Monday, 16 November 2015

Paperweight by Meg Haston

review by Maryom
Stevie is counting down the days to the anniversary of her brother's death. She has special plans for how to mark the day but her father's concern for her health might have stopped them. He's arranged for her to receive treatment at an eating-disorders clinic in the New Mexico desert, where, isolated by geography, cut off from communications with friends or family, her life and eating patterns will be strictly supervised, day and night. Stevie has plans though to outwit them, to escape and 'celebrate' the way she'd always intended.

Paperweight is an emotional, thought-provoking book - the story of a teenager so overwhelmed by guilt, grief and feelings of worthlessness that she doesn't know how to continue.  Stevie's life has been spiralling downwards for some time. First her mother abandoned their family with seemingly no explanation, then Stevie got dragged into a destructive relationship with Eden, a girl she met at a writing seminar, and now Stevie is carrying additional guilt about her brother Josh's death.

It's an odd sort of book to use the word 'enjoyed' about, but I did. It presented Stevie and her problems in a way that made me sympathise with her, understand WHY she wanted to carry out her 'remembrance' plan, while still hoping she could be stopped. Stevie isn't always a comfortable,'nice' person to be around - which I think made her seem more 'real' - and she contrasts with some of the other girls at the clinic who she herself despises for trying to be pleasant and cheerful.
Without doubt it's an 'issues' book - about eating disorders, how events can work as catalysts to bring them on, how they can hopefully be cured - but the way it's told, by leaking Stevie's back story bit by bit, makes it engaging and readable.

Maryom's Review - 4 stars
Publisher - Hot Key Books
Genre - teen/YA,

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