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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

See All Reviews on
By D.M. 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 playi... ...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 lov... ...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... ...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 se... ...more

By Manon 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... ...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 h... ...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 e... ...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... ...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... ...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.

Ja... ...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... ...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... ...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... ...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... ...more

By Rachel October 23, 2018

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

By Kate (beautifulbookland) September 25, 2018

This reminds me so much of Finding Audrey (which I ADORED); it follows Zoe, whose social anxiety and agoraphobia have prevented her from leaving her apartment in over a year; she spends her time working on her paper galaxy in her room. It also follows Jackson, whose tenuous relationship with his... ...more

By Tahlia 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... ...more

By Amanda September 16, 2018

Zoe hasn't left her house in over a year. Severe social anxiety leaves her in constant fear. Zoe made a promise to her sister that she would come to her graduation, but first Zoe must face her fears and step outside. Jackson has a rough home life, afraid to let anyone know he hides this life from... ...more

By Hannah October 06, 2018

don’t exactly know why the “girl is stuck in her house due to a mental or physical illness and falls in love” trope is so popular but I was pleasantly surprised by Paper Girl. One of my main worries with books like these is that the love interest will try to “save” or “fix” the MC which is just s... ...more

By Michelle October 04, 2018

My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!

Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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 Ja... ...more

By Cindy September 21, 2018

Paper Girl is an important story to me in so many ways. It’s the first book I wrote based off of real-life experiences, and it ended up being the first story I had published. Anxiety disorder has played a huge role in my life and being able to put it out on paper meant a lot to me. Not only did i... ...more

By Colleen's Conclusions October 19, 2018

I have been in a mini review mood lately, so this will most likely be just a short review. I liked the premises of this book very much. I had a feeling it was for me when I first read about it and I like it when my feeling is right about this type of thing.

The main character tries to spend most o... ...more

By Jo November 16, 2018

The story begins with the online dialogue between blacKNIGHT and Rogue 2105. They are playing an anonymous online game of chess.

The story is told alternating between the plights of Zoe and Jackson. Zoe suffers with social anxiety and agoraphobia which prevents her from leaving her Penthouse apar... ...more

By Tina December 04, 2018

It has been quite some time since I have indulged in a contemporary YA novel, and this one was the PERFECT choice. Paper Girls is a poignant and beautiful story, one that had me engaged and, at times, dabbing my eyes, as I read this story about Zoe and Jackson. It is amazing how a book can be so... ...more

By Kristi Housman November 16, 2018

When I saw that Paper Girl was about a teen with terrible anxiety, I knew I had to request it. I'm not as bad as Zoe because I leave my house. But my anxiety and panic attacks do effect my life and prevent me from doing everything I want to do.

Zoe had a panic attack over a year ago at school and... ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.97 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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