“Twenty – seven days to freedom… I am caged,”
Seventeen – year – old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in a treatment centre on the outskirts of the New Mexico desert.
Life in the centre is regimented and intrusive – a nightmare come true for private and obstinate Stevie. She doesn’t want to get better – she wants to disappear. And if things go her way, in twenty – seven days she’ll do exactly that. Haunting and emotional, Paperweight confronts loss, trauma and the things that set us free.
Meg Haston’s ‘Paperweight‘ is such an important book that needs far more people talking about it. This book follows the story of Stevie, a young girl residing in a treatment centre for her eating disorder. It’s not a happy story, that’s for sure, but it’s real, raw, and Meg Haston doesn’t sugarcoat a thing.
“We’re meant to be a part of we. Something bigger, something outside of ourselves,”
To begin with, I definitely found the main character, Stevie, hard to warm to; however it’s incredible to watch her character development throughout the progression of the novel. It’s clear that in the beginning she doesn’t want to overcome her disorder – she’s calculated how many days it would take for her to die, and the anniversary of her brother’s death is the day. But as she begins to open up to her Shrink, we as reader’s get to see what’s going on in her head, and see the small progressions she makes day to day in order to get better.
“We are all a collection of lost causes, stashed her so no one has to see just how wounded we are,”
Haston covers such delicate, sensitive topics with incredible care. Admittedly I know little to nothing about eating disorders, but reading this book definitely opened my eyes to the effects that they have over people. Whilst some parts of ‘Paperweight‘ were a little hard to read, it was impossible to put down, and I got through it in one sitting, with tears in my eyes at the end. The memoir/diary style of writing allows for a fast pace and the use of flashbacks cleverly gives us an insight to Stevie’s past, from before the disorder and during suffering with it.
“For all the Stevies – and all the shrinks that walk beside them,”
I strongly recommend anyone to take the time to read this book. Eating disorder’s are something people really should be aware of, and Meg Haston does an incredible job on shedding some light on them, and the recovery process. For that, it seems fitting to give ‘Paperweight‘ 4 out of 5 stars – one of my favourite books of 2017 so far!
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