My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person Plural
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Bullying, Mental Illness, High School
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.
Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.
This was nothing like I expected it to be. Yet it quite easily and most definitively got placed on my ”favorites” shelf. Because this was a most memorable story. You know what? I’d actually recommend not reading the synopsis entirely, or believing that it is the only thing or so that the story is about, because I did and almost didn’t read the book because of it. It sounded too… unoriginal, overdone, predictable, when it was much, much more than ”another” story dealing with heavy and impactful subjects.
In an authentic, gripping, realistic and moving way, Weightless focused on bullying and mental illness from an exterior point of view, a first person plural one. We all have read books in the first and third and maybe even second person singular… but plural? This was a first for me. An excellent first.
She was thin before, and she was thinnier now—we tried to get the guys to say it was gross, to say that they liked to have something to hold on to. But they didn’t say much and deep down, or maybe not even that deep, we wanted her body to be ours. To know what it would be like to be that light, to be that invisible, to be weightless—that was something we wanted to know.
The writing was extremely compelling. Usually, the narrator in a story is the one being bullied or the one around whom bad things happen, but not in this case. And that’s one of the things that made this book stand out for me. It was very interesting to get under the skin of everyday students, at a high school, being witness of intimidation.
It was especially thought-provoking and brought up my mind some questions. Would I have done the same thing, reacted the same way? Would I have said someting, stood up for the person, helped her when clearly seeing everything crumble around her and risk becoming a target, as feared Jessica, Nicole and Lauren?
Recommended to fans of All the Rage!