Review: Helena Fox – how it feels to float

how it feels to float
Helena Fox

Biz has her Posse, her mum, her siblings, her best friend and her dad. She doesn’t share her thoughts with anyone. But how can she process her feelings of kissing her best friend or noticing the new boy? Biz floats, not letting anything in – but that means that she’s adrift with no anchor.

How does one little book pack so much in? It approached mental illness, uncertain sexuality, physical disabilities, single parents and adopted grandmothers. Oh, and siblings and hobbies and FEELINGS. I had high hopes for this novel just from the pretty cover and the blurb. The blurb resonated with me without me even realizing why.

It’s so hard to review this novel without giving things away. There are so many things the reader assumes at the beginning that turn out not to be true. It’s not simple or clean, it’s messy and dark and confusing. Go into this with expectations of brilliance, but don’t assume anything about the plot.

My one teensy complaint was the use of photography (and SLR film cameras) to once again allow the protagonist to ‘express herself’. What redeemed this common expression media was the way that Biz started having her photographs talk to her and show her dad in them. Now that’s a nice way to show character development/progression!

Normally I would also complain about the writing style being a bit of stream of consciousness and too flowery, but somehow it worked. I sunk into Biz’s consciousness and didn’t come out for another 372 pages. I kept telling myself I’d take a break after this next chapter… and the next one… I could not put this novel down, and once I finished it, I really wanted to read it again.

I’m lending this novel to a friend who needs this in her life right now, But then I’m going to get it back, and read it again. This is a staggeringly good debut by Helena Fox, and I can’t wait to read what she publishes next. I can’t thank Pan Macmillan enough for sending me this to review. Why are you still reading my review? Go out there and buy a copy. You won’t regret it.

Pan Macmillan | 23rd April 2019 | AU$17.99 | paperback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.