Review ~ Paperweight by Meg Haston

23361172Title: Paperweight

Author: Meg Haston

Published by: HarperTeen; July 7, 2015

Format/Source: E-Arc provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 Stars

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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:

Paperweight tells the story of a girl with an eating disorder, struggling to take control of her life after everything goes wrong. This story was heartbreaking and very emotional, which is what I was expecting. The thing that most got me about this story was how real it seemed.

Stevie is seventeen, and her dad sends her to a treatment facility to deal with her eating disorder after she passes out in front of him. Because she’s still a minor, she has to stay for the full sixty days. In twenty-seven days it will be the anniversary of her brother’s death. This is the day she has picked to be her last and she’s not happy about this change in her plans. She is dealing with so much in her life and I spent most of this book just wanting to give her a hug.

I loved Stevie as a character. She is totally messed up by the things that have happened in her life, but she still had this strength that you don’t find in a lot of people. She’s trying to deal with her pain in her own way, albeit, the wrong way. She is obviously very hesitant to open up to treatment and tries to outwit her treatment team at every chance possible. She goes through this incredible journey through the book and all of her wall start to crack and you finally get to see who Stevie really is.

I loved the interactions with the other girls at the treatment center. I think it definitely helped all of them to have other girls who are going through similar things. I really enjoyed the way they all came together and became friends, even if it took them a while. They were able to show each other that they were strong and Stevie was able to see that other people have problems too and are able to be okay.

My favorite minor character in the book is Stevie’s therapist, Anna. She was patient and understanding, she pushed Stevie to deal with her problems, but was always understanding when it seemed like too much for her. She listened and never judged her. She genuinely cared about Stevie and wanted so badly to help her. Anna is the kind of therapist I would hope to have if I ever needed one.

This book does deal with sort of two different problems. Stevie is trying to deal with her brother’s death and everyone else is trying to help Stevie get over her eating disorder. I felt like this actually worked very well in this book. I think for most people, dealing with problems like an eating disorder, I don’t imagine it’s just one thing they have to deal with, but multiple things that lead them to the place they’re in.

The book is told partially in flashbacks, leading to the truth about what happened to Josh and it was very eye opening. The pacing of this book was really good, I never felt bored. I read this book, almost, in one sitting because I was so invested in the story that I couldn’t put it down for very long.

Paperweight is an emotional story that I really connected with and I would highly recommend it. If you read Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and enjoyed that book, then, like me, you will probably enjoy this book.

I imagine this book could be very triggering to individuals dealing with eating disorders, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to anyone in that situation.

Happy Reading!


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