Penguin Books How It Feels to Float
Penguin Books How It Feels to Float

How It Feels to Float

By Helena Fox


Publication Date: May 5, 2020

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Ages 14 And Up, Grades 9 And Up

“Profoundly moving…Will take your breath away.”—Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces

“Give this to all your friends immediately…It tackles mental health, depression, sexual identity, and anxiety with beauty and empathy.”—

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of the Year

Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface—normal okay regular fine. She has her friends, her mom, the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, 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 not about seeing her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven.

But after what happens on the beach, the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Her dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might 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, grief, and inter-generational mental illness, exploring the hard and beautiful places loss can take us, and honoring those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

“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

About the Author

Helena Fox lives in Wollongong, Australia, where she runs creative writing workshops for young people. She’s a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. How It Feels to Float is her debut novel. She can be found at

Author Residence: Wollongong, Australia

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 9780525554363

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