Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

October 10, 2016 Review 10 ★★★½

Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: Blog Tour
Pages: 400
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Depression, Family, General, Social Themes, Suicide, Young Adult Fiction
Seventeen-year-old Cath knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles meds, preparing to take her own life when Zero next arrives.

But Zero’s return is delayed. Unexpected relationships along with the care of a new psychiatrist start to alter Catherine's perception of her diagnosis. But will this be enough? This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.
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.

A Realistic Look At Mental Illness

Finally, finally, a realistic book about mental illness. THE WEIGHT OF ZERO does not pull any punches when it comes to describing what it is really like to suffer from something like bipolar disorder. This book was special to me because I have severe anxiety. I did online schooling for part of my senior year of high school because I could barely make it out of the house sometimes. THE WEIGHT OF ZERO depicts those feelings and more – the hopelessness, the frustration, the feeling that everything is against you, and more. It doesn’t shy away from the harder to swallow and pushed aside elements of dealing with such an illness nor does the book romanticize it.

A Main Character You Can Relate To

Although Catherine could be annoying at times, I thought she was a very honest protagonist that acted authentically in her situation, but that does not excuse her behavior, which the book never did, and I was grateful for that. THE WEIGHT OF ZERO is written from the perspective of Catherine so we intimately get to know her thoughts and feelings. I liked that the book didn’t shy away from the darker things that she was thinking, and I liked how we slowly got to see her gradual improvement. I do wish Catherine would have been a little more personable, because even though I cared about what happened to her and could relate to her, there was still a little bit of disconnect.

A Great Depiction of Supportive Relationships

Catherine is surrounded by a unique cast of characters. I absolutely loved her dynamic with her friends and family, and how she slowly learns to trust, lean on, and believe in people again. THE WEIGHT OF ZERO has a really hopeful tone and I like how so many different relationships were explored. The side characters were just as interesting as Catherine, so I wish we got to see more of them, but this is Catherine’s story so it’s understandable.

THE WEIGHT OF ZERO is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’ve been wanting a mental health book that has a genuine and true to life feel.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.3

10 Responses to “Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati”

  1. Adri

    I’ve had the arc since September but I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. Love that it’s realistic and enjoyable; I have to read it before October ends. Great review :)

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