Today is my stop on the blog tour for Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson. I have heard so many amazing things about Lisa’s books and it is fair to say I am totally in love with Paper Avalanche! It is beautifully written with such lovable characters; it is also incredibly heart warming and uplifting. It makes me feel so good! I cannot wait to finish it! In the mean time I am so please to share this extract with you. Read on and there is also a giveaway at the end of this post!
Thank you so much Annabelle and ED PR for gifting me this beautiful copy to review.
Ro’s mum is a compulsive hoarder. . . so Ro has become an expert at hiding: from social services, from friends, from having any sort of normal life. Staying under the radar keeps her ‘real’ life secret and her mum, Bonnie, safe – and she dreads to think what would happen to Bonnie without her.
Then Tanvi Shah turns up at school; full of life, and on a mission to make friends and Ro feels seen and heard for the first time ever. But if people can see Ro, they might see her secret too. . .
I look up from my phone. Jamie Cannon, a boy from my year, is standing in front of me with his hands in his pockets. My heart, until now beating in a perfectly normal, healthy fashion, quickly morphs into a big fat thumping monster.
‘Sorry, were you talking to me just then?’ I ask, nervously tucking an invisible strand of hair behind my ear.
‘Who else?’ Jamie replies, smirking and pouring himself a cup of orange squash.
Annoyingly, he makes a valid point. We’re the only two people at this end of the drama studio. Everyone else is gathered at the opposite end, caterwauling along to the Hamilton original cast recording. I’ve been camped out by the buffet table for the past twenty minutes now, filling the time by filling my face.
The drama club’s production of Grease finished half an hour earlier and this is the official after-show party. The members of the cast, with their quiffs and perky ponytails, faces waxy with stage make-up, easily outnumber the blackclad backstage crew, of which I am one. I would have headed home straight after the curtain call, given the choice, but my backpack and jacket are locked in Ms Chetty’s office and Ms Chetty has mislaid her keys, leaving me stranded until the caretaker turns up with the master.
‘Umami,’ Jamie repeats, nodding at the bowl of chilli heatwave flavour tortilla chips I’ve been ploughing my way through. ‘That’s what they call any addictive savoury flavour. It’s why you’ve eaten forty-two Doritos in the past five minutes – they’re covered in the stuff.’
‘You’ve been watching me?’ I ask, heat creeping up my neck.
‘Maybe,’ Jamie replies, a completely unself-conscious grin spreading across his face.
I swallow. Jamie and I are in the same year but have never really spoken before. This is unremarkable. Ostborough Academy is a big school, and I’m not exactly what you’d call a social butterfly. Plus Jamie is part of the ‘popular’ crew who hog the beanbags in the social area and say everything in loud booming voices, like they assume everyone in listening distance is automatically interested in what they have to say. This must be a dare. I glance over at the crowd gathered around the speakers, but no one is looking in our direction.
Jamie pours himself a second cup of squash and perches on the edge of the table like he’s here to stay.
Out of the corner of my eye, I note he’s about three inches taller than me and muscular, the fabric of his close-fitting white T-shirt straining across his chest and biceps. I can tell from the way he’s folded his arms high across his chest so his muscles bulge like inflated water balloons – that he’s ridiculously proud of them.
He drains his cup of squash, immediately pouring himself another one. ‘You were on lights tonight, right?’ he asks, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. His upper lip is stained pale orange.
‘You into all that, then? Lighting and things?’
At Ostborough Academy, every student is required to participate in at least one extra-curricular activity. Operating the lights for school productions is both the least time-consuming and least socially demanding option available, and I’ve clung onto the role since Year Seven.
‘You don’t fancy being on stage?’ Jamie asks, tossing an M&M in the air and catching it in his mouth.
I shake my head so hard my plait smacks me across the face.
Jamie starts to say something else, but my attention is stolen by the arrival of the caretaker.
‘Excuse me,’ I say, cutting off Jamie’s sentence and heading for Ms Chetty’s office.
‘Wait, you’re not going, are you?’ Jamie asks, following me.
It’s weird, but he almost sounds disappointed.
‘Yep,’ I reply, ducking under the caretaker’s arm and scooping up my backpack and denim jacket.
The lovely Annabelle in ED PR has kindly offered me two copies of Lisa’s previous releases to give away! Make sure you check out my IG and twitter account on how to enter!
About the Author:
Lisa was born in Nottingham and spent most of her childhood drawing, daydreaming and making up stories in her head (but never getting around to writing them down). As a teenager she was bitten by the acting bug and at 19 moved to London to study drama at university. Following graduation, Lisa adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally getting paid to pretend to be other people. Between acting roles she worked as an office temp and started making up stories all over again, only this time she had a go at writing them down.
One such job was at the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) – a highly specialised clinic for young people presenting with difficulties around their gender identity.The stories Lisa heard inspired her to create a fictional teenage character exploring these issues in her debut novel, The Art of Being Normal.
Please also make sure you check out what others are saying about Paper Avalanche!