“tell me about it,” my sister asked a few weeks ago.
i responded by mumbling and laying dramatically on the kitchen chair, which by the way, is the hardest thing to sit on for days at a time. “i don’t know how.”
“well you’re gonna have to figure it out if you’re posting about it.”
“it” in this case is referring to a very cool person’s book that’s coming out in a couple days or months, give or take, and by now you should know that cool person’s name, which is weez, and her book, the lightest heaviest things, or at least heard *some* kind of iteration of the concept known as subpar art. if you remain oblivious, well. i feel sorry for you. and will probably enlighten you by yeeting a copy at your face.
anyway, weez must’ve made the mistake of entrusting me with something, because she asked me to help her out with
throwing books at people’s faces getting tlht out to the people, whoever the people may be. and i must’ve made the mistake of assuming i could, because the next thing i knew i was swiping through a copy for review and going “what what whAT” for an hour.
so anyway, here’s me figuring this out and here’s the book of potential cult classic status, per weez’s interview with clara (read that or i will fight you).
“The trees are tall, and the giants are not actually taller than the trees. You told me that the giants aren’t real. I don’t know if they’re real. They look real, to me, but they also don’t seem real. You don’t see them, either.”
Peri, alone in her house, has spent a lot of time observing the silent, strangely sad giants that move just on the edge of her vision. They never speak. They never laugh. They are always alone. Drowning in her own loneliness, Peri doesn’t think much about where the giants came from, or what they might need from her.
When Peri’s best friend Wink starts seeing the giants too, though, they decide that they need to find out why the giants are so sad and alone. This sets them off on a quest that neither of them is quite prepared for, through the woods and up the mountain.
Magic, melancholy, and myth collide in their lives, showing them a world both worse and better than they ever knew.
the atmosphere. HHHHH. i’m a sucker for the ambience of a place, and the lightest heaviest things did not disappoint in that regard. there’s many ways the stereotypical country story can go stale, but the way this one went was refreshingly simple and yet heartwarming, like a place you’ve seen before but don’t really know. the instant i read through the first few pages i remember thinking “yep. i wanna explore this place a little more.”
the characters. peri, the main character and the newest fictional love of my life needs a HUG. i admired her complexity and really connected to her fears and thoughts and the way she saw her world. the little details weez spun along the journey and the way she revealed peri’s story bit by bit was very cool, to say the least. wink is a fascinating best friend/foil character that has a lot of pluck and nerve and also needs a hug. she reminds me of samwise gamgee’s character but with childhood angst, as we all tend to have. ull, my dude, is a friendly hungry magic kid with excellent rhyming skills, and i would’ve liked to have met him. his arc is bittersweet, and i think it was very well done. all of the kids have a lot of story that gets revealed through the people they meet, that for a moment it’s like they could be real kids.
the dialogue. the oneliners and quips and back and forths were hilarious. to prove my point:
“we’re going to save the giants.”
“we’re on a quest.”
*chef’s kiss* i rest my case.
this banter and the humor behind it carries on throughout the story in a very endearing way, and i simply don’t have enoug hwords to say how much i like it. it’s just that good. go read it for yourself.
more backstory. i think the plot is solid in terms of how engrossed can you get in a book and end up crying a few dozen times, but could’ve done with having more exposition, more details, more development into each character and the world they interact in and with. there’s so much for potential and if anything this feels like a teaser of being so close and yet not close enough to actually entering paper and ink and living in that world ourselves.
giants. i say this because even though the giants are peri’s catalyst and a big part of the book, and even though we get descriptions of them and why they’re here, i didn’t feel like i saw them exactly? that may be something left to each reader, that may be something that comes with rereading, and that may be because all that needed information will come somewhere else. who knows?
just more in general. everything in this book was great, full stop. no denying that. but i think in the way a bunch of little kids want to know what’s next when someone tells them a story, readers of this one will be absorbed enough to demand more, simply because it’s at a level that can only get better with more of it. so go read it and get weez to write another one because i won’t be able to rest otherwise *nods seriously and gets attacked with incoming pillows*
this book feels like childhood. it feels like growing up and adventure and food and friends and running and bravery, sadness and pain and fear and all of these elements of our younger selves woven into magic and fantasy and it feels nostalgic, and it feels foreign, and it feels right, and it feels like this search for home, like coming home.
but in many ways, it’s a beginning. not just for these characters and the story, but also for the indescribably talented weez phillips and her not-so-secret superpower of making
me people cry. i really think that ability and the creations that come from it will only grow, and how amazing to be at the start of it all watching it happen. i also can’t believe i’d lasted this long without realizing the periwinkle pun. dang.
i’d recommend this book for people who enjoy filling in the blank details of a book with whatever their imagination gives them,
readers who enjoy growing up stories and adventure,
and kids who feel alone, and scared, and just need a little shot of hope to go bravely.
it’s a feel think hope kinda thing, and this book presents that wonderfully.
click here to preorder The Lightest Heaviest Things on Kindle, here to add it on Goodreads, and here to see the Redbubble merchandise collection. (and leave reviews and posts wherever you do that so weez has to write another one : D )
(also. that merch. hhh.)
did i do it? was it okay?
~been running for so long, jo~
^^ that song reminds me of this so go listen to it while you read it