Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. 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.
Song For This Book: Sophie by Eleanor McEvoy
Why? I feel like this is the song closest to what Stevie experiences through the book. Not perfect, but as close as I can get.
For my own reasons, I have a hard time writing reviews for books about eating disorders. But we’ll give this a whirl anyway.
I picked this book up because it happened to be the next one in the list on my ereader after finishing a review copy, and I had an hour to kill. I don’t typically just pick up books at random, but I’m glad that I’d made that choice on this one.
This is one of those funny books where I don’t have a lot of negative things to say, but I don’t have a lot of overly positive ones either. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read, and I definitely enjoyed it. But I get the feeling that this will be one of those books I won’t remember in much detail a few months from now, because there was nothing specific about it that stood out to me, and I didn’t feel overly connected to the characters in the story.
The Good Points of Paperweight:
I can only speak for myself on this front, but I felt that this was a great portrayal of eating disorders, and how complex they can be. I love how the author approached all of the girls and their relationships with their eating disorders.
The writing throughout this book is fantastic. It has a lot of potential to be confusing, especially as we jump forwards and backwards in time on a regular basis, but it flows beautifully and I never once struggled with it. It’s an easy read, but still very well written.
I love the way that Haston presents all of the relationships in this book. While there aren’t really any major romantic relationships, there are lots of family relationships and friendships. And they are all beautifully done, from the good to the bad and everything in between.
The Downsides of Paperweight:
There was nothing that really stood out in this book, compared to the many other books about eating disorders out there. It was good, and I liked the characters and the relationships and the setting, but there was nothing new or different about this book that makes it stand out.
While I liked all the characters, I had a hard time connecting with any of them, especially the main character. And because I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters, it was hard to get emotionally involved in the story. I think I would have enjoyed this so much more of I could have gotten more emotionally involved, because it was definitely one of those books.
All in all, I did enjoy Paperweight, and it’s definitely worth a read. It’s a great portrayal of the complexity of eating disorders, and how difficult it can be to try and move past that sort of mind frame. If you enjoy accurate mental health portrayals, strong willed characters, and amazing relationship portrayals in books, you’ll likely enjoy Paperweight as well.
Find Paperweight on Book Depository