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  • A wonderful YA contemporary romance

    4-1/2 Stars. I have a very good friend who suffers from agoraphobia and a daughter with social anxiety. I’ll admit I never really understood these feelings. I’m the opposite, a consummate extrovert who loves the hub of urban life and exploring everything the world has to offer. But PAPER GIRL takes me inside the life of Zoe, an agoraphobic who hasn’t left her home in over a year. Zoe was always more shy and reserved than her outgoing older sister, Mae, but before a series of events pushed her into seclusion, she lived a fairly normal life, attending Mae’s games and flirting with Mae’s friend, Jackson. After retreating into her home, she creates a haven of paper art that soothes her as well as occupies her time. Zoe is determined to return to some sort of a normal life, starting with attending her sister’s high school graduation. With the help of her therapist, she sets small goals for herself, including allowing herself to be tutored by Jackson, who has troubles of his own. Small victories and big steps backward combine to make Zoe’s journey one that is both realistic and relatable. Plot Told from dual points of view, there is one main plot, the romance between Zoe and Jackson, and two major subplots involving Zoe’s goal to re-enter life outside her home and Jackson’s relationship with his estranged father. The author throws enough roadblocks into both of their paths to keep things from ever getting too easy. The only thing I really wanted more of was uncertainty in their romance. There wasn’t any angst or doubt, nothing to really keep me turning the pages to make sure these two would end up together. The Characters I absolutely loved Zoe. She’s complex, smart, creative, funny, and just neurotic enough to be the perfect character to root for. I could feel her shame and horror when life infringed on her safe space. Watching her stretch the boundaries of that safety zone had me cheering for her every step of the way. Jackson was a little more pulled together, even though he’s homeless. His circumstances are as outside his control as Zoe’s are, but they’re environmental rather than emotional and mental. These two both overcome their own circumstances and situations to grow in believable ways. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About PAPER GIRL 1. Paper art. Colorful origami in three-dimensional space creates a solar system and galaxy that fills Zoe’s room and life. I would love to see it, because I’m not sure my imagination does it justice. 2. Mae. She is sympathetic as the older sister who loves Zoe and struggles with supporting her sister and longing for the life they used to have together outside their home. 3. Zoe’s mom. The Instagram and YouTube star who documents all the craftiness that is her life is both a supportive and understanding parent with some of the best lines in the book. 4. Jackson. He’s sweet, patient, and brilliant. He creates the perfect balance between supporting Zoe without being a crutch. 5. Zoe. She is fascinating, at times sarcastic, terrified, artistic, smart, and more all rolled into a tiny ball of determination. Bottom Line A wonderful young adult contemporary romance that examines how social anxiety can transform someone from the inside out. Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Enjoyable Read

    4 Paper Stars! Review by Nancy Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson is an intriguing story about a young girl with agoraphobia and social anxiety as well as a young boy trying to make his mark on the world— even after the world keeps knocking him down. Captivating and authentic, this is a very enjoyable read. How do you deal with life when it becomes too much, too scary? Zoe hasn’t left her house in over a year and Jackson is living in his car because he can’t go home. Zoe has created her own world and has filled it with origami. It wasn’t until Jackson came into her life that she wanted more than to just exist in her room. They are both fighting battles that most teenagers aren’t even aware of. Both Zoe and Jackson find solace in playing chess online. They start an online relationship not knowing that they already know each other in person. Jackson and Zoe were so sweet together. I loved that the romance didn’t take over the book, it was just enough to make the story interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters as they developed in front of my eyes. I loved being able to follow their journey to self discovery and healing. The book was written in a way that just flowed. I was intrigued and wanted to keep reading. Definitely not the usual YA I read, but I found myself enjoying the story more and more as I continued to read.

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  • Up all night

    I personally liked the book. I think what Zoe had was very vague but the ending was great and I judge a book by its ending. Great read, good romance, would recommend if your looking for something light.

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