Tuesday 23 April 2019

Book Review: How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox (Contemporary YA)

Title: How It Feels To Float
Author: Helena Fox
Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication Date: 23 April 2019
Contemporary YA
Review Copy from Publisher

Biz knows how to float. She has her posse, her mum and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, and who shouldn't be here - because he died when she was seven - but is. So she doesn't tell anyone her dark thoughts. She knows how to float, right there on the surface - normal okay regular fine.

But when the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone - when her dad disappears along with all comfort - might it be easier, better, sweeter to float away?

This is a mesmerising, radiant debut. It's a story about love, grief, family and friendship, about intergenerational mental illness, and about how living with it is both a bridge and a chasm to the ones we've lost. Helena Fox explores the hard, bewildering and beautiful places loss can take us, and honours those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

I finished How It Feels To Float in a single sitting. From the start, Biz drew me into her story and I was keen to find out how things would go for her. I enjoyed that deep POV, and the story highlights many important issues such as mental illness, bullying and exclusion, and sexuality. It is certainly a thought-provoking read, and one handled with dexterity and compassion. Although I haven't been in a situation exactly like Biz's, I recognised enough from my own life to feel a real bond of understand with her. I would definitely recommend it to fans of YA contemporary fiction who are looking for a story with real depth. A solid 4 stars.

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