Cover Image: The Paper & Hearts Society

The Paper & Hearts Society

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Member Reviews

Overall opinion of the book:

The Paper and Hearts Society was such a lovely, refreshing read. Tabby recently moves to a new town and is living with her grandmother, it's the Summer holidays so she's yet to make any friends her age. When she comes across a leaflet in her local library advertising a book club, reluctantly she goes along to it. That's where she meets Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed, who equally share her passion and love for books. The story then follows their blossoming friendship and bookish trips. It's the type of book I wish was published when I was still a teenager. Tabby was such a relatable character and I connected with her introverted and often anxious personality. If I had to describe what I was like as a teenager, it would be very similar to Tabby. I'd overthink all the time and I don't think this was represented heavily in books 10 years ago.

It was lovely to read a YA book that's deeply rooted in friendships and a love of books, rather than solely on romantic interests. The references to other YA books was great and I loved all of the Harry Potter chats, it reminded me of the many Harry Potter marathons I'd have. There's also a part in the book where the characters talk about their top five Harry Potter characters, it was interesting to compare them to mine (Lupin, Hagrid, Molly, Ron and Sirius). The Paper and Hearts Society definitely deep rooted me in nostalgia and I liked that the society discusses classic writers, such as Jane Austen as well as current authors, like Becky Albertalli.

The characterisation was brilliant and each member of the society were completely different from one another. It was easy to tell them apart and in the sections where group messages were shown, their personalities were so distinctive and I could tell the characters apart just through the language they used and how they spoke. Sometimes in books, personalities can be lost when displaying text or social media messages, but this was not the case in The Paper and Hearts Society. I loved each member of the society and their own individual quirks. They're all so different and this book emphasises most people have something in common that can bring them close together. I like that it emphasises it's okay to not want to fit in with the stereotypes of society. It encourages readers to break away from this and be proud of their individuality. Though, I do disagree with the trope if you'd rather stay in and read you're weird, as it's quite a common thing.

In regards to the writing style, it was easy to read and follow. Lucy's writing style is relaxed and engaging. She's fantastic at creating setting, and her descriptions of Bath were accurate and takes the reader straight to the intended place. The spelling, punctuation and grammar was great and I enjoyed the descriptive language Lucy uses. Her use of text and Social Media messages were fantastic and it was interesting to see the characters interact through messages as well as in person. This is the reality of friendships nowadays and it was great to see a book reflect this.

One of my favourite things about The Paper and Hearts Society was how inclusive it is. There is a diverse range of characters, POC and LGBTQIA+ rep - this was so refreshing. One of the characters (won't mention a name as I don't want to spoil the book) is demisexual. This is one of the first books I've read that discusses the ace spectrum. Not only is this representation great for those who relate to this, it also educates other teenagers on sexualities they may not be completely familiar with. While there are romances and relationships mentioned in the book, they're not the integral part of the plot, but rather smaller sub plots. I personally loved the fact that the book focuses on a love for books and friendships over relationships. While it's great for YA books to show relationships, it's so important for healthy friendships to be portrayed too.

Although The Paper and Hearts Society is mainly a light hearted read, it does discuss some upsetting and equally important topics - such as divorce, family illness and bullying. Bullying and cyber bullying in particular are prevalent in the book and it reflects on how toxic some friendships can be, and how bullying can affect a person's mental health and future friendships. Lucy tackles this subject well, in an eye opening and often heartbreaking way.

The only niggle I had with this book was the age of the intended audience. For me personally, I'd likely class The Paper and Hearts Society as a teen book or young YA, rather than a late YA book. This isn't a negative thing at all, I just think readers perhaps 13-16 would relate to this book more than those who are 17-20, but that's only my personal opinion. I'm 24, and still loved it!

Overall I absolutely loved The Paper and Hearts Society, it's was deeply rooted in my teenage nostalgia and I loved all of the characters. It's an honest representation of what it's like being a teenager, discussing the awkward and embarrassing encounters alongside making life long friends. The topics discussed in the book were important and overall it was an absolute pleasure to read!

Final thoughts:

If you love all things books and cats, I would definitely recommend reading The Paper and Hearts Society. It was such a lovely read and a fantastic debut novel. It's the first book in the series and I can't wait to read more about the society in the future.

Lucy is an absolutely talented writer and is also part of the book community too - woo! I love seeing someone from the community achieve their dreams! Lucy's 19. Can we all just take a minute to appreciate her success and how brilliant of a writer she is please?!
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5 Words: Family, friendship, books, self-discovery, bullying.

This. Book.

I first read The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie back in April when BKMRK kindly sent me a review copy. Then pretty much as soon as it was first spotted in the wild in June I read it again, this time armed with a pencil for underlining and annotations.

As much as I loved Tabby, the main character, I related so much with Olivia that she is definitely my favourite. It was astounding to see myself so clearly in a book, in a side character so fleshed out that they came to life. I saw me - I was represented. It was a shock to me how much I felt seen.

I think one of my favourite things about The Paper & Hearts Society was how it was packed with a huge love for books. I loved spotting books that I'd read, bumping books up my existing TBR, and adding books I hadn't heard of. Check back on Saturday for my own Paper & Hearts Society summer reading list, inspired by the books that the characters discuss.

I really liked the conflict in this book - it was so natural and so real. The friendship group came to life to such an extent that I almost forgot they were characters in a book, and every interaction between them was natural.

I loved the road trip, how it was another factor in the changing dynamics of the group. And all of the destinations were already on my literary travel bucket list, so it was great to see them come alive. It made me wonder how the Paper & Hearts Society would react to Barter Books and Alnwick Castle - they should definitely head up North and do a flying lesson at Hogwarts.

The Paper & Hearts Society is one of those books that lifts you up, and it's fast becoming a self-care reread book for me. Read it, pre-order the next one, reread it.
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I loved this book right from the first page because this is such a wonderful love letter to books. If you are a reader, you are definitely going to identify with the Paper and Hearts Society because they love books and book shelves and this whole thing kicks of with a visit to the library! How awesome is that? Classics are represented here as well as young adult contemporary and fantasy, graphic novels and even some childhood favourites. I want to be a member of this society and I defy you not to want to as well after you read this book. 

Tabby is a book lover and so I could identify with her right away. But she is also a teenager having to deal with everything a teenager has to deal with and so teens picking up this book will definitely have something in common with her right away. Tabby is also a great character to read about because she has some anxiety issues and also some self-esteem issues which are also very easy to relate to. These do build over the course of the novel and we see her trying to hide these aspects of her life from those around her, and we all know how that is going to go!

The other members of the society are great and wonderful and diverse and I can't wait to spend more time with them. I love the fact that they are brought together through their love of reading but that they are all dealing with other issues in their lives that they can support each other with. Henry is a fun character in the group and I loved how thoughtful he was. It is not often you find someone who is as kind and caring as he was. Olivia is bright and bubbly but she is not as confident as she may seem and she is hiding something fairly major about herself that we do get to find out a way into the book. Cassie is guarded and finds trust difficult but we also get to find out the root of that issue and Ed is just the best. He is welcoming and kind and I really hope we get to dig a little deeper into this character in future books in the series. 

This is a great debut novel. It really does have something for everyone. I flew through it in two sittings and it definitely motivated me to get on with the rest of my TBR because of all the books and authors these characters talked about. Lucy has explored so many issues that are prevalent for teens today and there is so much relevant technology in the book right down to them texting to let each other know they're outside rather than ringing the bell-I loved that. I highly recommend this book, pop it on your summer TBR now!
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If you're a big fan of YA in the UK you might join in on UKYA chat hosted by none other than Lucy Powrie so when we found out she was publishing a book of course I preordered it. THEN I got super lucky and was granted an advance reader copy through Netgalley (thank you to Lucy, the publisher and Netgalley) and I'm so glad I did. Welcome to the Paper and Hearts Society. 

Since Tabby moved in with her Grandma making friends hasn't been at the top of her priority list. Who needs friends when you have books, right? It's only after going to the library she finds a leaflet for a new book club and decides to take the plunge. While fighting with her anxiety and past experiences. Lucy writes about anxiety so well, there are few books that have such good representation. 

This is truly a book about friendship and finding your way. Overall it is a sweet read and has a very diverse group of characters, although I have to say it doesn't seem forced. It simply represents young people today and the lives they may have.I will say that at first I wasn't sure if I was the ideal reader at the old age of 24. I could take a guess at some of what was going to happen and I felt a little too old but the more I read the more I fell in love with the book and characters. It didn't matter I'd work some things out ahead of time I just wanted more. 

Also a huge shout out, which I sent Lucy a DM about, to the love for Sylvia Plath throughout the book. I am a HUGE Plath fan, The Bell Jar is one of my top books of all time, her poetry was incredible and it is so rare to see Plath mentioned in YA. So, on a personal note I really enjoyed seeing that and I feel it gave great insight into Tabby and her character. 

I gave this 4 out of 5 stars a solid first novel and I'm really looking forward to reading the next books in the series. A huge congratulations to Lucy! Thanks again to Lucy, the publisher and Netgalley for this opportunity.
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If you're stuck on what book to read, there are two great reasons to pick this one up. The first is because it's such an engaging read. You'll find yourself wondering why Jess and Tabby fell out, cheering Tabby on as she makes new friends, and it's overall a wonderfully warm read.

The second reason is there are so many books mentioned here, you'll be spoiled for choice on what to read next. I took a list of every book mentioned and there are a lot. There's also far more I haven't read than I have. I've now got a teaming TBR, more full to the brim than it was before, all thanks to Lucy.

The representation in this book is fantastic. There's asexual and anxiety rep, and they're both done really well. I can't commend Lucy more for it. It also features five main characters with five very different personalities and interests, something a lot of teenagers may worry about when they look to their own friendship groups. Olivia gave me some serious Kristy Thomas vibes so she must be related to the BSC president in some way.
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This book is so cute and happy and feel good!

It’s perfect for fans of Alice Oseman and Chloe Coles, this is the ultimate love letter to book fans.

I loved the friendships, and the book club was great. I  was never in a Bookclub, but my best friend and I used to raid our local library for all the latest sweet valley books and spend our pocket money buying them all, so I know the sheer joy of spending your time doing nothing but talking about books as a teenager. (I still do that now but knowing I could go into school to talk about the latest book was ace!)

Tabby was such a believable character, she feels like someone I would really want to be friends with. I love the idea of a literary road trip so much! 
My favourite bookish place is Barter Books in Alnwick, I can imagine Tabby and her friends going there and loving it just as much as I do. Or Hay on Wye.
I can’t wait to find out what they get up to next.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this.
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The Paper & Hearts Society is a cute, adorable, unequivocally delightful novel that made me miss being a teenager, and it’s not often that I say that! When I was sixteen I stopped reading for a long time, and a book club and the group of friends Tabby has would have been the perfect solution for me. In fact, joining the book blogging community feels a lot like joining a club like the Paper & Hearts Society, and, like Tabby, I am so glad that I have found my people!

I didn’t love Tabby, and I often found her a little annoying, but after talking to a friend I came to realise that the representation of her anxiety was extremely relatable and I can see in the reaction of readers with anxiety that Lucy has done a great job in writing this part of her character.

The friendship this group of friends has is definitely my favourite part of this novel. Everyone’s relationship is super cute, even Cassie and Tabby’s! Ed is the softest person in the whole world and I love him with all my heart, Olivia is so cute she’s like a puppy and I relate a lot. Cassie is definitely the grumpy cat of the group who thinks she’s too cool for everything but secretly loves it and Henry is the perfect, swoon-worthy love interest! They all have something that they’re dealing with privately and makes them feel super realistic and leaves plenty of room for development in upcoming novels in this series.

I don’t think that the writing was the most exquisite prose to ever exist, but it was light and easy to read which only served to further my enjoyment of this novel. Sometimes, I found that the dialogue wasn’t wholly natural, and the way all of the characters communicated was definitely far too healthy to feel entirely realistic. Additionally, it seems that The Paper & Hearts Society being marketed as a YA novel, but feels far too young, and instead reads as a novel for young teens, perhaps aged 13 to 15. Even still, the writing, at least at first, feels a little patronising and I know that it would have put me off reading this book as a young teen. The book feels like it was written by a teenager but instead of using a voice that would be targeted at Lucy’s age group, it seems as though she felt the need to make the voice younger, so doesn’t feel natural in places.

Overall, The Paper & Hearts Society is just as sweet and delicious as the hot chocolates from Woolf & Wilde, the infamous bookshop that I wish I could visit with Tabby and her friends!
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I really wanted to like this book - I love Lucy's YAbookchat on Twitter, and she seems like a lovely person. It's a cute premise for a book - a sort of younger Jane Austen Book Club - but I just couldn't engage with it. It took me a long time to finish it because I picked up and read about five other books in between; I kept coming back to it thinking 'maybe it will improve', but it didn't. A large part of the problem for me was that it felt like it needed at least another two rounds of edits. So many repetitions that it became annoying - poor Olivia, for instance,  squeals ALL THE TIME. This would be fine if she was in fact a piglet, but she's not. Scrappy formatting, even for NetGalley, and I found Tabby's interspersed thoughts in combination with the third person POV difficult to switch to. Maybe I'd have enjoyed it more in first person? It's not like we get anybody else's point of view. And Cassie. Why so angry? We find out later, but really - if you start a book club and leave invitations and people turn up to the club, it makes no sense to be randomly angry at them for joining the club.
The early book name-dropping felt very forced, and I feel the titles mentioned will make this book date.. If this book has the effect of making its readers pick up and read some of those books, that will be wonderful - but it tails off and I doubt many readers will remember the books mentioned near the beginning. Except, perhaps, The Bell Jar.
Frothy fun, I'm sure it will be heavily promoted and will sell well, but like Zoella's Girl Online will likely go out of fashion.
I won't leave any public reviews as I don't like to put authors down - I appreciate how very hard it is to write a book and how much time and soul goes in to it. . Lucy is very young - this should really have been her 'practice' book and left that way. I'm sure she'll get better.
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A young teen moved to a new town and discovered a book club that pushes her out of her comfort zone. 
Honestly, this was a little disappointing, considering how positive the reviews were for this book. I really wanted to love this book, but this book was just not for me. This is a story I would say good in concept, but the execution was so bland. 
I have no issues with references to certain things, but this book really overdid it with the book mentions. Like I genuinely thought this book would’ve collapsed on itself if it didn’t mention another book. Yes, this is a book about a book club. But the way it was written was definitely meant to namedrop, which I don’t have an issue with, but it just wasn’t smooth. 
A majority of the book is:
Tabby/ Anyone else: Oh, wow. I love [book title] by [author]! Spends a couple of lines on how great it is. 
A lot of the books mentioned were prevalent Young Adult/ Contemporary novels. I understood wanting to celebrate UKYA, but I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of it because it was so just so cringey. 
I also found the characters to be quite snobby at some points. And a lot of them act as if reading is such a weird thing that makes them different. Like, you know when people say “Am I the only one who does [something that everyone does]?” Tabby and some of the others all tends to give off that similar vibe, and it was just a little frustrating. 
I’ve never watched a video of Powrie’s, but from work I’ve seen, but I can definitely see how her own reading taste has influenced this book. It’s not a bad thing, nor am I calling her taste terrible, but I just know this is a book club I wouldn’t be joining. It all felt very forced and I couldn’t find myself to commit with any of the characters. 
When Tabby’s not in the club, she’s dealing with personal issues. She has moved away from her old town, but that doesn’t stop her past from following her. I found this part of the book much better and far more interesting to read than the activities of the book club. This is where the book doesn’t fail; in my opinion, it’s rather uplifting when we can see how the book club helps Tabby. And it also showcases the danger of online bullying and toxic friendship. 
Overall, I wouldn’t say this is full on terrible book. Out of the booktube crowd, it’s actually one of the better ones. But Paper & Heart’s biggest downfall was that it was trying way too hard to be a great book WITH fantastic references to other contemporary novels when it could’ve just been a great book. I don’t plan on continuing this series.
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This was the sweetest story! I’d say it is aimed at 13-15 year olds because it is very PG and innocent, and I definitely would have adored it at the age. It is a little young for my taste now, but I will be recommending it to younger cousins. 

The only thing that makes it drop a star is that the dialogue felt a bit too young for the age the characters were meant to be. I had to keep reminding myself that they weren’t 13. Maybe that is just because I am 21 myself so I couldn’t put myself in their shoes, but it did just seem a bit misplaced. 

Other than that, an excellent debut, spotless writing and a very promising start to a career in fiction writing for Lucy!
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The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie 

The Paper & Hearts society is a heartfelt YA novel, which focuses on embracing the things and people you love. It is hard not to engage with its affectionate tone, and characters in this endearing debut novel. The book follows Tabby Brown, book lover and the type of girl who shuns stereotypes and enjoys doing what she wants to do. She quickly finds herself in a book club, and it’s within this that friendships and first loves appear. 

The novel is fun, pact full of YA references and general bookish love out, it isn’t afraid to focus on the joys books and friendships entwined give. This book doesn’t play on how they are all different and have somehow found each other within the society, they know what they love and get on with it. This made the novel all the more enjoyable, embracing their the characters quirks and get on with the adventure. It was unafraid to challenge difficult subjects and is a perfect summer read for the younger YA market.
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I have to start off by saying that I don’t usually read YA fiction, so I’m writing this as someone trying to read a bigger range of genres. I think The Paper & Hearts Society deals with certain issues extremely well, and very sensitively. I particularly liked the references to demisexuality, which isn’t something I’d ever really come across in books. The story is very much aimed at 12-17 year olds I’d say, and I definitely think this book would have impacted me more if I were younger. 
There were a lot of literature references: Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and then plenty of references to YA authors as well. Sometimes this felt a little forced, but I guess it is a nod to several generations of book-lovers. I loved the literature book tour they went on, and having recently visited Bath, I could perfectly picture the time they spent there. 

I think the book is well written, and it’s a very quick, easy read. I think it deals with issues of bullying very well – particularly how social media can play a part, and it touches on anxiety, although I think this could have been explored in more depth. If you love YA fiction, you’ll absolutely love this, and even if it isn’t your usual kind of book, it’s an enjoyable read.
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This was a fun, quick, entertaining read for summer. 
If you're a bookish person and have a love for classics, then chances are higher you will love this book :) 
It's about adventures of a group of teenagers with a bit of whimsy, fun, romance. It's definitely good for a light, summer read. 
Thanks a lot NetGalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a fun, quick read about a group of teens that form a book club where they do fun bookish activities and go on a road trip and help each other to deal with anxiety, relationship drama, and family issues. The main character has just moved but is finding it difficult to escape from her bully, who keeps harassing her and her new friends on social media, which effects her ability to truly be her honest self. I would very much recommend it to any teens that are obsessed with books as there are many references peppered throughout the story. Some of the book references felt a bit forced and it was predictable, but it was a nice, fun read and would be a great one for teens to read on their summer holidays!
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Witty and wise, this is a story for book lovers everywhere, and one that will particularly resonate with Y9-11 students. I only wish there had been a Paper and Hearts Society around for me to join at that age!

Will have to make sure I have all the referenced books available in the Library once this one hits the shelves :)
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So, I want you to read this review with the huge caveat that I'm not a typical contemporary YA reader - so I'm writing for the people like me, who might see the hype for this book and wonder if it might slot in with their fantasy reading as a nice palette cleanser.

Firstly, I think this book has some strong aspects. Thinking back to when I was reading YA contemporary as a habit (around 2008-2012 ish) this felt like it would have been something I picked up and enjoyed - so it's probably doing pretty well for the target audience. I liked the friendship dynamics, I liked the representation of different identities, I liked some of the redemption arcs - I thought the overall plot was pretty classic for a YA contemporary, with the added niceness that it was such a love letter to books and to being bookish. 

However, it took me a while to relax into this book because my hackles were put up in the opening chapters. There was some really incongruous name dropping of various book titles throughout the opening chapters that felt...just strange to me. It was a bit as though the author was name dropping her favourite authors but not doing it in a way that felt natural or, to be honest, believable. I would have preferred it to either be a little less obvious or to maybe have had a list of recommended reads at the end (oh that could have been fun...). Maybe it's a nice thing to see people talk about your favourite books within a book - for me, it just felt too obvious and was annoying enough that it coloured my opinion of the rest of the book. 

I suppose you have to read this book with the knowledge that it has been written for people who are already very bookish and who already know and love both classic fiction (there's a lot of references to Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare etc.) and contemporary YA. So, imagining 2008 Judith picking up this book - would I necessarily have related that hard to the characters - perhaps not? But reading it as a book lover who has also found her people I can see the value of the story. I suppose my question is how does that fit into the market for younger teenagers, who might be more likely to pick up the book in isolation in their library - will they relate to the story or is it written for a very specific audience - and does that help or hurt? I'm just asking the questions...

I've given myself a couple of days to process this book before writing the review because I didn't want to come across as biased against contemporary YA. I've come down on the side that this is a great book for people who already love the genre. If you're already a YA contemporary reader then this is great. If you're not...maybe don't start with this one - pick it up later on.

My rating: 3/5 stars

I received a free digital advanced copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

The Paper & Hearts Society is available June 13th!
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This is such a charming little read, full of bookish adventures, a bit of romance, and whimsy. It’s certainly not a story that will stay with me very long, but it makes for an enjoyable and quick read. It’s definitely a book that I would have loved more if I’d read it as a teen. It’s certainly a book for teen girls who love books and pop culture. I did think that the protagonist was a little grating and the friendships in the book moved just a little faster than I would have liked. Given that Powrie has a lot of fans herself, I don’t doubt that this will be a summertime hit.
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Wow! What a lovely read! I have to admit I had lower expectations purely based on other youtuber's attempts at fiction, but Lucy really proved me wrong! Youtubers are often given book deals purely because of their fanbase and marketability, but they were right to do it here. 

Lucy's story is incredibly thoughtful and inspiring and something that every book lover from aged 12-18 should read. I would have loved this even more at that age, however as a slightly older person I can't relate as much. I do remember the same anxieties at that age so would have loved a book like this at the time.

The one thing I will say is that the anxiety aspect isn't explored as deeply as I would have liked. It comes across as slightly superficial as it leaves out some of the other thoughts or symptoms that one has at these times. However, it's a wonderful attempt and definitely addresses something that more books should do! I also love the use of a queer character as it feels very inclusive and natural to the story, which will definitely help any reader going through something similar. 

Another thing I loved was the locations! They're used so well with the story, the different houses, the park and the road trip really add that little bit of something to the idea of this book club. And I also now desperately want to join a book club like this! I need a Harry Potter marathon! 

Overall a wonderful job and I would love to read the next one. 

This book was received free from Netgalley.
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A story about friendship and a shared love of all things bookish.
Tabby has moved to live with her gran, desperate to avoid the bullying from her supposed best friend. As an attempt to find something to do, she responds to an invite to join a book club. In so doing she meets a whole new group of friends.
Olivia, Cassie, Ed and Henry have known each other for ages. They have in-jokes and could be intimidating, but they’re good people who help Tabby learn to trust her own judgment again.
We drop in on a few meetings, a road trip and share their summer as they all take steps to become the person they want to be.
Thanks to NetGalley for the early access to this.
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This was an easy to read, YA fiction, with a theme of belonging and friendship.  I enjoyed the references to books and authors and the fact that the protagonist - Tabby - enjoyed reading.   It was a light, feel good book, which discussed issues such as bullying as well as mental health.
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