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Paper Hearts

Review

Paper Hearts

PAPERHEARTS by Ali Novak centers around Felicity, a straight-A student, with a bright future ahead of herself. She has always carried her mother’s expectations on her shoulders since her older sister ran away several years ago and has not spoken to their family since. While volunteering at a charity ball, the unthinkable happens. Felicity meets Alec Williams, a member of the world famous band the Heartbreakers. Felicity had never anticipated him taking an interest in her, but the two quickly realize how much they have in common. Shortly after, Felicity uncovers letters that her sister, Rose, had been writing to her, meaning her mother had known where Rose was and why she left all along. Alec is quick to take Felicity on a road trip to reunite with Rose once and for all.

Through their obvious differences, such as Alec not being concerned with spending money where as it is constantly on Felicity’s mind, the two balance each other out. They have a natural chemistry that is unlike many YA novels, and Novak implements their differences into the plot flawlessly. In addition, Novak incorporates the camaraderie of the boyband into the novel, which provides a different feel then most contemporary novels. The novel has its cliche moments, with Felicity’s best friend Asha being the epitome of a fangirl and Felicity’s nervousness about being around a member of a world famous band. Nevertheless, I loved seeing the world through Felicity's eyes, as she understands the value of both money and friendship, taking neither one for granted.

"I am inspired by Novak’s writing style...She has crafted a novel that is easy to engage in, and brings you into an alternate world where you are enamored with the characters as a whole."

While Felicity and Alec’s relationship is the main focus, the reader does obtain a glimpse at the romance between the other characters too. The supporting characters play a major role in progressing the story along, adding depth to the story as a whole. Asha, and another one of Felicity’s best friends, Boomer, are entertaining and humorous. Asha continuously stands by Felicity’s side during the arduous times, always putting Felicity’s problems first. Boomer does not care what others thought of him, and was equally supportive during this process. However, some of the supporting characters were hard to sympathize with, such as Felicity’s mother, and the way she handled Rose running away. It is evident early on in the novel that the mother has a crucial role in the reason why her sister ran away, which provides the novel with a depth of mystery.

Prior to this, I had not read Novak’s previous Heartbreakers novel, part of this loosely connected series based on other members of the Heartbreakers boy band, but this novel has encouraged me to read it and look out for her next novels following the two other members. I am inspired by Novak’s writing style, which is slightly different than the norm and which incorporates much more relatable thoughts, feelings and actions pertaining to the young adult life. She has crafted a novel that is easy to engage in, and brings you into an alternate world where you are enamored with the characters as a whole. I recommend this novel, and this series, to contemporary-loving young adult readers.  

Reviewed by Ryan H., Teen Board Member on July 9, 2017

Paper Hearts
(The Heartbreak Chronicles #2)
by Ali Novak