How It Feels to Float

Title

How It Feels to Float

Authors

Helen Fox

Publisher

Dial Books

Publication Year

2019

ISBN

9780525554295

Pages

370 pages

Genre

realism

Format

novel

Item Type

Fiction

Annotation

A gutting, profound, deeply hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief, this modern-day Bell Jar marks the arrival of an exceptional new talent in the YA space. Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn't be here but is. So Biz doesn't tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn't tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface--normal okay regular fine. But after what happens on the beach--first in the ocean, and then in the sand--the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears, and with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe--maybe maybe maybe--there's a third way Biz just can't see yet. In this mesmerizing, radiant debut, Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief and family and friendship, about inter-generational mental illness, and how living with it is both a bridge to someone loved and lost and also a chasm. She explores the hard, bewildering, and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

Grade Level

9-12

Lexile Measure

HL630L

Diversity Topics

Family Relationships; LGBTQ (Gender and Sexuality); Disability and Health; Family member death; Single parent; Gay/Lesbian; Mental illness; single mother; death of a parent; death of a father; grief; loss; gay; lesbian; depression; suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies; therapy; teenager with mental illness

Main Character

female teenager

Race/Ethnicities

Multiple

Keywords

photography; cameras; friendship; death; floating; ocean; relationships; struggles; travel; motorcycle; surgery

Diversity Impact

direct

How It Feels to Float

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