Book Title:
Paperweight
Book Author:
Meg Haston
Publishing Date:
July 7, 2015
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
July 15, 2015

Synopsis

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?

My Review

It took me a while to figure out what kinds of things to say about this book.  It was one of those books that I wasn’t sure if I was going to like, but by the end, I found it amazingly well written and enjoyable.

The book follows Stevie, who is seventeen, and having a really rough time with…well…everything.  She lives with her dad and her older brother, Josh, who we find out has recently passed away, and Stevie believes she is responsible for his death.  After Stevie’s mother left the family (she moved out of the country), Stevie believes that her mother no longer loved her, and that she isn’t worthy of her love anyway, because she’s just too much.  So, she stops eating.  She eats very rarely, constantly losing a great deal of weight, and the only one who seems to say anything at all is Josh.

Eventually Stevie’s drinking and not eating gets out of hand, and her father sends her to an eating disorder treatment center for sixty days, where she will hopefully gain some of the weight back and start eating again.

Stevie has other plans, however.  With the one year anniversary of Josh’s death rapidly approaching, she has no intention of living past that day.  She plans on doing everything in her power to end her life on the anniversary, and she’s sure that no one at the treatment center can stop her.

I really liked this book.  While Stevie’s attitude toward pretty much everything made was irritating at times, Meg Haston created a character that was so real.  Stevie was angry and bitter at the death of her brother.  She was angry at her mother for leaving the family.  She hated that her dad sent her to the treatment center.  She couldn’t stand the other girls at the treatment center, and the therapist annoyed her more than anything.  But the emotions that Stevie felt were raw and incredible.  It was so easy to be drawn into her world and feel these things with her.

This book is an incredible journey of self discovery and healing, as well as a look into the life of girls with eating disorders.  It shows the emotional side of anorexia, as well as how horrible events in someone’s life can lead them to make such choices.  I believe that this book is a must-read for anyone interested in young adult books dealing with social issues, mental-health, and loss.  It’s heartbreaking, raw, and real, and such an incredible story.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars
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One Response to Paperweight by Meg Haston

  1. Great review Kelly, I also nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award: http://booksaremychildren.blogspot.com/2015/07/beautiful-blogger-award.html :).

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