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The Lightest, Heaviest Things

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"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.

It’s beginning.

150 pages, Paperback

Published July 25, 2020

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About the author

Weez Phillips

2 books6 followers
author | freelancer | photographer | humanities student | mental health advocate

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5 stars
8 (66%)
4 stars
4 (33%)
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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Starr.
18 reviews57 followers
August 29, 2020
This book is magic. AHHHHHHH I love this!!! Weez is now one of my favorite authors. <3 <3 <3

The prose in this...is just indescribably wonderful and well-crafted.

The worldbuilding gives you glimpses of an unpredictable world that is so—other. Weez’s imagination has created a world full of unexpected wonders. It also fills you with satisfaction in ways that many fantasy stories do not. The gorgeous minimalist descriptions!!!! *dies*

It’s a beautiful world and not a tremendously dangerous one. The real dangers are inside the characters: their deepest fears.

Like the author knows so much more and is only giving you the tidbits you need for the story. And you ache to become a part of that world.

Amazing things about this book:

1. A silver troll who is in love with everything and is unashamed to be enthusiastic

2. A fabulous friendship arc!! Amazing friendshipsss

3. The main character was a moody/quiet character and I ADORED HER!! (This type of main character is really hard to pull off, I think, and Weez handled it perfectly.)

4. Prose that could be poetry. IT’S SO DEEP.

5. Great character motivations and plot structure, etc. :)

6. THE THEME. SO GOOD. SO POWERFUL. SO...RELATABLE. It reaches right through your mind and touches your heart. I WANT TO BE BRAVELY.

7. Way more things. So many more things.


Two tiny negative-ish things:

1. Sometimes the format was a little wonky. But it didn’t bother me at all, really.

2. I sorta couldn’t tell whether I should really dislike Peri’s parents or not. I kinda don’t know what I think about them. 👀
Profile Image for Emily.
38 reviews
July 4, 2022
This book is so sweet. I don't know why I keep coming back to it but there is something about the authenticity of the story that pulls me in. I highly recommend the story, but I wish the formatting of the book was better—the typeface made my head hurt. Otherwise, I really like this book!
Profile Image for banditojul.
28 reviews11 followers
August 1, 2020
oh weez, you really did do this. the entire book is soaked in you, and that was the best part.
what a wonderful way I spent those 3 hours.
please go read this book.
Profile Image for The Smol Moth.
210 reviews29 followers
August 2, 2020
Full disclosure that I'm internet friends with the author, lol. That didn't change too much, though--I would have liked this either way.

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, this book...this was good.

This review was crossposted to my blog.
Profile Image for Samantha B.
311 reviews21 followers
August 4, 2021
This was overall a fun, light, quick read. It did seem a little surface-level, not quite as deep as it perhaps could've been.
In any case, I loved the world that Weez created, complete with trolls, pink and purple pine trees, and giants.
I did think that the contrast between the magical world and the human world was a little weird at times...I didn't know what time period she was going for at all.
Also, the giants seemed very metaphorical, but I wasn't entirely sure where the metaphor ended and the reality began.
I did really love the friendship arc, and Ull was amazing, and the map was great!

So, I think I'll give it 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for GR. :)
Profile Image for Reader.
177 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2021
"There's a certain rightness in [her] wrongness."
The right people could make this into a really nice movie.


Peri, Wink, Ull. It only took me half the book to figure that out.
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews

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