'Every now and then you pick up a novel and you know you've found something wonderful - a glorious voice, a character you adore. Helena Fox's novel delivers. It is exquisite. Read it.' Cath Crowley
WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S AWARD PRIZE FOR WRITING FOR YOUNG ADULTS 2020
WINNER OF THE PRIME MINISTER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE 2020
Biz knows how to float. She has her people, posse, her mum 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.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY YOUNG ADULT BOOK AWARD 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NSW PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARDS ETHEL TURNER PRIZE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE 2020
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CBCA BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR OLDER READERS 2020
LONGLISTED FOR ABIA BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR OLDER CHILDREN 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT FICTION 2020
PRAISE FOR HOW IT FEELS TO FLOAT
'Fox's prose is lyrical and profoundly affecting, providing a nuanced account of the hereditary effects of trauma.' Kirkus Reviews, Best YA Books of 2019
'A profoundly moving story about grief, loss, and love that will take your breath away. Helena Fox is a writer to be reckoned with.' Kathleen Glasgow
'This book will explode you into atoms, put you back together, and return the new shape of you to earth. Alive with sensation and rich in thought and feeling, How It Feels to Float intensively explores what it's like to be here now.' Margo Lanagan
'Mesmerizing and timely.' Bustle
'Impossibly beautiful.' Kerry Kletter
Set in Wollongong, Australia, Fox's exquisite debut offers an intimate portrayal of a teenager navigating familial and social complexities while living with an undiagnosed mental illness. Biz, 17, blames herself for her father's death when she was seven ("I am why he was sad"), and she doesn't tell anyone that he remains a visible, often comforting presence in her life. Biz has her posse of friends, including her best friend Grace, whom she once kissed, and who supports Biz as she begins to explore her sexual identity. But a drunken beach party incident leads to her dramatic expulsion from the group and catapults her into suicidal depression. Biz drops out of school, begins clinical treatment, and makes unexpected new friends, including Jasper, a teen with challenges of his own. However, her ongoing hallucinations, panic attacks, and disassociations, in which she has no memory of incidents others report, leave her increasingly perplexed about her experiences, until she reaches a crisis point. Through lyrical first-person narration, Fox empathically conveys the hereditary nature of Biz's illness, its disorienting manifestations, and the limitations and power of love to heal. Ages 14 up.
I thought this book was amazing. Beautifully written with intriguing characters. Helena Fox has superbly created a bond between the audience and the main character, and made it easy to empathise with her. Overall loved it and would highly recommend.
Not a good book
When I saw this book I thought that it would be quite good. The description was quite interesting and the general concept of the book seemed good. It took me over 4 months to read, and I can usually read a novel in 2 days. It was very slow and confusing at times, especially towards the middle and the end. I believe that it explained some things (like her fathers death) but it was in a way that I couldn’t understand. Towards the end it also got very confusing when things were happening but she thought that different things were happening. Saying this though there were some interesting concepts talked about in the book, but I would recommend this book for people who like slower reads.