MY RATING: 5 Stars
This is a review that I’ve been so excited to write! My review for The Paper and Hearts Society: Read With Pride is finally here! Ever since Lucy announced that she was doing a sequel to her successful debut book The Paper and Hearts Society, I’ve been waiting. I have been sitting on this book for a few months due to Covid and wanting to be in the right frame of mind to read.
I’m so glad that I did!!
If you haven’t read Lucy’s first book, then check it out! It’s a must-read for all book lovers out there.
What drew me to this next book?
There are multiple reasons, honestly. The fact I’m a big fan of Lucy Powrie, along with the book chatting about LGBTQ+ representation and, of course, the cover! It’s so pretty and colourful. I love it! With all of those reasons, let’s crack on with the review!
Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.
Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!
With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.
Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you
The Paper and Hearts Society: Read With Pride follows Olivia Santos, the creator of the society and future book editor. She is literally obsessed with all books and, now that she is starting her GCSEs, she is reunited with the school library and her best friends. All should be great for her, right?
Wrong. The start of Year 11 starts off very badly for her.
She discovers that due to a complaint from a parent and a new school policy, all the library books with LGBTQ+ content now have a warning on the front. The students even have to get a permission slip signed by a parent. For those of you who don’t, Olivia is demi-sexual and also has a girlfriend called Cassie. You can imagine how horrified and upset she was hearing about this.
Of course, Olivia being Olivia, she doesn’t want to sit down and take this quietly.
She finds that there are others in the school who are LGBTQ+ and they secretly join together to take on this policy. They create posters, chat with each other in the library and do a couple of other things. I adored seeing this defiant side of Olivia! She’s often compared to Hermione for being studious and bookish, but this shows she is so much more than that!!
We have all the other members of the society: Henry is still being cute with Tabby, Tabby is trying to figure out this new school with her anxiety, Ed is trying to take on the job market (and failing) and Cassie is struggling with her mum. Lucy truly knows how to create a bunch of characters that you can relate. I felt so connected with Cassie after being a young carer for my mum as well. Don’t I know what it’s like to put my mum’s health before I want!
She has also introduced a bunch of brand new characters for me to love: Nell, Saffy, Oscar, Alf, Rocky and Morgan!
You really feel for all the struggles that they are going through and anyone in the community will find someone that understands them here. My favourites had to be Saffy (she’s adorable!) and Rocky! They really embrace being part of the Pride community and help to reach others through the hashtag #ReadWithPride! It’s incredible to see and for them to fight!
Unfortunately Pride is not the only thing Olivia has to work on.
What happens to her and her friends? You’ll have to buy the book yourself and see!
Have you read The Paper and Hearts Society: Read with Pride?