PAPER AVALANCHE by Lisa Williamson

‘Bonnie. Never Mum or Mummy or Mother. Just Bonnie.’

When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is an expert.

No friends.

No boys.

No parties.

And strictly NO VISITORS.

It may be lonely, but at least this way the truth remains where it should – hidden.

Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life, and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies.

But if Ro’s walls come crumbling down, who’s going to take care of Bonnie…


Title : Paper Avalanche
Author : Lisa Williamson
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 384
Genre : YA Contemporary
Publisher : David Fickling Books
Release Date : January 2, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

If you know me, you know that YA contemporary is a bit of a sweet spot but none more than those set in the UK. I find it so identifiable, the language, the nuances, the culture. Sarcasm abounds, no-one is ‘awesome’ and life is generally a bit grittier than we see in the average YA set in the US.

PAPER AVALANCHE was all those things from the first few pages, utterly engaging and heartachingly provoking. The protagonist, Ro was 14 years old, so in some ways, this was a young YA; but it wasn’t. Ro was a carer, certainly a caretaker and a provider in her house. She was an old soul, but a jaded old soul. She wasn’t experiencing a childhood, she hadn’t for a long time and it hurt to read sometimes.

The story of living in the house of a hoarder was certainly unique to my reading experiences. The whole context and narrative voice felt incredibly fresh. Ro’s reluctant maturity and survivor mode had my own parenting instincts on full alert. I hated both her parents with a passion and I think I hated the father more.

Bonnie’s hoard no longer encroaches on my space, but I still feel the weight of it all around me.

In the midst of this mess (excuse the pun), some new experiences were waiting for Ro in the form of friendships, a crush and self-belief. It felt so good to cheer for Ro as she navigated a little good along with the bad.

This is a book worth reading and not only that, it is a book worth shouting about. The writing had such an ease to it, that I slipped into the story and the characters which were rich and unusual. I loved everything about the reading experience with PAPER AVALANCHE and I’m wondering why I never picked up the heralded first book by this author; I will do now.

I highly recommend this contemporary YA set in Brit-land for a slice of the grim and a lack of cookie-cutter. Lisa Williamson keeps it real, advocating with her story for some of the difficult lives that young people navigate with integrity and bravery. I’m a fan.

Thank you to David Fickling Books and Ed PR for this review copy.