Paperweight by Meg Haston

Paperweight by Meg Haston


I’m going to begin this review in a way that is unusual for me: with a warning.  The emotional trigger potential in this story is a large one: while Stevie is dealing with her own very large set of emotional issues, the manifestation from this trauma is expressed in self-harming behaviors.  Those with experience of utilizing these behaviors to cope with pain and trauma may find difficulty in reading this story.

At seventeen Stevie has faced more than most two or three times her age: anger at her father for placing her in the center, guilt and anger over her brother’s death, some anxiety and a bit of control issues that have devolved into anorexia. Her story is told in flashbacks, with insets of the present moment and other mundanities that allow her own interior obsessive monologue and seemingly endless moan and groan take over give readers a sense of someone who is not particularly likable.  And she isn’t at first, but as her story and history are revealed throughout the story, you come to at least understand where the anger and defensiveness comes from, if not completely relating to the issues.

What Haston does to great effect is provide readers with the damaged and a person in Anna, the therapist, to help Stevie sort out those issues and find a way to grieve in a healthy way, take control of her out of control emotions that are running her life. Because, Stevie is not in charge of her actions or emotions, despite her very clear plans to end her own life.  Gradually the story unfolds, how her brother died, why she is so out of control, why she tried to equate emotional control with calorie control, and even teaching Stevie to learn to relate to the world and people around her.

Slowly growing, while not a read in one sitting book for me, this story is a glimpse in to what I could reasonably expect to see in a teen with great issues that resulted in self-harming behaviors. I would recommend this book to parents of teens first, to open the potential of dialogue about issues, large or small, that everyone encounters at one time in their life.

Paperweight by Meg Haston

Title: Paperweight
Author: Meg Haston
Genre: Teen Reads, Coming of Age
Published by: HarperTeen
ISBN: 006233574X
Published on: 7 July 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 304
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 13 minutes
Rated: four-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?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to drug and alcohol use / violence and/or sexual content in a genre not specified as Erotic.


About Meg Haston

Meg Haston is the author of the middle-grade books How to Rock Braces and Glasses and How to Rock Best Friends and Frenemies. Her young adult debut, Paperweight, will be published by HarperCollins Children's Books in Summer 2015. While passing the time between now and Summer 2015, she enjoys staying hypercaffeinated, reading (preferably in bed; preferably during a Florida thunderstorm), playing with her rescue pup Dinah, and dreaming up new stories.