nose has been permanently in a book since she could actually read on her own, I like to think that I’ve read it all. It’s a ridiculous thought because there are millions upon millions of books in the world, and I’ve maybe read 2,000 or more in my eighteen years on Earth. I let myself have such this delusion because I have read a lot of books in my life so far, and sometimes they all seem to be the same for better or worse. The Minnow, for what it’s worth
Emily Mead
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Read reviews, see awesome GIFS and see my rambling thoughts at my blog, The Loony Teen Writer

Like all before me, I love this cover SO SO much. In the paperback version (you can’t really see just from the image) some of the images on the front are silver and shiny. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to read it. The others were that 1) it won the Text Prize in 2013, 2) it sounded amazing and 3) Text’s books have never disappointed me.

And I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed.

Ways to describe
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-read
Weird, different, but I liked it a lot. I WAS EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED SURPRISINGLY. My only problem was that the story jumped around without warning.

I received The Minnow from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

So, The Minnow, I liked it a lot. I did. The descriptive and poetic writing really pulled through to me, but it was also really confusing at some points.

Gah, you see this, The Minnow is complicated to rate because I liked the characters a lot, and the writing, but it was just so ha
Sarah Mayor Cox
Every now and again a book comes along that just TAKES MY BREATH AWAY. This is one of these books. I've had it on my 'to read' pile since it was published. I started it, and wasn't grabbed by it at first, so I put it down. And then just like the character Minnow in the book, it disappeared from sight for over a year. It resurfaced yesterday, when I was 'soggy with a rotten cold' and good for nothing. I gulped it down in two huge bites - morning and afternoon.

What an extraordinary book!

Tom comes
Alix Long
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing

There haven't been many books that I have finished and had that period of silent reflection where I have thought woah. I flipping wish I had written this. There has to be that tenderness, that intensity, the pull you feel towards the characters that you can't help but get unconditionally drawn to. The Minnow was without question one of those books, for me. In my previous blog post, my interview with the author Diana Sweeney, I explored the idea of the coastal community, and h
Strangers aren't always welcome in The Crossing, but reading The Minnow is like being a visitor to this small town, and going on a guided tour via the eyes of an innocent fourteen year old girl, Tom. There is so much detail to Tom’s story; she’ll introduce you to characters like Bill, a man who took her in after the flood, Jonah, her best friend, and Nana who resides in the Mavis Orstein Home for the Elderly. Right from the start you’ll be swept up in her tale of a town still recovering from a n ...more
Olivia (Bookcomet)
If this isn't the definition of unique, then I don't know what is.

The Minnow totally met the bar for my expectations. Many of my fellow Aussie book bloggers has read this book and pretty much all of them raved about it. Being the very inquisitive bookworm I am, I just had to know what it was about.

But back to the unique side of the book: I have never come across a book about a girl who can talk to animals, ghosts AND an unborn baby. Or about a pregnant (then fourteen) fifteen year old girl bef
Rae King
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

This is not the type of book that can be put in one category. This novel intertwines several themes to create something that is beautiful, unique, and heartbreaking.

Tom is a fourteen year old girl who has lost her entire family in a flood. She becomes pregnant with an older man, Bill's, baby. The way the author writes about the circumstance leaves the reader wondering if the conception was consensual or not. Either
Jul 01, 2015 added it
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to DonutKnow by: Reading Challenge - School
Shelves: teen-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
I never finished reading this book. I guess I couldn't get passed the fact that the main character's name was Tom and she was a female. I am all about non-gender and all, but that is just really annoying. Most of what I did read I felt that she was a slow, under-average intellectual. And I really can't stand many more of those To-Kill-A-Mimic-Bird types of reads.

Also, I am not a fisherman nor a fishermen's girlfriend/wife and didn't know that a Minnow was a fishing term of endearment--no. Sorry.
Quirky, magical, and slightly off-kilter.

But so much better book precisely because of its unusual structure, its surreal nature, and its complicated characters.

Small town Australian has never been depicted quite like this. And yet, it is grounded and familiar and affectionate.

Loved it to bits.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredible read.

It was odd, and heartrending, and beautiful. Sweeney does a fantastic job of translating the effects of grief onto the page. I often found myself reading faster, desperate to figure out what was going on. But still my heart sunk as I neared the end, I really wasn't ready to have finished the novel and wish there were another 300 pages.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Minnow reads like a series of short stories all jumbled together. The characters & the story are compelling, I really liked the way Tom interacts & the understated magic. I did have a few unanswered questions though, it felt like there was a chapter or 2 about Bill missing, which is why it's 4 stars. ...more
Clare M
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya
This was a delightful and strange story. I quickly lost myself into Tom's magical world. This book can be a tough read at times as Tom deals with her grief from the floods and the people left behind. Definitely worth it though!
Michael Earp
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't know what I was expecting, but this interesting, quiet and thoughtful magic realism story about a girl coming to terms with her pregnancy in the wake of flood that took her whole family was a surprise. A lovely read.
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