How it feels to float is an emotionally tense, intimate and poetically vivid experience of a teenage girl dealing with friendships, sexuality, loss, grief and hereditary mental illness. At its core it’s a heartbreakingly relatable journey that touches on the growing pains of teenage-hood and trauma, and displays the downward spiral and coming to terms with mental health. Written with grace and believability, Biz is a complicated character with complicated yet wonderful relationships. The chapters are short and quick. The read throughout is a mix of touching groundedness and somewhat disorienting surrealism. I was reminded throughout of the feelings evoked during reads of some of Kathleen Glasgow’s books with similar themes, and like Kathleen, Fox has a stunning way with words and conveying pain.
The downside is that books like these can be emotionally draining investments of time. Some relationships at the end were left “messy” in some sense – not outright resolved and the first couple of chapters felt a little odd to get into. Beyond those first chapters though the capturing writing style Fox uses and the slow unwinding of Biz makes it difficult not to see the story to its end.
4/5 – A book to experience for its poetic yet nuanced and raw depiction of mental illness and grief.