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How it Feels to Float (Helena Fox, Pan)

How do you find the will to live when you can’t even feel the ground anymore? Elizabeth Martin Grey—Biz—doesn’t know. All she knows is that she’s got one foot in reality and the other in a place where her dad is still alive to talk to her. When Biz finds herself cast out by her peers, abandoned by her best friend, and no longer welcome at her school, it becomes harder and harder to know what’s real and what isn’t—and to find the will to keep going. This is a perfect, surreal exploration of mental illness and grief. Fox’s writing is poetry, bringing the reader to the brink of Biz’s madness and back again as she finds new ways to make meaning, and new people to make it with. As she searches for answers and connection, Biz’s relationships with her mother, her new friend Jasper, and her elderly friend Sylvia help her to find the ground again. How it Feels to Float is a visceral reading experience that captures the way in which many teens struggle with mental illness. It is a lesson in acceptance and understanding, and readers will be deeply moved.

Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne-based writer, reviewer and academic

 

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