Skip to main content

Minor: Volume One by Meghan McDonnell

Cover image of Minor: Volume One by Meghan McDonnell, Book Review by On My Kindle

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format: eBook
Number of Pages: 178
Publication Date: December 18, 2015
Source: This book is available for free on Smashwords. I downloaded it to read and review at the author's request.


Minor is the first installment of the personal journals in which, for over 20 years, writer Meghan McDonnell has chronicled her life beginning at age eight through present day. With searing candor and tenderness, her musings on daily life and observations of family, social and romantic relationships coalesce in a commentary on growing up, facing down passion and fear, and American life in the 21st century. Wide in scope and vivid in detail, her journals are her confessional love letter to the world. Join her on a fearless, vulnerable, sometimes painful and quixotic, but always honest journey, also known as the human experience.

Volume one spans her eighth year through age 17; reflections on family, friendship, education, a stint at survival camp and coming of age.
~ Summary from Smashwords ~


Beginning in 1987 and chronicling her life until 1997, McDonnell reveals her innermost thoughts and secrets; a fact that cannot be ignored as the formatting in Minor is similar to what you would find in a diary, or journal.

The formatting of Minor is definitely unique, and it reminds readers that they are reading an uncensored and candid re-telling of a person's life. There are a few grammatical errors, but these minor errors lend an air of authenticity to the book which serves to remind readers that McDonnell's reflections are transcribed from her earlier days.

Readers are guided through a collage of memories that discuss lost friendships, new friendships, crushes, life-defining music, drama at home and in school, unrequited love, travelling, books, and teenage angst punctuated by periods of alcohol and drug use as McDonnell shares her perspective on life as a girl and teenager.

There were moments when I smiled at some of the colloquialisms used and the music references, because I remember what those words used to mean and I remember listening to the same songs. I empathized with the young McDonnell when she struggled to figure out where she fit in society, or the world because I remember feeling the same at that age.

I could not relate to some of the moments in her life because I grew up in a different kind of household. When I was younger, I thought that girls like her were carefree and always had fun, now I realize that in some ways we were very much alike; we both had insecurities, heartaches, moments of joy, problems in school, and we wondered what we were going to do with our lives. It is nice to know that some aspects of being a teenage girl are universal; even if our teenage selves would have rolled our eyes at the prospect, and remained convinced that nobody could even come close to understanding us.

Minor is certainly not a polished memoir, but it is sincere, honest, and real. I think that pre-teens and teenagers often feel alone and disconnected from the people around them at times; perhaps by reading Minor they can understand that they are certainly not as alone as they think they are. I also think that we (adults) sometimes forget the emotions that we had earlier on in our lives, and that we can sometimes dismiss what our teenage siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces, and students are going through. Minor could be a way to recall those times, and maybe help us show a little more empathy and understanding.

About the Author

Image of Meghan McDonnell, author of Minor, Book Reviewed by On My Kindle
Photo Courtesy of:
Meghan McDonnell on Blogger

Meghan McDonnell lives in Walla Walla with the man she loves. When she’s not writing or reading, she spends time outdoors, solves crossword puzzles, and pretends to garden.

To find out more about Meghan McDonnell and The Journals of Meghan McDonnell, visit her on social media:
Minor: Volume One (The Journals of Meghan McDonnell, Book 1) is available for free at the following online stores: