Publisher: David Fickling Books
Published: 3rd January 2019
Number of Pages: 368
Book: For Review*
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Coming-Of-Age, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Author's Site: Lisa Williamson
Blurb From Goodreads:
‘Bonnie. Never Mum or Mummy or Mother. Just Bonnie.'
When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is an expert.
And strictly NO VISITORS.
It may be lonely, but at least this way the truth remains where it should – hidden.
Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life, and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies.
But if Ro’s walls come crumbling down, who’s going to take care of Bonnie…
‘It takes me for ever to drop off and when I do I dream the dream I’ve dreamed at least one hundred times before.
Being buried alive under piles and piles of paper.’
Ro Snow has a secret. One she doesn’t want anyone to ever find out.
Her mother, Bonnie, is a hoarder. Their house is overrun with stuff, but Bonnie can’t seem to help buying more. Ro feels like she’s drowning, but no one can ever find out. Because if they do, they might take her away from her mother. And she’s worried what would happen to Bonnie if that happened.
Which is why she keeps to herself. Why she never invites anyone round. Why she never lets anyone get close.
Until Tanvi Shaw shows up in class. Tanvi is bubbly and smiley and so friendly – all the things Ro avoids like the plague. But Tanvi has already decided she and Ro will be friends, and now Ro can’t seem to shake the girl.
And maybe that’s a good thing. Because maybe Ro needs a friend, someone to hold on to, when her whole world is one paper away from collapsing.
I really do love Lisa Williamson. She’s not only a wonderful writer, but she also writes about things other people don’t think to write about. Paper Avalanche, the book about the daughter of a hoarder, was pure genius and utterly compelling. I possibly stayed up until 3am to finish it. I really just couldn’t put it down. I’m awful when it comes to contemps, so finding one that just hooked me like this was a rare and amazing surprise. I’m not even sure what it was exactly that gripped me so much, but I truly was just entranced by Paper Avalanche. To the point that I neglected Christmas present making, sleep and my family to read it. I would say sorry, but I’m not sorry because it was worth it!
Ro I really just wanted to hug. From the very first page, her personality and voice just leapt off of the page – especially how much she just suffered because of her mother’s hoarding. She was forced to be the parent to her mother, to take on things no child should have to worry about, and you could just feel how badly it was breaking her. I really did just want to hug her because God that girl needed so many hugs.
Tanvi was just so bloody adorable. I want a Tanvi. She was bubbly and friendly and so freaking cute. I want to wrap her up in a unicorn onesie and adopt her because gosh she’s awesome. She may be tiny, but she’s stubborn and strong and I love her. And the relationship that formed between her and Ro was just so cute – it was very one sided to begin with, but no one could resist Tanvi for long!
Ok, I just want a little rant about Ro’s parents. Because while Bonnie wasn’t a good mother, she had a legitimate mental health reason for it. But Ro’s dad? He was just a dick. He abandoned his daughter to the stress and fear she lived in every day, just for his shiny new family. And that’s just cruel. It made me so so angry for Ro, because she deserved so much better.
Rant over. I really just had to get that off my chest.
I loved the writing and plotline as well – Ro’s voice really did just leap off of the page and the story totally sucked me in. There was a dash of romance, which is always welcome! The friendship was what truly made the book though – I have so much love for Ro and Tanvi that it’s a little insane!
Seriously, though. Paper Avalanche was one of the best coming of age type stories I’ve read. It was about the daughter of a hoarder, yes. But it was about so much more. It was about friendship, first love, finding your voice and fighting for what you deserve. And I just loved it. It left me just smiling dopily with a tear in my eye.
So preorder Paper Avalanche because it really is not one to be missed next year. Lisa Williamson has done it once again and I adore her for it.
5 Out of 5
5 Out of 5
Read this book if you liked:
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne
* This book was received from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review
** Quotes used are from a proof copy and may have been changed in the finished book