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Peek Inside Paper Girl

I haven’t left my house in over a year. The doctors say I have social anxiety. I say inside is safe. Then my mom hires a tutor. He makes me want to be brave again. I can almost taste the outside world. But so many things can go wrong.

Paper Girl

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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…


 “Wilson made me care about the major and minor characters, root for their successes. I read Paper Girl in one sitting.” – Amy’s Book Reviews

Paper Girl was unique in the way other elements were explored so that the whole story wasn't just focused on teenage anxiety.” – Hayley (Backpacking Bookworm), Goodreads

“…this book is amazing, and I believe Cindy R. Wilson did an excellent job telling this story.” – Heather, Goodreads

"Highly recommended to anyone that like YA contemporary novels.” – Bookish Tiffany

“I LOVED this book. It's a really sweet story, and I loved how pro-therapy it is.” –Julie, NetGalley

“I loved the characters, the storyline, and the sweet romance! A must read for anyone who loves YA!” – Jessica Kapp, Goodreads

“I absolutely adored this book, and will be eagerly anticipating Cindy’s next books!” –Beautiful Bookland

“Truly a beautiful book!”  – Milky Way of Books

“This book hooked me from the start and didn't let go. Within hours of starting, I finished it because I had to know what happened to both Zoe and Jackson.”  – Epilie Aspie Chick blog

“I feel that each of the characters developed beautifully and dealt with real-life issues, which helps readers because it is far more relatable!”  – A Few Chapters ‘til Love

“This story is identifiable and real and raw. I highly recommend it.”  –    Victoria Bunce, Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640631885
Release Date: Dec 4, 2018
Page Count: 352
Imprint: teen
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Tropes: coming of age/family/social issues, forced proximity

Select Featured Reviews

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By Danielle's November 26, 2018

The idea of a story about Agoraphobia has always intrigued me and when I read the synopsis for Paper girl I knew I had to get my hands on it. I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint.

Zoe is our paper girl. She likes crafting with paper and has made an out of this world solar system. She also likes playing ...more

By Kelly Brigid ♡ January 11, 2019

"The real world was like paper, and one screw up, one spark, and the whole thing would go up in flames."

Paper Girl surprised me in a plethora of ways – all of which for the better. Having dived into this contemporary without many preconceived notions of how it’ll turn out, proved to be a ...more

By Carlene Inspired December 05, 2018

Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired.

Rogue and BlackKnight have progressed from just playing online chess matches to chatting on a regular basis. They hide behind their usernames, sharing more about themselves than they'd willingly share to friends offline. At the same time, at just seven ...more

By Sarah December 03, 2018

I flew through this book so quickly. It was such a great read and exactly the kind of book I was needing right now. I needed something light and entertaining with some good feels, and that's exactly what I got. I loved the characters and their struggles that were so realistic and relatable. I loved ...more

***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of PAPER GIRL by Cindy R Wilson in exchange for my honest review.***

Zoe, who has agoraphobia and Jackson, who is homeless play online chess under screen names. Unbeknownst to either, they were schoolmates before Zoe’s anxiety escalated and ...more

By Samantha (WLABB) November 26, 2018

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Jackson was homeless, and Zoe never left her home. When their online lives clash with their real world lives, they both may find the courage they need to tackle their respective issues.

• Pro: I really liked Jackson. He was forced to take on grown up responsibilities sooner than he s ...more

By Manon the Malicious December 03, 2018

I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

*4.25 Stars*

Zoe hasn't been outside in a year. A series of things happened and now, when she thinks about leaving her apartment, she gets panic attacks. So she doesn't. And she doesn't like it but at least she can escape through ch ...more

By Shelby May 08, 2019

What. A. Book.
I am so happy I was able to read this in May which is also Mental Health Awareness month. This book just touched my heart so deeply as someone who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis. This book is about Zoe King, a girl who's anxiety and panic has consumed her life. Her fears keep ...more

By Sara November 05, 2018

Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson a five-star read that will rip you into pieces. What a book, I honestly didn’t expect this to be as amazing as it was, it had me in tears several times not just sad tears either. This was so nicely done, as we read Zoe’s story you will get drawn in and realise that ever ...more

By Alexandra October 31, 2018

I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books*

Zoe lives in her family's penthouse...and hasn't left it for a year. Making galaxies from paper and enjoying her online winning as a chess master, and having one online friend, she tr ...more

By Lily ☁️ January 01, 2019

Thank you to Entangled Publishing LLC. and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reading copy of this book!

Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | TumblrTwitter ...more

By Tessa December 04, 2018

YA contemporaries that mix mental health issues and romance can be tricky. There is a chance that the romance can overwhelm the actual representation of mental health and warp the most interesting part of the novel into a mere subplot in comparison to the romance.

I would like to give the caveat tha ...more

By T.H. December 23, 2018

I have a very good friend who suffers from agoraphobia and a daughter with social anxiety. I’ll admit I never really understood these feelings. I’m the opposite, a consummate extrovert who loves the hub of urban life and exploring everything the world has to offer. But PAPER GIRL takes me inside the ...more

By Heather October 20, 2018

I was provided an ARC through NetGalley in return of an honest review.

This book is wonderful and I think it's a very important book to read. It's one of the few books I've found that is so pro-therapy, which made me beyond happy.

First off, I love the way the chapters work. I love how one chapter is ...more

By Lisa December 06, 2018

This book was a real page-turner. Both of the characters were really developed in a way that you felt all of their pain and anxiousness. I know that I was rooting for both to figure out that the other was actually their anonymous chess partner online, but until they did, it was very interested to se ...more

By Julie September 16, 2018

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for this great YA read!

Zoe is home schooled. She has not left the house in a year. In that time, she's created a world made out of paper. In addition to the paper, she finds an escape playing chess online with a dude. They open up to each other.

Jacks ...more

By Jessica September 18, 2018

First let me address the cover... wowzers! It's one of my favorite covers of 2018! Cindy is a beautiful writer who takes you into the world of Zoe and Jackson. Zoe suffers from social anxiety and is afraid to leave the house. She connects with the outside world through online chess and befriends a p ...more

By Hayley (Backpacking Bookworm) September 18, 2018

The cover of this book was the first thing that caught my attention. It implies that the 'Paper Girl' is fragile and that her life could turn to ash at any moment. I thought it captured the essence of the book really well.

The 'Paper Girl' is Zoe, an almost-seventeen-year-old who hasn't left her apa ...more

By Melissa (YA Book Shelf) January 22, 2019

I started this book initially back in April, but had to put it aside. Nevertheless, I had been really compelled by it from the what I’d already read, so I decided to reserve it at the library and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you’re looking for a good, own voices contemporary novel that deals with a mai ...more

By Claire December 13, 2018

"Paper Girl" is a YA novel that talks about a girl with social anxiety. As someone who experiences anxiety in social settings from time to time, I thought the author managed to craft a story with a character I can somewhat relate to. I enjoyed reading about the representation because the author does ...more

By Lynda December 06, 2018

Zoe is a sixteen-year-old shut-in, while Jackson is seventeen and homeless. She never leaves her house, while he doesn’t even have a house. They are total opposites, but they find each other through an online chess game, where they tell each other their most intimate secrets, not thinking that they ...more

By Tiffany September 16, 2018

When I first recieved this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I was beyond excited. For weeks I’ve been denyed every single request. I absoulety love the cover for this book it fits perfectly.

Zoe has suffered a panic attack that has forced he ...more

By Rachel October 23, 2018

Loved this, and especially loved the positive therapy rep. ...more

By Museofnyxmares December 03, 2018

Blog Post:

*I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

This was another book where I truly didn’t know what to expect, but was very pleased with what I ...more

By Hasna June 10, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was really relatable & seeing Zoe become braver everyday was truly amazing. The character development was brilliant & everything about this story was just so cute! I also loved how even though there was a love interest, her social anxiety wasn’t automati ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.90 avg rating
Cindy R. Wilson

About the author

Cindy R. Wilson

Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You'll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.

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