Review: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

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Title: Weightless

Author: Sarah Bannan

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Excerpt from Goodreads:

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.

I was provided a free copy via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. Big thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin.

Carolyn is new in town and becomes popular very quickly. She is soon dating one of popular senior boys, Shane. Things are really good at first. She makes new friends with some of the popular girls and even the not so popular girls. She is nice to everyone. Things start to go south when Brooke, Shane’s jealous ex-girlfriend, starts to antagonize Carolyn and spread rumors about her.

I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but the things that these girls (and guys) would do to Carolyn were truly horrific. I was disgusted. While I know this book is a work of fiction, I know that this type of bullying happens every single day. Although I haven’t been a victim or witness to this level of bullying, when I was in high school, a girl from a neighboring high school committed suicide because she was being bullied. It is very scary how badly someone words and actions can affect a person.

This book is told through the point of view “we.” The reader never identifies “we” as a person, but more as a group observing. At first this point of view bothered me, but then it begins to make sense. Especially in high school, the less you stand out, the better. “We” gives the reader a feeling that is lacking individuality. “We” is afraid to stand up for something in fear of being judged and ridiculed like Carolyn. “We” stays silent.

I had so much trouble reviewing this book. Have you ever read a story that needed to be told, but hated the characters at the same time? That’s how I feel about this book. This is a book everyone needs to read, especially those in high school. While dark and disturbing, this book opens your eyes on a very big issue. Definitely a book you need to pick up now.

4 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Sarah Bannan was born in 1978 in upstate New York. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 and then moved to Ireland, where she has lived ever since. She is the Head of Literature at the Irish Arts Council and lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

You can find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and her website.

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