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 ecaused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
Paperweight is a touching and charming debut novel dealing with eating disorders and growing up, but it definitely lacks the lilting beauty that make other books by authors such as Ellen Hopkins so successful. This book tells a gripping and painful story of a girl who is going through some serious issues and can only deny them. She doesn't want help and she doesn't think she needs to be in the treatment centre, like so many main characters in books like this. This story tells of her healing and her treatment and her overcoming of her problems as we dive into Stevie's past to find out why she is the way she is.
It's a story that has been told hundreds of times in books with almost exactly the same theme, however it's a story that always needs to be told. I just don't feel like Paperweight really stood out to me in the mass of similar books.
Meg Haston does have a way with words and characters, she knew just how to make Stevie an irritating character that despite disliking, I couldn't help but sympathise with. She knew how to keep me gripped in her life and death story, in finding out what happened in Stevie's past. She knew how to make me care about some of the other characters, like her ditzy roommate, and dislike other's like ex-best friend Eden.
That being said, I did feel like I was so much more absorbed in Stevie's past than I was her present, and the treatment center bits paled in comparison to the flashbacks. I feel like her shrink was too much of a shrink and, although likeable, she just didn't shine to me. I think for this to fulfill it's potential the book needed to immerse me into both the past and present, and it failed on that front, so I can only apologise and say that for me, Paperweight just didn't stand out. By no means was it a bad read, but it fails to shine in an overpopulated market.
Overall Rating: C
Book released 7th July 2015 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review