“The thing was, I needed to be owned. I needed someone to say, This girl is mine. That´s what family is for, but mine was almost gone. There was no one to claim me but Eden and my sickness. So I gave myself to both.”
Paperweight has been recommended to me various times in the past and I think I have seen only positive reviews so far. The story without doubt isn’t a happy one, but I can totally agree that Meg Haston is able to make the main characters’ fight with an eating disorder feel really realistic. I’m still not sure if I actually liked the main character Stevie or some of the other patients at the eating disorder treatment center for that matter, but I wasn’t that bothered by it because they felt real. The plot is interesting with a few plot twists and the character development is really well done. The pace is quite fast and I enjoyed the prose even though it is actually quite a difficult story to read because of the theme. Still, I would not doubt in recommending this book if you enjoy reading realistic contemporary fiction and don’t mind reading about mental ilness/eating disorders. I haven’t read many books about the theme nor do I know anyone with an eating disorder, but I still think Meg Haston did more than a good job describing the emotions and struggle of the patients.
Stevie has been struggling with her life and body ever since her mother left; she feels both trapped inside her body and in life. After her brother Josh died she made a promise to herself not to live past the first anniversary of his death… Slowly starving herself to end her life. Her father forces Stevie to go to an eating disorder treatment center tucked away in the New Mexico desert. Stevie doesn’t want to cooperate with the nurses and therapists because she feels they are messing up her promise to her dead brother, but someone always seem to be watching her and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. She is supposed to stay for a minimum of sixty days of treatment, but Stevie isn’t planning on holding on more than the twenty-seven days that separate her from the anniversary of Josh’s death… Will the nurses and therapists be able to change her mind on time?
Paperweight is full of emotions and very realistic. It’s not the easiest book to read because of the theme, but it is very well written and definitely leaves you thinking about what a horrible disease an eating disorder really is. I will definitely look out for any future Meg Haston YA novels! More that recommended if you like the genre and want to read about how an eating disorder can affect someone’s life.