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How It Feels to Float
by Helena Fox




Overview -
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of the Year

Profoundly moving . . . Will take your breath away. --Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces

A stunningly gorgeous and deeply hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief, from an exceptional new voice.

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, 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 seven. 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.

Debut author Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief, 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 and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

Give this to all your...friends immediately. --Cosmopolitan.com
I haven't been so dazzled by a YA in ages. --Jandy Nelson, author of I'll Give You the Sun (via SLJ)
Mesmerizing and timely. --Bustle
Nothing short of exquisite. --PopSugar
Immensely satisfying --Girls' Life
* Lyrical and profoundly affecting. --Kirkus (starred review)
* Masterful...Just beautiful. --Booklist (starred review)
* Intimate...Unexpected. --PW (starred review)
* Fox writes with superb understanding and tenderness. --BCCB (starred review)
* Frank and] beautifully crafted.--BookPage (starred review)
This book will explode you into atoms. --Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels
Helena Fox's novel delivers. Read it. --Cath Crowley, author of Words in Deep Blue
This is not a book; it is a work of art. --Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She Drowned
Perfect...Readers will be deeply moved. --Books+Publishing

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More About How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

 
 
 

Overview

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of the Year

Profoundly moving . . . Will take your breath away. --Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces

A stunningly gorgeous and deeply hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief, from an exceptional new voice.

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, 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 seven. 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.

Debut author Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief, 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 and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

Give this to all your...friends immediately. --Cosmopolitan.com
I haven't been so dazzled by a YA in ages. --Jandy Nelson, author of I'll Give You the Sun (via SLJ)
Mesmerizing and timely. --Bustle
Nothing short of exquisite. --PopSugar
Immensely satisfying --Girls' Life
* Lyrical and profoundly affecting. --Kirkus (starred review)
* Masterful...Just beautiful. --Booklist (starred review)
* Intimate...Unexpected. --PW (starred review)
* Fox writes with superb understanding and tenderness. --BCCB (starred review)
* Frank and] beautifully crafted.--BookPage (starred review)
This book will explode you into atoms. --Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels
Helena Fox's novel delivers. Read it. --Cath Crowley, author of Words in Deep Blue
This is not a book; it is a work of art. --Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She Drowned
Perfect...Readers will be deeply moved. --Books+Publishing

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525554295
  • ISBN-10: 0525554297
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Publish Date: May 2019
  • Page Count: 384
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

How It Feels to Float

In Australian author Helena Fox’s debut, How It Feels to Float, 17-year-old Elizabeth’s father still appears to her 10 years after his death. Biz, as she’s called by friends and family, finds comfort in his ghostly presence and indulges in his stories about her childhood and his love for her mother. But Biz also feels at home among her self-described “Posse” of classmates and with her best friend, Grace.

During Biz’s junior year, her life starts to unravel. She discovers that she may be attracted to Grace, but her sexual orientation is still a conundrum. And when rumors about her sexuality start to spread around school, the Posse officially shuns her. Worst of all, her father disappears one night while she’s at the beach. As she finds herself alone, Biz may start to understand what it’s like for her father to float, “to watch and not be seen.”

In this lyrical story, we follow Biz as she sets out to find her lost father. As she connects with a new boy at school named Jasper (whose sexual orientation is also undefined) and an older female mentor, Biz’s narration occasionally turns from prose to poetry. In order to connect with her father, she will have to do the hard work of confronting her PTSD and unresolved grief. 

This is a frank story of mental illness, loss and sexual identity, and Fox responsibly concludes her story with information and support services for readers facing similar issues. How It Feels to Float is a beautifully crafted story of finding hope and love when both appear to be gone forever.

 

BAM Customer Reviews