Young Delight: Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson

Posted January 13, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Young Delight / 26 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Young Delight: Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson
Paper Girl

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Published by Entangled Teen
Released on December 4, 2018
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

A debut author and some deep topics like a high school girl with an anxiety disorder and a high school guy hiding that he is homeless made this new YA Contemporary become a book I was curious to read.


Paper Girl begins with two on-line chess partners who know nothing about each other, but meet up to play chess.  Black Knight wishes to become friendly and chat, but Rogue remains aloof as she kicks his butt in chess.

In real life, Zoe doesn’t leave her family’s high rise apartment because she has agoraphobia and panic attacks about the world outside the apartment.  She uses colored paper to design her study room walls like the solar system, homeschools, and her therapist comes to her.  All that changes when she meets her new math tutor and he’s the guy she crushed on before her year hidden away began.

Jackson’s life is one big lie.  He lies to everyone at school who think his life is great with sports, top of his classes, and friendly, nice-looking guy.  When in reality, his dad started doing hard drugs after his mom died and home became a nightmare.  He lives out of his car and pretends so he doesn’t end up in the foster system.  He’s nearly eighteen and is college-bound.  He picks up several jobs to make ends meet and save what he can for the future.  Then he gets a really good job to tutor and meets Zoe, who is more trapped in her lonely life than he is in his.

This is a story that doesn’t try to dazzle or set the world on fire.  It introduces two teens with their own private battles going on.  They grow close and are friends.  They help each other grow stronger and start dreaming again.  It’s baby steps as it should be for what Zoey has going on in particular.  Not much beyond these two is fleshed out for some time, but I thought that was another way of showing how isolated they have become.  But, Zoey’s sister is there and urging her on.  I rather found Zoey’s mom an enabler more than anything else.  I was glad that Jackson and Zoey both had to face their personal demons and it happened in a way that was not easy, but ended up in a believable, rewarding way.

YA Warnings:  no violence or sex, but moderate on language.  Suggest for mid to older teen crowd.

Paper Girl will be a story that I’m glad I read and I cheered on this pair to win over their troubles.  I’m always glad to see mental health issues, grief, and addictions addressed in a healthy, positive way. It didn’t grab me strongly and I did get inattentive a few times so I would set it down.  But, ultimately, I was happy to come back to it and keep going with Zoey and Jackson’s story.  I think those who enjoy a slow-burn character-driven YA with a friends to lovers style sweet romance will be the target group.

My thanks to Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #392 YA


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

It’s nice to see a story that has one of the characters suffering from Agoraphobia since I suffer from that myself. I don’t see that often in books.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, it was sweet story of friends. You would know better than me, of course, but I thought the author did a great job with her agoraphobia and what he was going through as a son of a man with addictions and living on the streets.

1 year ago

This sounds like a great read, I hadn’t heard of this one before. I like how you describe this one with the two teens who have their own struggles. I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to well. And it’s nice to see mental illness being addressed in books. Too bad it didn’t fully grab your attention and you had to set it down a few times. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

It was a nice gently paced heartwarming story. I think it would make a nice Teen TV movie adaption. 🙂 They were relatable
Yes, it was slow at times. Probably a little bit because I do struggle with teen contemporaries with the way they tend to get stuck in their heads and overthink stuff. LOL

Angie Elle
1 year ago

I like the premise for this one, and I like to see that things were resolved in a realistic way.

Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

I got a little nervous when I saw what topics the author was using, but yes, well handled. 🙂

1 year ago

Sounds like a good somewhat gritty story.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  vvb

I was definitely pleasantly surprised when I picked it up to give it a try. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Sounds like a sweet read. I’m wondering if the on-chess guy was Jackson?

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

He might well have been… wink wink. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

I admit I saw YA romance as the genre and thought I knew exactly what sort of novel this would be, however it looks like a much deeper read exploring unusual character situations. I rarely see homelessness even mentioned in fiction. One for the TBR, thanks for your thoughtful review 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, you and I had similar reactions. I’m not a big reader of YA contemporary, but once in a while I’ll pick it up if there seems to be substance in the storyline to make me think.
I agree about the homelessness. I’ve read another YA a few years ago that really nailed it good and also a gay romance that was also exceptional. But, that was it.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

This sounds interesting. It sounds like both of the main characters are dealing with some pretty big issues. I would give this one a try.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, they are dealing with heavy issues, but the writing style keeps things from becoming a huge downer. That was definitely a good thing.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

While this wasn’t memorable, I am glad you enjoyed it and anything that draws attention to mental illness is a good thing.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I heartily agree. I think with a little more tension built into the story would have made it perfect, but the story as is was still a good solid read especially to inform about those harder topics involved.

1 year ago

This sounds sweet. I like that it touched on issues that readers can relate to.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Nadene

It really was a nice feel good that did bring out some issues that people experience.

1 year ago

I had a good time with this one and the topics used.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, you don’t read much about agoraphobia or what it’s like or homelessness so I was glad to get this book.

Laurie | Barks Books

I can see why you were interested in this one. It would’ve nabbed me too! I’m glad it turned out to be a good read too 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I’d like to take credit, but it just showed up in the mail. LOL I told Entangled Teen to surprise me now and then and they did. 🙂

Carole rae
1 year ago

I’m glad when there are real elements mixed in. Makes it a hair better

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Nothing wrong with light fluffy YA contemporaries, but for me, I did love that those deeper elements were included. 🙂

1 year ago

This sounds good, great review! It is the type of YA I could read. Some of it is just gah. I don’t enjoy reading about high school for the most part. Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Anne

Yeah, I hear you about the teen scene particularly in high school settings. I’m usually not the target audience for YA contemporary, but once in a while… 🙂