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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tour! A Review of Paper Hearts by Ali Novak, Plus Guest Post!




Paper Hearts (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #2) by Ali Novak
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just—I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.” 

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me. 

“My real name is Alec.”

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college. 

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec. 

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…

Paper Hearts is the second book in the Heartbreakers series by Ali Novak. This is Alec and Felicity's story, told from Felicity's point of view. If you haven't read the first book, that's okay. This one stands alone just fine. I do recommend that you read it though, as the characters cross over, and it's fun getting to know them. 

Alec is a hard guy to read, so it's understandable that Felicity has her doubts and doesn't always know how he feels or where she stands with him. Alec is very reserved. He holds everything in, so he wasn't as easy to connect with as Oliver was in the first book. I think he's actually a very passionate and observant guy who doesn't know how to express himself. Give him a chance though. He'll grow on you. 

Like the first book, our main characters are finding themselves. We get the see the Heartbreakers again, and I'm pretty attached to them. This is such a fun, tight-knit group of people. The fun they have is infectious and carries through to the reader. And JJ?? I can't wait for his story! He's a hoot, so I know it'll be entertaining. But, I love them all, so whoever's story is coming next, I'm ready for it!

The ARC of Paper Hearts by Ali Novak was kindly provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.



Music is a huge component of The Heartbreak Chronicles. After all, the series is about boy band. With that being said, music is also an important part of my writing process. Unfortunately, I can’t listen to music while I’m writing because I find it distracting. However, I do listen to curated playlists while I’m outlining as it helps me imagine scenes and think through my characters emotions within those scenes. Sometimes it’s the lyrics of a song that inspire me. Other times, the lyrics don’t fit, but I’m struck by the overall feel or emotion of a song. The following playlists are a selection of some of the songs that inspired The Heartbreakers and Paper Hearts. They are arranged in the approximate order of events in each book [spoilers ahead]. 


The Heartbreakers Playlist:

1. “I Wanna Be Sedated” by Ramones
This is what I listened to while imagining the first scene of the book, when Stella and Drew visit Cara at the hospital. Cara believes the Heartbreakers are a punk rock band, and Stella, who actually listens to punk rock, gets frustrated with her sister’s ignorance of the genre. The lyrics of the song don’t fit, but I picked the song for a more literal reason—the Ramones are one of Stella’s favorite bands.

2. “Five Minutes to Midnight” by Boys Like Girls
Boys Like Girls was one of my favorite bands when I was in high school, so it’s no surprise a song of theirs made it onto this list. To me, this song is about taking a chance even if you’re hesitant. At the hotel in Chicago, Stella is skeptical of Oliver because he has a reputation for being a player. Despite her reservation, she decides to let her guard down because she thinks she’ll never see him again. Also, I think this song captures the fun, care-free vibe of hanging out with the band. 

3. “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
Cliche, but also one-hundred precent accurate. Stella catches Oliver in a compromising position. She’s disappointed in him, but she also knew better… 

4. “Untouched” by The Veronicas
Even though Stella wants to keep Oliver at arms length, she can’t stop thinking about him. On JJ’s roof in Portland, she finally gives in to her feelings and let’s Oliver kiss her. I love this track because the yearning describe in the song is perfect for Stella and Oliver’s second kiss.

5. “Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop” by Landon Pigg
One of my Wattpad readers recommended this song to me because of it’s obvious connection to Stella and Oliver’s first meeting at Starbucks. I listened to it on repeat while I outlined their first date at the art gallery.

6. “Too Close for Comfort” by McFly
“Was I too close for comfort? You're pushing me out, when I'm wanting in.” 
I’ve always found this song a little heart-wrecking, and I think the overall tone does a good job representing Stella’s confusion and anger after Oliver betrays her.

7. “Loser of the Year” by Simple Plan
Ah, another song that takes me back to my teenage years. The lyrics of this song perfectly capture Oliver’s position as a successful musician and his feelings for Stella. 

7. “Here (In Your Arms)” by Hellogoodbye
If The Heartbreakers had a theme song, this would be it. And if the book is ever made into a movie (fingers crossed), I would want this to play during the credits. 


Paper Hearts Playlist:

1. “Hold It Against Me” by Sam Tsui
The original version of this song is performed by Britney Spears, but Tsui’s rendition is more romantic. It’s what I listened to while imagining the ballroom scene when Felicity first saw Alec. The lyrics aren’t entirely fitting since Felicity and Alec don’t dance together, but the atmosphere of the track is spot on. It gives you that breathless, chest fluttering feeling of locking eyes with an attractive stranger. 

2. “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift
Another song I listened to while imagining Felicity and Alec’s first meeting. It captures that magical, fairytale-esque feel of a masquerade ball. 

3. “Renegades” by X Ambassadors
Felicity discovers Rose’s letters under her mother’s bed and decides to find her sister. She knows her mother will never let her go to San Francisco, but decides the consequence of breaking the rules are worth it. For the first time in her life, she rebels. 

4. “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root
The road trip/adventure begins! 

5. “Young Volcanoes” by Fall Out Boy
Felicity meets the Heartbreakers. Craziness ensues. 

6. “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran
“I'm falling for your eyes, but they don't know me yet.” 
Ugh, the lyrics of this song are so freaking perfect. This track is soft and sweet just like Alec and Felicity’s romance, so it’s perfect for their first kiss. 

7. “You” by The Pretty Reckless
Felicity misinterprets Alec’s relationship with Violet, and as a result, sabotages her own relationship with him.

8. “Don’t Say Goodbye” by Jamestown Story
Alec is hurt and confused when Felicity rejects him. 

9. “Tear Down the Stars" by The Years Gone By
Felicity and Alec reconcile. 

10. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
Alec and Felicity dance at the wedding reception. 
Check out my review of the first book in this series!

author
Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

To learn more about Ali Novak and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, Instagram, Wattpad, YouTube, and Twitter.

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