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Stevie controls almost nothing in her life. After Stevie’s mother left their family, her dad becomes detached, she moves to a new house and her new friend, Eden, seems to manipulate and use her. In such a crazy whirlwind of life, the only thing Stevie seems to have control over is her weight. As she gets thinner, the only person who appears to look out for her is her brother --- until a tragic event separates them forever. As a last resort, Stevie is sent to an eating disorder treatment center in New Mexico, far away from her home and all her old connections. As Stevie struggles to heal, she meets new friends and slowly processes her inner emotions.

PAPERWEIGHT by Meg Haston is a compelling novel that gets inside the head of someone struggling with bulimia.

PAPERWEIGHT by Meg Haston is a compelling novel that gets inside the head of someone struggling with bulimia and allows the reader to understand some of the psychology and triggers of an eating disorder. In the same style of WINTERGIRLS, this book is a window into the mind and actions of a teenage girl struggling to deal with heavy issues.

While Haston’s novel revolves around Stevie, the surrounding people in her life are just as vital to the novel. Stevie pushes away close family, is dependent on her dangerous friend Eden and seeks the approval of her distant mother. She compares herself to the other girls in her treatment center and hesitantly connects with those around her. Two of the most significant people in Stevie’s life are her brother, even after their separation, and her psychologist, “Shrink,” who shows Stevie the path to healing.

Despite the title, PAPERWEIGHT is a heavy read.  It deals with important issues that are often hidden and very personal. I highly suggest this insightful and well-written novel. 

Reviewed by Emily P., Teen Board member on July 7, 2015

by Meg Haston

  • Publication Date: March 7, 2017
  • Genres: Psychology, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062335758
  • ISBN-13: 9780062335753