Title – Weightless
Author – Kandi Steiner
Publication Date – June 16, 2016
I remember the lights.
I remember I wanted to photograph them, the way the red and blue splashed across his cold, emotionless face. But I knew even if my feet could move from the place where they had cemented themselves to the ground and I could run for my camera, I wouldn’t be able to capture that moment.
I had trusted him, I had loved him, and even though my body had changed that summer, he’d made sure to help me hold on to who I was inside, regardless of how the exterior altered.
But then everything changed.
He stole my innocence. He scarred my heart. He took everything I thought I knew about my life and fast-pitched it out the window, shattering the glass that held my world together in the process.
I remember the lights.
The passionate, desperate, hot strikes of red. The harsh, cruel, icy bolts of blue.
They symbolized everything I endured that summer.
And everything I would never face again.
With the release of Kandi Steiner’s newest novel, it is clear that she has a fountain of talent and has just started tapping its potential. Steiner has taken characters I honestly wasn’t sure of in the beginning and put them on such a path that I found myself needing to know what would happen to them. She’s written an incredible storyline with twists and turns that leaves readers feeling like the beginning of the story is a world away from where we were brought in the end, but in the most wonderful way possible.
“If my life was to be a story, I wanted to take control of the pen. I wanted to change the paper, crumple up what had been written so far and start over. I just hoped I could actually do it.”
Weightless is an extraordinary journey of an insecure young girl into a confident, poised woman. The transformation that we witnessed in Natalie is one that I can’t be sure I ever saw coming. There were times she frustrated me and other times I so strongly admired her. I loved and appreciated seeing her growth and becoming more comfortable in her own skin, especially as someone who has struggled with weight issues. As for our leading man, Rhodes, I don’t even know what to say about him. I could tell that there was a whole slew of issues he had been through; ones that leave their permanent scars, that can’t be fixed with even the worst of habits. I spent half the book wanting to shake him and tell him to grow up, and the other half with my heart hurting for the poor guy. What I loved the most is the balance that they were able to find in each other. They were so different, yet searching for so many of the same things. As a couple, they somehow really worked for me.
“And it was in that moment that I realized Rhodes was like lightning. White hot and electric, but fleeting and dangerous. Beautiful to watch, but perilous to touch. But it was too late for warning signs. I’d been struck.”
Despite truly liking the story, there were some slight issues that kept me from rating Weightless higher. First of all, I felt quite alienated for the first quarter of the novel due to the heroine’s situation. As a bigger woman, I sometimes felt like the author was making a dig at me. Natalie was right around the size I currently am so it kind of felt like I shouldn’t feel beautiful unless I go to a trainer and go down three sizes. However, once Steiner moved into the storyline and focused less on the workouts, I found myself becoming more and more invested in these characters. Another issue I had was the back and forth tendencies we got from Rhodes. Due to the fact that we didn’t have his point of view, I had a hard time connecting to and understanding him. There were moments of such extreme hot and cold that while the mystery was alluring, I found myself craving more from his character earlier on. Finally, the biggest blow for me came when I realized how misleading the blurb is. I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers but what I insinuated from the synopsis is not what happened in the text at all so I was definitely taken aback.
“There’s something so strangely satisfying about heartbreak. It’s almost like if you can feel that much for anything, maybe life is worth it.”
I have read nearly every novel that Kandi Steiner has produced and I can say with utmost certainty that this is her best work to date. Weightless is a breathtaking story that delivers punch after punch – and certainly left me wanting more. Her writing is beautiful and effortless in the way she sets up and describes scenes throughout it. I love when I’m able to feel, see, hear, and even taste scenes in a book and Steiner has accomplished that with this standalone novel. Knowing that she is continuing to grow and evolve in her writing skills definitely has my curiosity piqued with where she’ll take readers on her next journey!
“I just don’t understand,” he said as he began rolling the ball up my calf. I moaned out loud, realizing that area was packed with trigger points, as he had called them.
“Don’t understand what?” I asked, still holding my breath as he rolled over my other calf. I leaned up on my elbows and turned my head back to meet his eyes.
He paused, holding the ball in place as he gazed back at me. “How could I never have noticed you before?”
I swallowed, almost more afraid of the brief tenderness I caught in his eyes in that moment than the usual hardness that existed there.
Shrugging, I answered his question just above a whisper. “I’m easy to miss.”
I held his eyes for a moment more before laying my chest back to the ground, resting my head on my arms. He started rolling the ball up my hamstrings and I closed my eyes tight. I thought I might explode from the mixture of pain and pleasure that rocked through my body. After a few moments, he spoke again.
“Maybe I just wasn’t looking.”
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Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.