The Lightest, Heaviest Things; a review, in which I have found an actual good fantasy novel

Weez wrote a book! A children’s fantasy book about giants and healing rifts between two worlds! And it’s good! You should go read it!

I just…I loved it?!

There’s so much here. The way mental health and depression are portrayed, the WORLDBUILDING, the characters…Actually, hold on a second, let me organize this review into parts. (For some reason that made me think of dissecting something. Which, since I tend to think visually, is not a very pleasant image. But anyway.)

The mental health rep

While it’s never said on page, the heroine Peri really seems like she has depression? And it was so well done and I’d just been lamenting about how I have so much trouble finding mentally ill characters in fantasy? (Characters in fantasy all go through traumatizing things and by miracle of God come out completely psychologically healthy–BUT that’s a rant for another time.) Anyway! It was so good and I felt so seen 😳 What’s that phrase? The mortifying ordeal of being known or something like that? Anyway! I think it’s so important to write about mental health issues, especially in kids’ books. It’s something a lot of kids go through, and erasing that side of childhood is potentially erasing a deeper understanding of what they’re going through.

Anyway, I LOVED Peri and the way the story handles depression. It was realistic and heartbreaking.

The characters

Peri–an actual queen. I related so much to her? She’s confused, somewhat angry, and trying her best to be brave. She’s such a strong character, and she feels like a real person. She’s my favorite.

Ull–I LOVED HIM TOO. HE’S MY OTHER FAVORITE. He’s a troll child with silver skin who sometimes speaks in rhymes. I love the way he loves everything, and he’s just such a beautiful smol child and *hugs him* Ahem. Sorry.

Wink–I had a little trouble relating to her, but that’s probably more of a me problem. I do like her. She’s brave and a bit thoughtless. I do think her conflict could have been fleshed out a little more–because we don’t meet her family, it’s a bit hard for me to understand what her parents mean to her and why she’s worried her mother doesn’t like her. But I still do like her a lot! She’s sweet and I love her painted pinkie nail 😊

The writing/setting

The writing is so so good! I love the way Weez writes prose! Her writing style feels very cold when you first start (not that that’s a bad thing at all–I think my writing style can feel very cold at times), but as you keep reading, it’s so warm under the surface. If I had to pick a color range to describe the writing, it would definitely be pastels. I think lilacs and pale blues.

The setting was amazing too! It feels very hobbit-y and very much like a surreal animated kids’ movie. (I think this book would do very well as a surreal animated kids’ movie.) The giants are such sad creatures, and I really love how they’re written. My only problem is there was sometimes stuff I wanted to know more about. For example, I wanted to know more about what exactly it was the giants did to kick everything off in the first place, and I wanted to know what Wink went through during the trials. But I love the setting so much!

Things I didn’t like so much

I feel like the novel could have felt…I don’t know, maybe fuller? I don’t know if that makes sense. I definitely could have used more description, and more fleshed-out backstories for the characters. Also, while the story is very Roald Dahl-ish in feel and isn’t necessarily supposed to be realistic, I will say that what Peri’s parents are doing would definitely be considered neglect in the real world and, no spoilers, but I thought the ending was a bit pat? (Not the ending as far as the climax with Ull–that was beautiful–but as far as the denouement.) I think it would have been better if it could have ended with Peri finally going to Wink’s house and realizing that Wink’s family could become like a family to her. Or something like that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Quotes I like

My eyes go wide. “How deep is it?” I’m not a strong swimmer. I only learned to swim two summers ago when my parents were home. I can go to the bottom of the swimming pool in town–but I’m not sure I can go farther.

Ull shrugs. “It’s magical,” he says, as though that should comfort me.

Wink shrugs. “No problem,” she says. “I’ve been swimming since I was four. I’m going to be a lifeguard when I’m older. I can handle this.”

Ull shrugs again. “It’s magical,” he says, as though that should frighten her.

Ull thinks back. “In regards to the symphony of the forest,” he says, “they did seem to have a new arrangement in which the tree frog section carried the melody more strongly.”

We decided to pretend there was nothing odd about that sentence.

Part of me, a small part, scoffs. A bad feeling–just the one? That’s nothing, of course. I have leagues of them, assailing on all sides, most of the time. Part of me wants to feel superior, somehow, for this–but of course, that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Anyway, I loved it so much. It feels wild knowing a real author 😳 I’m so proud. This gave me inspiration for what I want to write, as well! I’m glad I read this.

20 thoughts on “The Lightest, Heaviest Things; a review, in which I have found an actual good fantasy novel

  1. Aw reading your review is such a sweet experience and I’m actually curious about the book too. The only other book on depression or mental health issues in general that I had enjoyed reading was Furiously Happy! Forgot the author’s name but yep it was cool too. ☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

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