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She’d dreamt of him.
Esther had been dreaming the same dream for weeks. Visions and emotions filled her mind at night that strangely felt real. After the loss of her parents, she’d been raised by her aunt. The dreams began the day her elderly aunt also died—leaving Esther seventeen and very much alone. Esther told herself she was used to being alone—that she liked it even. Which is maybe why moving in with her uncle and his family, who are practically strangers, feels scarier than the reoccurring dream, or the thought of ending up alone. Soon, she’ll be ten hours from the only home she remembers, and the one person she has left in the world—her best friend.
Finn doesn’t care about any of that.
He’s got bigger problems. Being sick and angry never gave him much time to think about anyone else. How could it? He’s dealing with smothering parents who are clearly in denial about his life and a body that’s trying to give out on him. Why can’t everyone just accept what is and let him live the way he wants to?
When Esther and Finn’s worlds collide, fact and fiction begin to blur. Signs of Esther’s dreams are all around them. For the first time in a long time, Esther doesn’t feel like loneliness is her only future, and Finn starts to believe he may have more than video games and just another hang-out night with his friends to live for. Will Esther’s dreams lead them to their saving grace, or will it just be another heartbreak?
Paper Hearts by Jen Atkinson is exactly the clean young adult paranormal romance that we have come to expect. Beautifully written and this time the paranormal part is very light. It’s more of a side note in my mind. Atkinson is always able to interweave such emotion, realism and meaning in her books. Paper Hearts brings this back to the forefront.
Jen Atkinson is an author who drags you into a beautifully built world that while seeming completely idyllic has it’s major hiccups. The storyline keeps you grounded in the book. You can close your eyes and feel the surroundings. Her characters grow and develop so seamlessly.
I have yet to read a book of Atkinson’s were I wasn’t left wanting and needing more. Where I didn’t long for the next book or beg for a sequel. She has a talent for making you invest of yourself into her books. Her characters and stories live in your mind and heart long after the last page. This is the sign of a true story teller.
Essie is a character who has lost more than anyone should. Within a chapter of reading her story Atkinson has you wanting to take this young woman into your home and keep her safe. Finn is a character that while not as physically strong, he is so emotionally strong that I started to wonder how he could be that way. Don’t worry Atkinson is leading you down his road.
Essie’s dreams seem to lead her to Finn. Dreams she can’t shake and has been having long before her move to Jackson. When the two collide the sweetest relationship slowly blossoms. It will tug at your heart strings. You will feel the coy smile of a young girl, the longing for the first kiss, and the want of the love that you know would last forever, if it has its chance. Will they have their chance?