Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn’t want to go to parties – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.
It’s like she hasn’t found her people …
Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING – especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.
But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it’s the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed’s fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself …
Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?
Title: The Paper & Hearts Society
Series: The Paper & Hearts Society, Book One
Author: Lucie Powrie
Published on September 5th 2017 by Graywolf Press
Format: eBook, 400 pages
Powrie’s The Paper & Hearts Society was such a treat, exceeding my original expectations. A wonderfully witty and entertaining coming of age YA novel, I couldn’t put it down!
The cast of characters are so unique and entertaining, truly bringing the story to life. Their love and admiration for books (and the adorable book club gatherings) just made my little bookworm heart flutter, feeding off of their energy and fandom for their favourite books and authors. Though there’s romance, it’s more of a subplot. I actually loved how this book centers on friendship, especially Tabby and Ed’s connection. There’s also a good amount of representation among the characters (i.e. demisexual, Philipiino, bi/pan sexual). And from what I’ve researched, they have been portrayed accurately (thank gosh).
As the book develops, readers learn Tabby struggles with anxiety and trust due to some intense cyberbullying. A few reviewers have called this book “juvenile” and the bullying “unrealistic”. As someone that was bullied, please do your research. I FELT for Tabby so much, to the point some scenes would trigger me. Powrie provides a very real and heartbreaking look into bullying, especially with the rise of social media. There are some parts where you just want to YELL at Tabby to NOT do certain acts; unfortunately, the toxic and controlling nature of her bully almost conditions her to do as they please. It’s a form of psychological abuse. I’m not saying it’s RIGHT, but the book explores that, showing Tabby learning from her mistakes and taking control of her life.
Cassie’s attitude towards Tabby was over-the-top; you feel for her once you discover more of her story, but it almost made me DNF it at one point. Tabby acts a little rude towards her new friends near the beginning, such as their fandom obsessions. But she grows a lot, becoming her own loving self rather than being influenced by the negativity in her life. And I found the ending a little rushed with some unnecessary parts added, causing me to skim the last couple of chapters.
There’s a lot to this novel, making it a great and insightful read. `Beyond bullying, some other topics discussed are: dysfunctional households, loss of a family member, sexual identity uncertainty. I’m very eager to read book two, exploring more about the members of The Paper & Hearts Society!
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: books about books; coming of age; focus on friendship.