Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Publication date: 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: E Book
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars

This week has been filled with (overdramatic) sickness and busy days, so I've not had a chance to read anything new. However, with the controversy of Mr Andrew Smith and the theme of writing girls and women, I decided to dig out one of my old favourites. And, female friendship is a theme I'm going to be reviewing over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

“I have two choices in life: I either try to do the right thing and get accused of being selfish, or I just do what is right for me and get called selfish anyway. This time, it's all about me.”
The narrative follows Flo and Renée, both without a true friend and trying to deal with love, loss, grief and a ton of high school drama in the middle. This book is a gem in the world of YA, and does something that most contemporaries rarely do; it reflects real life. Although some hyperbolic, I found myself howling at situations the girls find themselves in, reminding myself of many high school memories. O'Porter doesn't give us a "problem book," but rather a snapshot of real life. Flo and Renee are girls that you can relate to, they talk about the things that teenage girls do actually talk about (why is sex still taboo in YA!) have relationships that you understand, and yet do it with an aspect of reality.

What I adore about this novel are the characters; each completely honest in their own being. Regardless of where and when, high school is similar for everyone. Each friendship group has its own dynamics; everybody has a 'Sally' in their lives, whether directly knowing them, or seeing what they do to others. Teenage girls hold a ridiculous amount of power over each other, and sometimes it can be cruel to see what that kind of friendship can do to a person. Seeing this move away from the constraints of the high school form, and the girls gravitation towards friendship is not only adorable, but something you root for; and if you had a 'Sally' in high school, it makes you kick yourself for not being strong enough to act upon it.

Family trouble is also a predominant theme throughout the novel. Not to give away the plot, but O'Porter does this well. The feeling of being alone at 15 with nobody else who understands is one she embodies well. Family and friendship are the sole world of your teenage years, which makes sense as to why it's the core of Flo and Renée's lives, and their problems. And although there's a resolution at the end, I cannot wait to see the development of these characters, their lives, and how they will begin to move forward.

“I just hug her, tell everything is fine, and walk with her to her house. It will be all OK in the end.”

Not seeing teenage girls being represented how they actually are in YA drives me insane, but Dawn O'Porter wraps up an honest portrayal of being a girl throughout high school, and gives it to us in the form of Paper Aeroplanes. Thankfully, we're getting a sequel in 6 days, and I cannot wait. Flo and Renée are the friends you wanted in high school; female friendship is coming back kicking, reminding us that it is important. Paper Aeroplanes left me feeling the same way Margret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale did; I want all my female friends to read this, to value this. Because this will leave you feeling like you've been part of something special.

"Because there are some people in life that you have to forgive, no matter what they do. Because without them you're nothing."
Beautifully hilarious and heartwarming, you'll be dying for the sequel. And as for feminist feels? It hits all the good points!

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and you can buy it here.

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