Biz, short for Elizabeth, suffers from PTSD, anxiety, and depression while exploring her sexual identity. She has her mom, her siblings, and her best friend Grace to help her along the way, but Biz finds herself unable to stay in the present moment. Biz seems to just float along, attempting to figure out why her dad, who passed away when she was seven, keeps appearing out of nowhere, and why sometimes he disappears. Helena Fox's debut novel poetically articulates a beautiful representation of mental illness depicted through sixteen-year-old Biz.
HOW IT FEELS TO FLOAT is one of those novels that really just hits you hard. The chapters, short and brief, provide bits and pieces of information about Biz's life, but like Biz, the answers to the full story are often unknown. Helena Fox, who suffers from depression and PTSD herself, does a beautiful job articulating the internal mental conflicts Biz encounters. We learn with Biz that her father's death impacted her severely, more so than she realized. Biz struggles to discover how to put herself back together while authentically portraying the thought process that someone with a mental illness may experience. HOW IT FEELS TO FLOAT is a powerful YA novel done well.