ARC Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston

July 3, 2015 Review 26 ★★★½

ARC Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston
Paperweight by Meg Haston
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 304
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?
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.4

26 Responses to “ARC Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston”

    • Alise

      I know-that cover is awesome! Honestly, I think part of this book’s magic is because the main character is flawed and it works so well with the story. Yay, I’m glad!

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    As much as I love my world-building in fantasies, I love character driven stories too – as long as the characters are compelling, just like Stevie seems to be! I’d definitely need to be in the right mood for this one – especially since my most recent contemporary was a bust – but I’ll keep it on my radar! It sounds like a really important and worthwhile read!
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Eleanor & Park

    • Alise

      Agreed, I think that was what made this book so strong even though not a whole lot happens outside of Stevie’s growth. She is definitely a fascinating character and one I think a lot of people can relate to.

    • Alise

      Exactly! You can’t expect Stevie to be all sunshine and rainbows, and it makes the story (and her) all the more realistic because she is unlikeable at times.

    • Alise

      Just because they are both about eating disorders, otherwise the books both feel really unique and separate from each other, in my opinion.

      She definitely can carry a good portion of the story on her own, yup! And hmm, there are secondary characters that stand out but Stevie takes center stage.

  2. Kirsty-Marie

    This is the fourth review I’ve read of Paperweight this weekend, haha. And the three didn’t like Stevie, so definitely nice to have a different perspective on her, since I didn’t think I’d like her. But, she doesn’t seem too bad, and exactly, we’re all like that sometimes, and if you can understand her, then I think I’ll be fine.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Ink and Bone (THISTHISTHIS)

    • Alise

      Yeah, I can definitely see where they are coming from. I guess it’s one of those things you have to read for yourself and see if you get where the character is coming from. Exactly! :)

  3. Faye M.

    So far, I have seen overwhelmingly positive reviews for this book, which makes me all the more excited to read it. Not sure if there are negative stuff, but I haven’t gone to its GR page and most of the reviews I’ve seen really loved it. I don’t mind unlikeable characters as long as there is substantial character growth and that it works for the story. Unlikeable for the sake of unlikeable (catty, attention-seeking) are the type that I don’t like.
    Faye M. recently posted…Random Things in Motion #23: A Love Triangle is Okay Except When…

  4. Alise

    I completely agree! I think her personality and struggle just makes the situation all the more realistic, you can’t expect the MC to be thinking of sunshine and rainbows all the time.

  5. Wattle

    I finished reading this one today, and sort of felt…overwhelmed by the emotions it dragged up in me. I really liked it though, in an – I like to have my feelings beat up – sort of way lol

    Great review Alise. I’ve not heard of Wintergirls before, but I’m definitely going to check it out now :)
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Lorali by Laura Dockrill

    • Alise

      I can definitely see why it would have that effect, it’s an emotional read! Glad you enjoyed it though.

      Thanks :D Cool that I could introduce it to you.

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