Adamsville wasn't a place that people came to. It was a place you were from, where you were born, where you were raised, where you stayed.
Before Carolyn Lessing arrived, nothing much had ever happened in Adamsville, Alabama. Each week, at dinner tables and in the high school assembly, everyone would pray for the football team to win. Each year the Adams High hotlist would be updated, and girls would rise and fall within its ranks. Each day everyone lived by the unwritten rules that cheerleaders did not hang out with the swim team, seniors did not date freshmen, and the blistering heat was something that should never be remarked upon. But then the new girl came.
All Carolyn's social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1,075 friends - and she didn't have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like Abercrombie models, she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect.
This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.
"Riveting, agile and beautifully judged, this is one of those essential stories that will capture the imagination of different generations of readers. Sarah Bannan bears witness to the dark core of youth culture and yet manages to find meaning even in the anonymous corners. A superb debut novel" (Colum McCann)
"A provocative and timely novel that unsettles the reader and challenges our view of contemporary youth. Its subject matter is universal; parents and children around the world will recognise the difficult and fractured society it depicts." (John Boyne)
"Weightless is a remarkably accomplished debut novel, the work of a gifted storyteller with important things to say about the world we and our children inhabit. It is intelligent and nuanced but urgently relevant, and it's bravely and beautifully written." (Joseph O'Connor)
"There is nothing new about bullying, but many of the weapons are new. Sarah Bannan brings us right into the middle of bullying, 21st-century style, in a novel that is chilling, engrossing and very, very impressive." (Roddy Doyle)
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Complex and Gripping