‘Paper Avalanche,’ by Lisa Williamson, cover designed by Alice Todd.

I am very pleased to part of the ‘blog avalanche’ for the latest title by genius best-selling writer, Lisa Williamson.  ‘Paper Avalanche’ is no exception as we follow the tale of Ro, the teenage daughter of a compulsive hoarder.

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On the outside, Ro Snow is a perfectly normal teenaged girl. Slightly anti-social perhaps, but otherwise doesn’t stand out. Well that’s because Ro is hiding a dirty great big secret. A secret that would not only mean total humiliation at school, but also the possibility of being separated from Bonnie (her mother.)  It’s much safer to have no friends, no boyfriends and definitely no visitors.

Bonnie is a singer by profession but also a compulsive hoarder.  The house she and Ro share after the departure of Ro’s father, is stuffed full of all kinds of junk, but most notably the stacks of cards and paper which line the corridors and staircase. Ro is desperate for things to change and desperate that no one finds out how she’s been living.  However, new friends and new ambitions mean that Ro is finding it increasingly difficult to live a double life.

This book was inspired by a documentary that Lisa Williamson watched about extreme hoarders.  She brilliantly captures the compulsive nature of Bonnie’s condition and the mixture of emotions that Ro feels towards her mother.

I also loved the portrayal of those first glimmers of teenage romance.  The awkwardness, the self-doubt, the over-analysing.  All deftly handled by Williamson with a lightness of touch and humour befitting of a YA novel.

My favourite thing about the book, however, was watching Ro’s friendship with Tanvi develop despite her best efforts to resist it. Tanvi’s boundless energy and enthusiasm for life radiated off the pages.

A brilliant read that I would highly recommend to any readers aged 12+ It is worth noting that as this a young adult book, there are a few very mild swear words that might make this book unsuitable for younger readers.

Library Girl.

*many thanks to David Fickling Books for sending me this title to review and inviting me on the blog tour*

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