Welcome to this week’s topic! I am really excited for this one, because there is no better feeling than finding a great and little-known book to share with people. I won’t lie, I haven’t always been the best at reading books that are out-of-the-spotlight so to speak, but I want to make a more conscious effort to find less popular titles to review.
So without further preamble I give you: How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox. Although the term “underrated” is a bit subjective, this has a little over 2,000 book reviews on Goodreads. And let me tell you, it deserves so so so SO much more love than that.
Biz is a 16 year old high school student trying to navigate the complicated world of friends, discovering her sexuality, and dealing with the loss of her father almost 10 years ago. Despite seeing and hearing her dead father periodically, she is doing well, until one night on the beach sends her entire life into a spiral. After, she must struggle to put the pieces of herself, and her father’s past, back together again.
There are so many dimensions to what makes this an awesome read. My personal favorite aspect of it, though, is the way it deals with mental health. Although I cannot completely relate to the main character Biz’s struggles, there are aspects of her that I identify with. It was so nice to see a book that talks candidly of what it’s like to live with mental illness, the way it can impact relationships, and the ups and downs of getting treatment. There was no romanticization of Biz’s struggles, just a really moving story.
Besides that, the writing style is absolutely mind-blowing. This is probably my most highlighted book to date, and for good reason. The way that readers get to see the world described through Biz’s eyes is truly astounding, and I’ve never read a book with similar narration. It’s very in the moment, almost like a stream of consciousness at times, with more structured description in between. I think it depicts well the problems that Biz is dealing with, and is eye-opening about what it feels like to be in her position.
I am still enamored with all of the characters, even though it’s been months since I read this. They were all so vivid, and the friends that Biz makes are absolutely precious. I really want to give Sylvia a hug. And finally, I love the message that we are left with; mental illness often doesn’t have a “cure,” and that’s okay. It’s enough just to live for each moment as it comes.
Please know that this book deals with a number of heavy topics, so I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you are sensitive to topics of suicide, death of a loved one, sexual assault, and/or mental illness. Otherwise, I truly cannot give it enough praise.
I hope you guys enjoyed this, and be sure to tag me in your fav Fridays, or comment an underrated book below.