Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weightless by Sarah Bannan

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Weightless is a tricky book to review for me. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how I felt about it. The narrative style is something I've never encountered before, first person plural. So everything was " We " although there was never a complete picture of exactly who or how many this " We " was compiled of. It was rather disorienting and annoying to begin with.

 I felt very distanced from the story as a result and kept struggling to continue reading. I came close to wanting to mark it did not finish but the story was interesting enough that I wanted to see where this led. It seemed to shift for me though about 100 pages in and I just did not want to put it down. These girls ( the plural narrator ) were witness to everything that happened to this new girl who moved to town ( Carolyn ). They didn't intervene, they weren't really a part of things, but in that same sense by doing nothing they were also responsible. 

 I think that is why the narrative feels sort of distant and why it makes you like your on the edge of things just watching the events unfold. Because that's how these girls felt. So to me that's sort of brilliant and made me have a new respect for the writing style that had originally had me perplexed. I am really happy that I decided to continue reading because it is really riveting. Without going into too much detail I'd like to acknowledge that Weightless may be a little much for some readers as it does touch on some dark subjects. I am astounded that this is Sarah Bannon's debut novel, she's definitely an author to watch for. Intense and poignant, Weightless is a deeply resonating, reflective, and realistic novel about not only bullying but also the effects of standing idly by.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. April

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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