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. However, 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 may not be a polished memoir; however, it is sincere, honest, and real.
(review of free book)