Review: Weightless By Sarah Bannan.

weightless

Release Date: April 1st 2014.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia.
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Adamsville wasn’t a place that people came to. It was a place you were from, where you were born, where you were raised, where you stayed…

Before Carolyn Lessing arrived, nothing much had ever happened in Adamsville, Alabama. Each week, at dinner tables and in the high school assembly, everyone would pray for the football team to win. Each year, the Adams High hotlist would be updated, and girls would rise and fall within its ranks. Each day, everyone lived by the unwritten rules that cheerleaders did not hang out with the swim team, seniors did not date freshmen and the blistering heat was something that should never be remarked upon. But then the new girl came.

All Carolyn’s social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1075 friends – and she didn’t have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like Abercrombie models she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect.

This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.

My Thoughts:

5 stars.

Be prepared to be torn to shreds and NOT be stitched back up. This book will leave you a weeping mess, with a huge hole in your chest where your heart used to be. Weightless was unforgettable, and will haunt you long after you have read it.

I don’t even know how to do this review without spoilers. There is so much I want to say. But I’ll try.
Weightless is about bullying. Extreme, pack bullying. And it had me in a rage as I was reading it.
Not because of the book itself, oh on, it was full of beautiful, faultless writing, but because of the characters.
They were all horrible people. The false Christianity especially had me wanting to rip my hair out. And although teenagers play a big role in the bullying, it was the adults and their lack of intervention that had me furious.
The story is told in plural, from the pov of 3 girls, using ‘we’. I hadn’t encounted a book like this before and it took a lot of the book for me to get used to it. I felt it kept me distant, and I wanted to be closer. But as the end drew near, I realised just how perfect choosing to write the book this way was. It was actually very powerful and there really was no other way of doing it.

I think this is an important book that needs to be read. It questions the role we play in other people’s lives. Maybe we’re not the ones doing the bullying, but maybe we’re the ones eating up all the gossip and not doing anything to help or stop another from being bullied. It also looks at the darker side of technology. I am so grateful that social media was not as big when I was a teen as it is now. But it is definitely something I worry about as a parent.

I found it extremely difficult to get through and had to take breaks while reading it. Even though it was so compelling and I was on the edge of my seat as it unfolded, it was a lot to take in and I needed breathers in-between.
This is not for the feint of heart. It is dark and gritty and (unfortunately) realistic. I hate with all my heart that some people have to go through such extreme bullying (and bullying of any kind.). I think that if someone has gone through bullying like in the book, it might be painful for them to read, might drag up memories, so I can’t say this book is for everyone, but if you can handle such a dark topic, it is a must read.

You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.

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8 thoughts on “Review: Weightless By Sarah Bannan.

  1. Oh Rochelle, I had the exact same feelings and thoughts while reading this, the beauty of the writing verses the sinister nature of the characters and I was absolutely livid. I think I took most of my fury out on the girls who narrated Carolyn’s story. They made me fume. Passing on rumours and even taking what could be seen as incriminating photos and sharing them. Then when it went pearshaped, they shrug and say it wasn’t their business? My goodness, it makes me angry just thinking about it. It was brilliant though, I can remember the last time I read something so unique that made me that emotional. So glad you loved it as well Rochelle, absolutely brilliant review ❤

    1. Thank you. Oh yes, those girls! They made me so angry too. And if they had just been her genuine friend maybe things wouldn’t have gotten to the point it did.

  2. Oooh, told in plural? Okay, now I have to admit I am intrigued. Usually something like this wouldn’t really appeal to me — bullying is horrible, and I don’t particularly enjoy reading things like that — but I think it’s something that I SHOULD read, you know what I mean? Great review. At least now I’m prepared to be completely heartbroken.

  3. OH MY GOODNESS, YES!!!!
    You described it so accurately!!! The false Christianity is like one big effing URGH!!!! And its so true, you can’t read this book in one sitting. I had to have so many breaks as well. I had to go out and see that there was good in the world.
    Awesome and accurate review! Thanks Rochelle!

  4. I really hate bullying books, it makes my stomach reel just thinking about how horrible people can be to each other. I especially hate the way technology has opened up the platform for anonymous bullying as well. And when religion starts to come into it as well…I’m just not sure how I will handle this book to be honest, but I’m really glad to hear you loved it Rochelle! xx

    1. It is a hard book to read. I usually hate bullying books too, and my stomach reels too when I hear about people being horrible to other people. But it’s an important book and really highlights how technology, despite all its benefits, has a dark side too. But I completely understand if you just can’t handle this one, it certainly isn’t for everyone.

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