Congratulations to Karen Fortunati – the Washington Independent reviewed THE WEIGHT OF ZERO and absolutely nailed the important, moving, brilliant heart of this book!
Mental health care is vital at all times of the year and even more so now at the holidays. Please read and share.
“This intelligent debut examines adolescent mental illness with a realistic view of what “better” may look like.” – Washington Independent
When shopping this novel back in 2015, I called it “a hopeful contemporary YA about mental health care – the book librarians have been clamoring for.” This review echoes my own thoughts:
“Head over to Goodreads and look up “young adult novels and depression” and you’ll find a plethora of books about hospitalization, suicide attempts, and the loneliness and stigma of being diagnosed with mental illness and the fear of never “being normal.”
You’ll also find a vocal fandom, both those who suffer from various forms of mental illness and those who do not, who decry the popular YA trope of “hospital heals everything.” In this tried-and-true formula, the narrator enters the hospital (usually after a suicide attempt or public breakdown), meets with initial antagonism from the other patients, partners with a gentle doctor, begins a well-planned regimen of medication, and emerges hopeful and solidly healed in three to six months, usually with a new love interest on her, or his, arm.
But the best contemporary YA novels about depression focus on after. Because it isn’t realistic to expect that help (and the hospital) heals all. The reality is that depression, and other mental illnesses like bipolar disorder or self-harm, are lifelong disorders that require daily diligence and monitoring. There isn’t a cure-all for sad.”
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