Release Date: July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Friendship, LGBT, Siblings, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.
Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.
Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?
PAPERWEIGHT is another addition to the YA contemporary genre, but it goes a lot deeper than your average romance. The very little romance that is hinted at is only a blimp in the story that is PAPERWEIGHT. It is about a girl’s journey, her struggles, her revelations, and her recovery.
My favorite aspect of this book was the main character, Stevie. I really liked her voice, it’s fresh and unique and honest. She can be unlikable at times but it works. There are reasons behind her actions and thoughts-not that totally justifies them because she can be frustrating at times and make stupid decisions. Still, just like a real person, her thoughts can be dark and judgmental at times, making her all the more real and easy to relate to.
The writing is descriptive and thoughtful, and there are some absolutely great quotes that come from it. Stevie’s story is all on the table, and although we are not privy to every detail at the beginning, you get to experience everything alongside her and really begin to understand her, even if you’ve never been in a similar situation.
On the negative side, there was not much going on. There were no pacing issues, but this story is very character-driven, so it is all about Stevie and what she is going through so we are kind of stuck in the same setting with the same everyday situations.
This book makes you think deeper about those like Stevie and I think it is an important read. The comparisons to WINTERGIRLS are inevitable, but the books are quite different, in my opinion. Both worth reading.