Review: Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl
by Cindy R. Wilson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: Dec. 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult

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…



Paper Girl is the story of a girl who suffers from extreme anxiety. Crippled by panic at the mere thought of leaving her house, she stays inside, seeing psychiatrists and being home schooled. She’s locked herself away from the world and others for years, however, the one person she can be herself around is BlackKnight, her online chess partner. What she doesn’t know, is that her sister’s friend, the boy who she’s had a crush on for years and who just so happens to be her new math tutor, is also the boy she’s been playing chess with.

I thought that this was a very sweet and adorable young adult novel that also manages to deal with some pretty heavy issues. Between Zoe’s extreme anxiety, and Jackson’s homelessness, these two have a lot of stuff going on personally. However, when they are playing chess online, they are able to escape reality for a bit and enjoy life. Obviously, they have no idea who the other person is in real life. That is, until Jackson starts tutoring Zoe and starts to put some things together.

I really liked both of these characters. They both have something to overcome, and they both want to deal with it themselves. They also both want to help the other person out. For Jackson that means pushing Zoe to step outside her comfort zone little by little without pushing her over the edge. For Zoe that means trying to talk Jackson into talking to his father and making amends. They both care a lot for the people around them and they both would do anything for someone else. I really liked that Jackson was someone who not only saw Zoe’s struggle, but wanted to help her reach her goal of attending her sister’s graduation. He was one of those characters that you couldn’t help but like.

Paper Girl was an adorable read. While I really enjoyed the story, I did feel like the ending came delivered quickly in a neat, package with a bow on top. I just felt like things just wrapped up too easily and perfectly for everyone. We’ve been on this journey with Zoe, and while we saw progress, we also saw a lot of fall-backs, too. I suppose I just wish that the author included more into the progression of these two characters separate lives instead of the romance aspect.



4 Thoughts on “Review: Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson

  1. Thanks for your review.

    I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out.

  2. I’m not a huge fan of YA contemporary but I actually like the sound of this one. 🙂

  3. As someone who suffers from Agoraphobia this sounds like a book that I might enjoy. I don’t see this subject matter too often in books.

  4. I love the sound of this one! I love when a book is able to balance a serious topic with something sweet. Great review!

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