Paperweight by Meg Haston | ARC Review

July 2, 2015 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 10 Comments

Paperweight by Meg Haston | ARC ReviewPaperweight
by Meg Haston
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: July 7, 2015 by HarperTeen
Format: eARC
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3 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to request this book. Some personal issues in my life, which some of you have read about previously on this blog, have led me to love these types of books so I went in with high hopes. That’s the thing, guys. You cannot go in with high hopes or it is a very high chance you will be disappointed.

Stevie can be described as a very complex character whom I thought I would love as the story progressed, yet I didn’t. I didn’t feel any emotional pull towards her. I tried to like her and would even forgive things she would do but she still irked me a lot. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on through her head, which to be honest happens quite a lot with real life people. There were two characters I loved in this story and they are Ana, the shrink and Ashley, the roommate. Ana is what every aspiring Psychologist should look up to. Yes, she did quite a few minor things that are not okay by the APA (American Psychological Association) but she did everything she could to help Stevie. There are times where you even see her shedding a tear for Stevie because she truly cares. Do you know how hard it is to find a psychologist who truly cares about you? You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find one. The ones that are lucky to have one like Ana, should treasure them 110%. Then there is Ashley, another character who is a bit complex but is easy to love. In the beginning, Stevie didn’t quite like Ashley, which even led me to dislike her a bit but then I realized I was being stupid since Ashley is probably the best friend Stevie could have asked for in a place where she is. Ashley looks out for Stevie like no one has ever done, besides her brother. She is another character that cares for Stevie and is there for her.

Now let’s talk about the characters I didn’t like and one of them is Eden. Eden is Stevie’s friend from before she went into treatment and let me tell you, I wasn’t fond of her at all. While reading about her, I felt like she thought she was above everyone else and she would toy around with people’s emotions. I also didn’t like Stevie’s mom. She abandoned Stevie and her dad after the funeral and they hadn’t heard from her in a while. She also didn’t care about anyone but herself, or at least that’s how she was portrayed to me. It shows why Stevie has the behavior she has when it comes to her body image. Yes, it is Stevie’s mind and it was her choice, but sometimes the people that surround us play a role in how we act. In this case, Stevie didn’t receive love from her mom—only from her brother and father. This could lead to many negative thoughts running through ones head and in this case, it leads Stevie to take a negative action.

I have to warn some of you. This book has some triggering parts to those that suffer from Anorexia and/or Bulimia Nervosa and those who Self-Harm or have suicidal thoughts. I want to put that out there because people do get triggered by these things, even if it tries to portray a positive message in the end. With that said, even with my rating, I recommend teens to read this book—the reason being that it deals with many things that sometimes teens tend to be ignorant about, even adults. This book could serve as a learning material to some and even on how to deal with someone who suffers from the subjects mentioned above. These subjects are very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It was inspiring to read that this story was based on the author’s experiences at a treatment camp, which makes you realize that these things do happen in real life, no matter how frustrating a person can get. This book shows that you don’t give up on someone who suffers from this. You give them your support until the end.

About Meg Haston

Meg Haston is the author of the How to Rock series, which began with How to Rock Braces and Glasses and then became a hit TV show on Nickelodeon. Meg’s Masters degree in professional counseling from the University of Georgia definitely comes in handy writing about the trials and triumphs of life as a teenager. Paperweight is her first young adult novel.


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10 responses to “Paperweight by Meg Haston | ARC Review

  1. Yes! This review is spot-on. I had the same exact problem- the connection but. But also, seriously, how lucky was Stevie to have a counselor who CARES!? I mean, I swear, I have yet to find one that gives an actual crap, and I am PAYING THEM to care. So frustrating, I agree with you, that was BIG for me in this book. Also… Eden is the worst. No, maybe the mom is the worst. Whatever, they are both just awful.

    • I am one of the lucky ones who has a psychologist that really, truly cares. She even checks out my blog! You know a psychologist cares when money isn’t her top priority. With mine, she knew i was having financial issues so since 2013, I pay $45 instead of $60 that the rest pays and there was one session that she told me I didn’t have to pay at all. I’m glad I have her.
      And both are awful!! Seriously, I would have gone crazy with them both.

      • Wow, that is AWESOME! Mine definitely only cared about the money. We had a lapse in insurance, and she was basically like “that sucks, I need my $103”. And I was going through a REALLY bad time- I mean, I was sobbing just leaving the voicemail to cancel my appointment. And she never called me back. I had been going to her for FIVE YEARS. Every week, she’d gotten $103 from my insurance. And she couldn’t even return my call. So yeah, you are SO lucky. I have been afraid to even try to find someone else because I have had really bad experiences. I think it’s the area that I live in, no one wants to work here and so we are left with the… incompetent ones.

  2. I loved how real this book felt. I know that not everyone is lucky enough to get a great counselor like that, but when I worked in a treatment facility, it seemed like this was very close to how it actually is. It is sort of a tie between the bad mother and terrible friend. They all needed therapy. Great review!

    Karen Blue recently posted: BEYOND THE BOOKS: Shows I watch
  3. Yeah, I wish I had someone like Ana, and yeah, it is definitely hard to find the right psychologist for you, and which different techniques work for you. Sorry you couldn’t connect to Stevie though, but yikes, Eden sounds like a right bitch, definitely not a good “friendship” there. I get that’s how her mother’s portrayed, and yeah, it is a little selfish, but I guess you don’t know what’s going on in her head either, no one can comprehend how losing a child feels like unless you have yourself, but also, in a way, that would’ve brought them closer, but I guess that depends on the people themselves. But okay, yeah, her mother pre leaving sounds like a complete bitch too, and definitely that would have an effect on her. And thanks for the trigger warning, don’t think this one’s for me right now.

    Kirsty-Marie recently posted: Review: The Lost and the Found
    • Thank you for stopping by! And yes, I consider it needed a warning since I know how triggering things can be. I got triggered by one simple selfharm scene so imagina a whole book of eating disorder. It’s not easy.

  4. You’re the second blogger I know of who didn’t connect enough with Stevie to enjoy her story very much. I’m sorry this didn’t work as well for you as you had hoped, Gen! I really enjoyed it, mostly because someone who is very dear to me has struggled with eating disorder, and I felt like I could understand her a little better thanks to Paperweight.
    I hope your next read will be a winner!

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