Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Reading Your Teen Will Actually Enjoy! (The Smallest Thing Review & Giveaway)

             Hey folks! Do you know a teen/young adult who loves to read? I have the perfect book to add to his/her summer reading!
             The Smallest Thing, written by Lisa Manterfield, follows the rebellious Emmott Syddall, a 17 year old girl dying to escape the boring little village she lives in. Synopsis snippets are always better at describing books than I am, so here is the one from Goodreads!

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 quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

             Sounds good, right? It is! Though this is a young adult novel, I still found it very engaging and entertaining, even as a 30 year old married woman with 2 kids. ;) Even though my rebellious teenage days are long over, I can definitely relate to Emmott. I was never really purposely rebellious, I don't think, but I can definitely identify with wanting to get as far away from a small town as possible and never looking back!
             Really, there are lots of themes in this book that many teenage girls can identify with. Lust, getting jilted by a boyfriend, falling in love for real for the first time, dealing with family that never seem to see eye-to-eye with you...You get the picture. All thrown in with a mysterious illness that is killing people you've known your whole life left and right and it makes for a very interesting story! It probably doesn't sound like all of these things would go together well, but the author did a great job of blending everything into a story that made sense, wasn't cheesy, and was entertaining.
             Manterfield did a great job of fleshing out the characters too, in my opinion. She describes everyone just well enough that you get your own mental image of them, but not over-detailing them, if that makes any sense. Kind of like when you read a book and get an idea of what a character looks like, then they make it into a movie and whoever they cast looks nothing like you had in mind! Speaking of characters, despite her rebellious, somewhat self-centered attitude at the beginning (what teenage girl isn't, right?), I found Emmott to be really likeable too. I have found there's not much worse than reading a story and you can't identify or like the main character!
             I really think teenagers and adults alike will enjoy this novel. Please see below for more detailed information on where you can purchase this title for yourself or a friend, the author, and more!

Where to Purchase:


About the Author

Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of A Strange Companion and Im Taking My Eggs and
Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England,
she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat.
Facebook: AuthorLisaManterfield
Instagram: @lmanterfield
Twitter: @lisamanterfield
Goodreads: LisaManterfield

             Before you go, be sure to visit Lisa Manterfield's own blog for her tour kick-off post AND enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of The Smallest Thing and more related goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated monetarily for this post. I received a review copy of this book in return for my honest opinion and review. All opinions are my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform. Mixed Bag Mama is not responsible for prize shipment.
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  1. Sounds like a lovely book that many girls can relate to - including me lol. I will definitely recommend to my friends daughter.

  2. I'll mention this to the Tubblet and see what she thinks. We're currently reading the Percy Jackson books.