Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson is a YA Contemporary story of a Japanese-American girl battling severe social anxiety who uses her paper art as a way to cope until she meets a boy..
“I haven’t left my house in over a year. My doctor says it’s social anxiety, but I know the only things that are safe are made of paper. My room is paper. My world is paper. Everything outside is fire. All it would take is one spark for me to burst into flames. So I stay inside. Where nothing can touch me.
Then my mom hires a tutor. Jackson. This boy I had a crush on before the world became too terrifying to live in. Jackson’s life is the complete opposite of mine, and I can tell he’s got secrets of his own. But he makes me feel things. Makes me want to try again. Makes me want to be brave. I can almost taste the outside world. But so many things could go wrong, and all it takes is one spark for everything I love to disappear…“
This was an absolutely touching story to read.
We follow the main character who is battling a severe form of social anxiety who wants to be able to live a ‘normal’ life. Then we meet a boy who is also battling his own circumstances as he struggles with being homeless, just hoping to make it through the next day. Both characters want to be accepted in their world, and they find this through an epic game of online chess. Told from their two perspectives, it was entertaining to see how they merged together later on.
There are romantic elements in this story, and what made me chuckle was just how these two were complete opposites from one another. As I read along, I even tried to match up their personality traits and was shocked to see how the author developed them as polar opposites.
Even though I could tell where the main plot points were going to go, it was such a fun story to read. I flew through the book in only a few sittings, and it took effort to pull me away.
I really enjoyed reading the emotions that the characters run through as they walk towards their goals. Seeing the interactions they had with the outside world was inspiring and intriguing. It was quirky and innocent while also bringing some real-world mental health into the picture. The analogy of the solar system and her anxieties showed us a great picture of just how she felt, and using her talents in paper art seemed to portray perfectly.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. This was a beautifully written story, and I think it portrayed the small world of social anxiety in a unique manner. I highly recommend this to anyone who may be battling their own anxieties and wants to find a bout of inspiration.
Published: 4 December 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
How I Read It: ARC from Entangled Teen
”Zoe King. That’s my name.
Sixty-two inches of seventeen-year-old female living on the thirtieth floor of the Safe Zone, otherwise known as my family’s penthouse apartment. It gave me a view of approximately seven of Colorado’s peaks over 14,000 feet—none of which I’d seen up close because I hadn’t left my house for 392 days.
That’s right. I was that kid. The one my parents weren’t expecting. The younger sibling, the baby, the one who should have demanded all the attention and made my parents laugh. The one who should have taken the world by storm.
Instead, I built paper art in the study and pretended I cared about my sister’s cheerleading squad. I pretended to watch my mother’s YouTube videos as she addressed the world like they were all her closest friends. I pretended to want to see my grandparents when they came back from their visits to Japan with Hello Kitty purses, thinking my sister and I were still five years old. I pretended to be able to breathe as the world closed in on me.
When there were two kids in a family and one kid couldn’t leave the house without her chest clamping tight in panic like a bear trap, then you really only had 1.5 kids because .5 of one kid was defective.
That was me. Living as half the person I wished I could be.”
“Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She’s the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You’ll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.”
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my honest opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
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