Indies Introduce

Young Adult

  • The Weight of Zero, Karen Fortunati
    Delacorte Press/ Random House Children's Books, 9781101938898, October 11, 2016 (Young Adult)

    “After Catherine is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she doesn’t believe that she’ll survive. She knows that, while right now she’s ok, soul-crushing depression, which she calls Zero, is coming for her. So she decides that she won’t let it get her — she’ll end things before it hits. But she has a few things to do first. Catherine’s bucket list becomes an unlikely source for change as she begins to find hope where she never expected it. This book absolutely floored me. It tore me apart and rebuilt me, in the best possible way. It is by far the best depiction of depression that I’ve read in a very long time. I spent the last half of the book in grateful tears, filled with a deep recognition that gave me hope for life and love for Catherine. I cannot express enough what this book meant to me. Read it. It’ll change you.”

    Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

    “You might think that a story about having bipolar disorder would be depressing. But this story will lift you up, open your eyes, and make even your darkest ‘Zero’ moments seem manageable. Everyone should read this book. It will help you face those bad times, and it will help you appreciate the good times. Catherine suffers from bipolar disorder and she is so convinced that she will never be able to achieve anything a ‘normal’ girl could. But she starts small, and each small accomplishment helps her get to the next one, and then she realizes: Maybe Zero — the devastating depression that accompanies her bipolar disorder — is coming for her, maybe she will hit rock bottom and never come back, but she is going to try, and try hard to overcome anything Zero throws at her. If you open yourself to the people around you, to the help being offered, anything is possible.” 

    Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA)

    “Catherine Pulaski suffers from bipolar disorder. She began to notice symptoms when her grandmother died in her presence. She suffers from both extreme manic episodes and extreme depression. She attempted suicide once, but her mother found her in time. She is assigned a history project about WWII and Michael Pitoscia asks her to be his partner. This is the beginning of a relationship for them, but Cat almost ruins it by not being truthful with Michael about her condition. Michael’s entire family embraces her, especially Nonny, the grandmother, and they welcome her into their home and family. Cat is told by her doctor that she needs to attend intensive group therapy, and it is in this safe setting that she meets Kristal, another patient. Cat and Kristal hit it off, but again Cat almost ruins this relationship by her dishonesty. A real story that needs to be told about bipolar disorder and how it affects someone who is afflicted by this, The Weight of Zero also concentrates on the value of good doctoring, strong support from family and friends, and the will to continue living.” 

    Kathy Taber, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore (Indianapolis, IN)

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