Author: Meg Haston
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
This is one of those books where I feel guilty for not liking it, since it’s about a girl who is planning to kill herself. I know she’s a fictional character, but I can’t help the guilty thought of, “What if my less than positive review makes her want to kill herself even more?” But alas, this is where we are.
Sure, Stevie’s life has not been perfect. Her mother up and left her father, her brother, and herself one day. Stevie doesn’t know why, but she can’t help to think that it’s her fault. That she wasn’t enough to make her mother stay.
And then comes Eden, and Josh’s tragic death that Stevie blames on herself. (Sidenote – Eden and Stevie’s weird relationship reminds me a lot of Alex and Pipe in Orange is the New Black, since we recently finished binging it the way Stevie binges alcohol and sweets). And with less than a month left until the one year anniversary of Joshua’s death, Stevie only has one thing on her mind – to slowly rot away until she dies of starvation on her brother’s anniversary (although, personally, I think there are a lot more suitable ways for her to go about her plan that would be much more poetic and less of an issue with her predicaments). Her father throws her plans for a twist, however, when he sends her to bulimic rehab.
It sounds like such a tragic story, and yet I hardly once every empathized with Stevie (am I a horrible person? I can’t help but wonder!). Haston’s writing unravels the plot in such a way that Stevie only serves to be this annoying main character wallowing in self pity, which makes it difficult to sympathize with her even though her backstory is sad.
Ironically, the only characters in this novel that I actually like are the minor ones – mainly Shrink (towards the middle to end) and Ashley. And even then, it isn’t nearly enough to pull this novel together and make it the heart wrenching tale it has the potential of being.
Perhaps it’s because I set the bar too high for expectations after reading The Last Time We Say Goodbye earlier this year, which is a bit similar in the heart wrenching plot department (and made me bawl like a baby). The writing is solid enough in this story, but Paperweight just doesn’t serve the story worthy of the plot, with Stevie dragging the plot down, as skinny and light as she is.