Mar 29, 2015

Weightless by Sarah Bannan


Adamsville wasn't a place that people came to. It was a place you were from, where you were born, where you were raised, where you stayed…

Before Carolyn Lessing arrived, nothing much had ever happened in Adamsville, Alabama. Each week, at dinner tables and in the high school assembly, everyone would pray for the football team to win. Each year, the Adams High hotlist would be updated, and girls would rise and fall within its ranks. Each day, everyone lived by the unwritten rules that cheerleaders did not hang out with the swim team, seniors did not date freshmen and the blistering heat was something that should never be remarked upon. But then the new girl came.

All Carolyn's social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1075 friends – and she didn't have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like Abercrombie models she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect.

This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.


I've won a review copy of this book on Goodreads.

Amazon US Amazon UK

Adamsville is a town where everything has been the same for years. Nothing happens and many generations of the same families have lived there. Adams High is a school where the popular kids are having an almost royal status. It hardly ever happens that there's a new kid in town. When Carolyn Lessing moves to Adamsville something does change all of a sudden. Carolyn is pretty, she's artistic, she's smart and she's athletic, she has it all. The guys want to date her and the girls want to be like her. She's also very nice which helps increasing her popularity. 

Even though Carolyn has a great start at Adams High she's getting into trouble with Brooke Moore. She's seeing the guy Brooke's been dating. Will Carolyn be able to settle in and to find her place in her new home town? What will happen to the kind girl who stops to talk to everyone and who's so pretty and gifted, is she going to be all right?

Weightless immediately intrigued me because of the narrative. It's written in the first person plural. The story is an eye witness report from Carolyn's class mates, girls who have admired her from afar. They're in the swim-team with her, but they aren't friends. The girls know all kinds of facts, because they spy and they gossip, it's what they do. For me that made this novel stand out immediately as it's such a unique way to tell a story.

What's happened at Adams High is horrible and it's like the whole school knew, but nobody tried to prevent it. The writing is so good that it lulls you into a false sense of security, you want to know what's happened and you keep on reading. Of course that means you more or less have to become part of Adams High's cycle of gossiping and you don't even know if what you're reading has actually happened that way, if it's reliable. I loved how the author has given the reader a role in the story, like a bystander, a listener. Someone else who now knows, of course only from hearsay, who didn't do anything. The story is being told with a startling lack of emotion, of compassion, of guilt, which made me think about both what happened to Carolyn and who have been watching her and following her. It's like reading two stories at the same time. I think it's an amazing achievement from the author that she's done this so perfectly. 

The story itself repulsed me, but it's also so beautiful, because of the writing, the amazing talent of the author. I can't praise this novel enough, I think it's extremely clever and the result is something unique and excellent.

1 comment:

Be an e-tailPR blogger