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The Smallest Thing

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  75 reviews
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.

But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quar
Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Steel Rose Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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OMG. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book sooooo much that it's officially become my #4 favorite of all time. Really, it's the first time I fell deeply in love with a historical fiction and I guess it'll be my most anticipating genre from now on. ;)

Highly recommend, guys!!

*Full review's on the way*
Wendi Lee
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ya
People are getting sick in a tiny English village. At first it's just elderly people, but then healthy adults start coming down with it too. Neighbors begin to die, and sudden the entire village is quarantined, including 17 year old Emmott.

Emmott's weeks away from her lifelong dream of ditching her small town and heading to London with her boyfriend. She has everything planned out, and doesn't care what anyone (especially her father) thinks. But Emmott is forced to stay and watch her friends an
Kirsten McKenzie
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Rating 3.5

In the end, I really enjoyed the story, but it was a slow start, and until I got to about 60% of the way through, I didn't care much for the protagonist or what she was going through.
The main character is your typical teenage girl, who cares for no one other than herself, and for the things she wants to achieve. And then disaster strikes and she is quarantined in her small village with the rest of town, and begins to watch people die who she's known her entire life.
Not a lot happens i
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The Smallest Thing was a slow burner for me as, until a good way into the book, I struggled to engage with the main character, Emmott Sydall. I guess I just found it difficult to think back to how I was as a teenager (it was a while ago!), believing the universe revolved around me and my plans, and rebelling against any seeming constraint placed upon them.

Initially, the arrival of the mysterious illness in the village and the quarantining of its inhabitants is more irksome than anything else to
Demi Nolan
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read majority of this book in one sitting. It was gripping and heart breaking. Inspired by historical events of the Village of Eyam, it really makes you feel and connect to these characters, as though the story is work of Fiction, the events have been and can be very real in this world.
I found the writing style intriguing and thoroughly enjoyed Emmotts story, though I did cry like a baby towards the end.
This was my first rea
Michael Raymond
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Letter First the boring bit: I was given the opportunity to review Lisa Manterfield’s new novel, The Smallest Thing , prior to its release. I received a complimentary early review copy from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation has been received or implied for this review, nor was I given guidance about review content. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Now the fun bit: Lisa Manterfield's second novel is a winner. The Smallest Thing is the engaging and wonderfully writt
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The science nerd in me has always been fascinated by plagues. So when I caught wind that Lisa Manterfield's The Smallest Thing was inspired by the plague that wrecked havoc on Eyam, I was intrigued. I was curious to see how she gave this historical story a modern twist through the eyes of modern day teenager. The end result? I wasn't disappointed one bit. Harrowing, intense, and compelling, The Smallest Thing is a book focuses not only on how tragedy effects us inside and out but also on how hop ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of “The Smallest Thing” by Lisa Manterfield in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads and Barnes and Noble
This book follows a girl named Emmot who lives in a small, quiet village in England.
However, she wants to leave and go to London for the peaceful and monotonous live her family and neighbors have is not what she desires for herself.
But then, her neighbors start dying and the government is forced to quarantine the small village
Once again, Emmott feels
Emmott has always dreamed of leaving her dreary village life and moving to London. Now this dream looks like it is about to come true, she has a job and flat lined up and she has even persuaded her boyfriend Ro to go with her. But before she manages to get out, the village is put under quarantine with a mysterious new disease and her new life slips further and further out of reach.
I couldn't warm to Emmott, she starts off as a bratty, self-absorbed teenager and though she probably does have a re
Amber Jones
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh lordy this is one powerful book for sure. This book had me in tears at least 6 different times throughout it. This a very strong story, it pulls you into the main character and grows making you love so many different characters.

Emmott is such an amazing strong rebellious and loving character. These are all qualities she doesnt see herself as having. All she wants to do is run away from this little village everyone stays in forever.

But then the whole town is quarantined and everyone starts dyi
The premise of this book is very good. There is so much an author can do with a quarrantined village and a mystery illness.

But I have to admit that I did not like the main character. She was immature, spoilt and very disrespectful towards her parents. I also did not like the fact that she tried to justify her behaviour and judements. What I do have to say is that Emmott grew as a character and her bratty self was soon left behind as the reality of her situation set in.

Lisa Manterfield portrayed
Jul 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
ARCs are available here: [closed - other review opportunities found here] ...more
I give the book 4.5/5 Big Ben Towers.

I have been MIA for about three weeks. I have another endeavor which I'm trying really hard to work out. I am currently home away from home and I am hoping that this is going to be the break that I have been waiting for. I am praying that the Lord will have mercy on me and finally grant me this fervent wish. I have asked the help of all my prayer warriors and from all the angels and saints in heaven to help pray for me also.

One other reason which contributed
Lauren Jones
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What makes a village? In its simplest form, it is a community of families who work with each other to survive. If that doesn’t happen, what kind of village would that be? Manterfield brings some pretty powerful fears to life with this story, but the fear is credible which makes it even more terrifying. When someone you love has been infected with a deadly virus, your choices are every bit crucial to their survival and comfort as well as your own. How could you possibly ever make that decision?

Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
When I read the blurb for this book I was immediately intrigued. I do love a good apocalyptic read. And this one did not disappoint. What I enjoyed most was depths this author dove to. She concentrated a lot on the emotional side of being quarantined and not so much the death and disease. At least that is what I came away with. Also, there were a few aspects I never would have thought about when it comes to being closed off from the rest of the world. And it really made me think about that need ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog Literary Flits

I visited the village of Eyam a couple of years ago spending time in the informative little museum there learning the story of how, when the great Plague of 1665 was inadvertently brought to their doors, this heroic community of 260 people chose to quarantine themselves in an attempt to save their neighbours in the surrounding villages and towns. Lisa Manterfield took that original tale and used it as inspiration for The Smallest Thing. This m
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Smallest Thing is a really good story. It had my attention locked from start. The writing is just wonderful, and the overall mystery regarding what was causing members of the village to fall sick, some dying soon after, had me intrigued.

I liked that this was inspired by a real life event, one that I had no idea about until reading the blurb, but I'm glad the author was able to deliver the story in such a way that I actually felt like I was there in every moment, experiencing this devastatio
The smallest thing was a very interesting book. I loved the concept: what will the impact be when a plague brakes out in the village. The characters were very dimensional. There was a strong friendship between female characters. In the beginning the main character Emmott is a bit selfish and sometimes mean, but facing this situation she realizes what is important and what not. The writing style was average, it was not bad, but also not incredible beautiful. There were a few typing errors. For ex ...more
Kathleen Guthrie Woods
*Disclaimer: I read several early drafts of this book. My review below is of the published version.

Stayed up late two nights in a row reading this beautifully written page-turner. Love the twist on history, the updating of the setting and circumstances, the well-crafted storytelling.

My only "negative" (and this in no way takes away from my 5-star rating) is that I wasn't ready to let these characters go. I wanted more time with Emmott (great life-experience-driven development from angsty teen w
Katherine Paschal
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, audiobook, survival
I liked the idea of this story but could not get behind the main character and her selfish attitude and odd instalove. Also I listened to the audiobook and I was not a big fan of the narrator, I may have enjoyed this more if I had read the book instead.
I'm sure others will love this mysterious virus outbreak story, it just was not for me.
Alicia Owen
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

I loved this story! It was a very entertaining and engaging read, even for a 30 year old married woman with two kids. ;) It has a little bit of everything: drama, romance, dark humor...I love a good epidemic story, and this is definitely one of them. If you know a teen/young adult who loves to read, I highly recommend suggesting this title to him/her!
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I enjoyed The Smallest Thing. Let me also admit that I didn’t like the main character, Emmott, at first. Actually for quite a while. Emmott is very, very concerned with…Emmott. The author did an excellent job of portraying how a small village in England opens up, welcomes and actually loves everyone, even if it seems like meddling. I myself came from a small town and I’m still feeling the effects of this…loving…myself. Good, quick read.
4 ½ Stars. Behind-closed-doors lovin’ w
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Emmott is 17 years old doesn't want to turn out like her father or the other ten generations who never left their village and there's no way she is going to waste her life. She's lined up a part-time job in London and has persuaded her musician boyfriend Ro, to go with her. Nothing is going to stop her and she swears she will never come back. But then her neighbors and friends start to die and no one knows why, the government is forced to come in and quarantine the village. A mystery I love thes ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not the type of book that I would usually read, but it had me hooked from the start. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s been a while since I finished a book in a day
It wasn’t all that I hoped for but it wasn’t all bad either. I love stories that feature some biological threat that means people are quarantined. Whether that’s some 17th century plague ship or a modern tiny village in the UK, it’s a theme that draws me in right away. I love seeing how people’s initial reactions to somewhat unexpected or mysterious deaths pile up and then the government comes in and things get even more crazy. I especially enjoy a lengthy quarantine where people have to make do ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A thank you to the publisher-- I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield is a YA novel about Emmott Sydall, a 17-year-old who lives in a small English village and wants to run away with her boyfriend to London, but is forced to stay in her town because of dramatic events. This story is very loosely based on occurrences in the town of Eyam during the Bubonic plague-- the town quarantined itself to save neighboring towns from infection
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I have to say, in all honesty, when I started reading this book, I was only a few chapters in & I was seriously contemplating chucking it out/deleting it from my reading pile. The main character was so rude to her father as well as being, for want of a better term, hypocritical in her outlook. Another thing was that, although it is listed as a "clean" novel, there were still sexual interactions referred to (although not in explicit detail) & one crude term/swearword used. All of this I found off ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Manterfield's debut novel A Strange Companion but this second release is going to be very hard to beat.

I received and voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. While this might not have been something I would typically pick, I was soon hooked. With life & death stakes and a gutsy protagonist (albeit with plenty of room to grow), there's an escalating sense of doom as fatal illness inches closer to the people Emmott loves. Her existing relationships
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You know how sometimes you pick up a book and even though the premise sounds interesting, you're kind of expecting it not to be good? It's nothing against the book, but maybe you're just concerned with if this plot is going to stay interesting, or where it can actually go? I was that way with this book, but I was really happy to be proven wrong.

The Smal
J Aislynn d'Merricksson
***This book was reviewed via XPresso Blog Tours

Emmott Syddall wants nothing more than to leave the tiny English village of Eyam, that has been home to countless generations of her family. She's desperate to escape to London, with her boyfriend Ro, though Ro seems more reluctant to leave. Emmott’s father wants her to stay, eventually taking over the family tour business. Before she can leave, however, disaster strikes in the form of a deadly plague, and the quarantine that follows. Trapped in Ey
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I’m Lisa Manterfield and I love telling stories.

I’m a curious cat and I’m fascinated by human behavior and what makes people tick.

I love fish-out-of-water stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations, especially if those situations delve into the unexplained.

I love digging up nuggets of history—not the vast sweeping stories of events that changed the world, but the personal stories of pe

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