The Transformation of Minna Hargreaves by Fleur Beale.


286 pages

Published December 2007 by Random House New Zealand

Fourteen-year-old urban princess Minna Hargreaves is finding life sweet. Her family may be dysfunctional, but at least she’s got great friends and a gorgeous new boyfriend. Then her dad drops a bombshell: in one month’s time the Hargreaves family is going to live on a tiny, windswept island in Cook Strait to film a reality TV show. And, as if that’s not bad enough, there will be no phone calls, no TV, no internet, no social life for an entire year. Just the company of a secretive mother, a stoner brother, a couple of chickens and a totally clueless dad. How will Minna survive this nightmare?

I purchased The Transformation of Minna Hargreaves at a massive book sale at the showgrounds – one of those times when you look around and think ‘hmm, I’m excited to see all these books, but I also know that it’s probably a case of quantity over quality, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a single title here…’ but you walk around and pick through these unheard of books and hope to find some gems.

At the start of the book, Minna is so unlikeable (like most popular fourteen year old girls, I daresay!). She’s kind of silly and selfish and self centred. But this is a story of growth. It’s better that it’s about someone like Minna, as opposed to some saint. It may start superficially, but it gets meatier.

On goodreads, I gave this four stars because it surprised me (and my low expectations) with how good it was. Realistically, it’s probably a three and a halfer. Although – the more I think about it (it was a while ago that I read it), the more positive I feel. Yep, four stars. Definitely. Read this if you can get a hold of it and like young adult coming of age/growth stuff.



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