How It Feels to Float

Pan Macmillan Australia
ISBN: 9781760783303
The Book of the Year: Older Readers 2020 Notable
This is a visceral and haunting exploration of mental illness and grief. It is not an easy book to read and trigger warnings should be heeded. It is, however, a compelling and important story. Narrator Biz is coming to terms with her identity and her struggles with mental health, and this is portrayed in a sensitive and realistic manner. Readers may feel confused at times as there is a lack of clarity surrounding Biz's diagnosis. This confusion adds to the tone of the novel and creates a feeling of fogginess which works to the advantage of the story. This author provides readers with a web of creative literary techniques that guide the exploration of the self and mind in great detail. The inter-generational relationship between Biz and Sylvia is particularly enjoyable and offers a sense of hope. This novel takes readers on a complex and personal journey without becoming didactic. It is an impressive debut about a topic that is becoming increasingly pertinent for young adults.