Author: Meg Haston
Release Date: July 7
Source: HarperCollins Children on Edelweiss (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
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. (Source: Goodreads)
17-year old Stevie is sent to an eating-disorder treatment facility after her health begins to spiral out of control. She’s decided to kill herself on the anniversary of her brother’s death, but she’ll be stuck in the facility until at least a month after the date. Stevie begins to formulate a plan to either die in the facility or escape.
I didn’t really enjoy Paperweight. I think the topic was interesting, the writing was good, and the story built really well by the end, however I found the characters uninteresting, the story unengaging, and the build-up too slow. I think there were some great moments in this book but it fell flat for me overall because it was too hard to connect with. I wasn’t engaged in the book, I didn’t care about Stevie, and I didn’t feel anything about the mystery of her past at all.
The story follows Stevie as she adjusts to the facility and meets other patients in the facility. There are flashbacks in every chapter relating some point of interest about her past, often this is the exposition to explain why she wants to die, what happened to her brother, how she wound up in the facility, and who “Eden” her best friend is to her and how she fits into the mess of Stevie’s life. I didn’t really find this super engaging. I found the discussion of eating disorders very interesting and it was certainly an important topic. However, I found the build-up of the story fairly disappointing. Action often happened without much logical reason, Stevie’s thought processes – which we are privy to – didn’t often move logically or really connect to the action. This made it really hard to connect with her and with the action of the story.
I found Stevie very unlikeable. You do begin to feel for her later in the book especially, but I felt overall like I didn’t know her and I didn’t care all that much about her. I think I felt that way about most of the characters. They were all fairly shallow and often fit into this archetypal roles within Stevie’s life and imagination. I didn’t really feel like I knew or cared about anyone which definitely made it hard to connect with the story.
I think this was, overall, an interesting read, but it isn’t one I would highly recommend. I think it’s an important topic to discuss but this isn’t really where I would go looking for discussion about eating disorders.