Personal Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish

After the longest time of only ready a couple of chapters from different books, I finally found some time to “force myself to accomplish reading a book that has been sitting unfinished on by bedside table.

The Fourteenth Goldfish as a young adult novel written by Jennifer Holm. The story revolves mainly around a regular 11-year-old Ellie and her grandfather, Melvin, an old-fashioned yet extremely passionate scientist.

On a normal day, Ellie suddenly is surprised by her mother bringing back a teenage boy who she soon finds out is actually her grandfather who has discovered the “cure” to old age through a peculiar species of jellyfish found by a diver in the Philippines. Forced to live with his daughter and granddaughter because he has suddenly become underage, Melvin is forced to attend Ellie’s middle school Ellie’s part-time babysitter all while pretending to be distant cousins.

Melvin kindles Ellie’s interest in science and together they plot how to reclaim all of Melvin’s research and most especially his Jellyfish in captivity from a laboratory he no longer has access to as a teenage boy going through puberty.

Through much time spent together, both un school and in plotting how to trespass into a laboratory, Ellie becomes closer to her seemingly cold-hearted grandfather. Eventually, she gets to know herself better and she learns more than just the basics of science.

If you are looking for a light and comfortable read, this book qualifies as a good one. The book review from the New York Times said that The Fourteenth Goldfish was warm and witty, and it really was. This is full of innocence yet you can get very mature insights if you think about it. It’s a little surprising how this young adult novel tells a pretty simple story, but when you give it enough time and attention, I’m sure you’ll be surprised by the underlying lessons you can get as well.This book is not a regrettable read and I give it an overall 7/10.

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