How It Feels to Float – Helena Fox

41454344How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mental Health, LGBTQIA+, Family Death, Friendship


I will not always remember what happened in this book but I will always remember how this book made me feel. It is so lyrical I can remember clearly how it increased my heartbeat during stressful scenes and reduced it during really comfortable moments between Biz and the new people she meets. Everything Biz felt, I felt, which was heavy at times because she is not in a right space of mind right now. Her father’s death affects her tremendously even if it was a while ago. I can relate to that because my own father passed away when I was a baby and even if my heart doesn’t squeeze when I think of him I still wonder oh so many times what it would have been like to get to know him. Yet this book never got too overwhelming. Biz is drowning in her own mind—or floating out of it rather—but has people in her life who help her stay grounded. But you can’t always depend on others to feel sane and so Biz is losing herself more and more.

Because of how well the author depicted mental health, it makes me wonder about her own past experiences with feeling connected and disconnected from her own mind and body. Keeping everything inside, as the author shows through this story, is extremely unhealthy and toxic. A dark secret that spreads inside your body will eventually consume you. You probably know on some level that you’re being consumed and yet you can’t escape it. This is not one of those stories that has a clear storyline with events that stand out because they were incredibly affective or exciting. Much of the story happens inside Biz’s mind because although she has interactions with other people, she is constantly struggling, pondering, wondering, hoping, falling inside her own mind. The reading experience and connection with the heroine are then more important than the storyline itself. It’s a character-driven story and a beautiful one at that. Unless you prefer your reads joyful and really fun. It’s not for everyone but I think it will still be able to reach many readers out there.

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