"Part of a new line of teen-written novels, Paper Hearts is penned by an eighteen-year-old author who writes teen angst with authenticity and power. The novel is an impressive achievement for a debut writer."
—The Story Sanctuary
“This book is filled with really awesomely crafted characters, from Michelle and Nathaniel to Nathaniel’s grandmother (what a gem!), from Michelle’s completely self-absorbed mother to her scumbag of a boss. It has a plot to match—the plot twist came completely out of nowhere. . . . I was so completely blindsided. It was almost (but not quite) Fight Club level.”
—karaelaine1991, Library Thing
“Paper Hearts is a perfect title for this book because both Michelle and Nathaniel are fragile and vulnerable much like a paper heart. While Nate doesn’t allow the world’s ugliness to dampen his spirits, Michelle uses her anger as a shield to ward off others before they can hurt her. I thought this was a great debut novel and I loved seeing Nate and Michelle’s relationship grow.”
—68papyrus, Library Thing
"As Michelle mellows, it becomes increasingly clear that her life actually is tragic, and her sulky teen misanthropy is a reasonable reaction to a rotten life—a refreshing take. Savell offers readers hope within grim realism. . . ."
"The sweet beginning won me over and the end, though traumatic, was handled with care and written perfectly."
—Jess, The Cozy Reader
“Paper Hearts is a debut novel that will run your emotions through the gauntlet.”
“Savell’s touching debut is a tribute to all those who have suffered abuse and survived. Her book contains strong characters, and although readers may not find the heroine, Michelle, to be very likable, it’s all part of the tale and becomes evident as the plot thickens. This story is an inspiration for survivors and a real eye-opener for those who are blind to the consequences of bullying and mistreatment of all sorts. The author handles harsh subjects such as rape with taste, showcasing her talent as a writer. A terrific YA for teenagers and adults alike.”
—RT Book Reviews
I jot this in my worn notebook, bound in stains and tears, cindered from too many stubbed-out cigarettes. Dusky light feels along its surface, spotlighting empty pages and an equally empty mind. From the display case I take the yellow lighter, swiping it through the dying glow seeped into the countertop. Two green eyes disappear and reappear in the veneer of the metallic casing, irises warping as if in a Halloween house of mirrors. The room blossoms fire with the flick of a gear, the remaining thread of light evaporating into the dim.