• How It Feels to Float

  • By: Helena Fox
  • Narrated by: Candice Moll
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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How It Feels to Float  By  cover art

How It Feels to Float

By: Helena Fox
Narrated by: Candice Moll
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Publisher's Summary

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of the Year

"Profoundly moving... Will take your breath away." (Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces)

A stunningly gorgeous and deeply hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief, from an exceptional new voice.

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom, 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.

But after what happens on the beach - first in the ocean, and then in the sand - the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and with him, all comfort. Might it be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe - maybe, maybe, maybe - there's a third way Biz just can't see yet.

Debut author Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief, about inter-generational mental illness, and how living with it is both a bridge to someone loved and lost and, also, a chasm. She explores the hard and beautiful places loss can take us and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

"Give this to all your...friends immediately." (Cosmopolitan.com)

"I haven't been so dazzled by a YA in ages." (Jandy Nelson, author of I'll Give You the Sun via SLJ)

"Mesmerizing and timely." (Bustle)

"Nothing short of exquisite." (PopSugar)

"Immensely satisfying." (Girls' Life)

"Lyrical and profoundly affecting." (Kirkus starred review)

"Masterful... Just beautiful." (Booklist starred review)

"Intimate... Unexpected." (PW starred review)

"Fox writes with superb understanding and tenderness." (BCCB starred review)

"Frank [and] beautifully crafted." (BookPage starred review)

"This book will explode you into atoms." (Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels)

"Helena Fox's novel delivers. Read it." (Cath Crowley, author of Words in Deep Blue)

"This is not a book; it is a work of art." (Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She Drowned)

"Perfect... Readers will be deeply moved." (Books+Publishing)

©2019 Helena Fox (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"I haven’t been so dazzled by a YA in ages.... Biz’s voice is wild and rollicking, lyrical and hilarious, utterly authentic.... There isn’t a false note." (Jandy Nelson, author of I’ll Give You the Sun via School Library Journal)

"[How It Feels to Float] explores intergenerational mental illness in a way that is nothing short of exquisite." (PopSugar)

"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, author of Girl in Pieces)

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What listeners say about How It Feels to Float

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Intense Story

I have to admit I found this story a struggle to listen to at times. I felt the main character's disconnect with reality to be distracting, but obviously this was the point.

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Moving, Revealing & Touchingly Beautiful

This is a wonderful story. The main character is such a beautiful complex tapestry of personality, vulnerability and wonder for her world. Her voice is subtle, tender and brave. She is trying to make sense of her life narrative in the midst of a parallel family story being lived and written; in the midst of being a teenage girl; in the midst of ever changing friendship, school and community.
There is revelation, tenderness, heartbreak and learning how to live. Find your people. Find a way to live and treasure life with those who love each other.

Wonderful narration!!! Splendid work.

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Not the Best

Struggled to finish. Didn't like the narrator. Very Repetitive and the story moves slow.

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Absolutely amazing book

Loved it . Keep me engaged and not wanting to put the book down!!.

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Incredible Story

I love this for reasons that are very personal to me. The story was crafted and narrated beautifully. I listened to it in less than two days and it was thought provoking and overall moving. This is definitely the kind of story I want to own forever and hear more than once.

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Beautifully written

The tenderness and love with which this book addresses issues of grief, mental illness, suicidal ideation, and sexuality is absolutely beautiful!

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Excellent

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing is beautiful and the characters are well rounded and complex.

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Profile Image for Anna Sytniewska
  • Anna Sytniewska
  • 08-14-22

Definitely recommend this book!

Loved it, couldn't put it down. The story was beautifully crafted and i felt like i could empathise with the characters and often relate to them. It was also read very well as it reflected the emotions of the characters really well. I totally recommend this book!

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Profile Image for Sophie Charlotte
  • Sophie Charlotte
  • 07-29-21

I couldn't stop listening

I haven't had a book be this captivating for some time! I wish it never had an end so I could keep going.