Who thought writing with a pen could get as intense as it gets in Jae’s latest novel Paper Love?
Paper Love is the story of Suzanne, who just quit her job as a business consultant, mostly because she felt she would never get her potential recognized in the sexist environment she worked at. Once the news is out, she gets forcibly asked by her mother to help her uncle try to save his stationery store business. Reluctant at first to help yet another family member to maintain their business open, she gets more than she bargained for when she gets her foot wet in the Bächle next to her uncle’s store on her first day. Anja Lamm a stationery geek, who has been a loyal employee of Paper Love for many years, feels threatened when the digital-loving ice queen Frau Wolff sets her now-wet foot in the store and starts looking through the business in detail, making suggestions that could cost her job.
What starts as an impossible working relationship between two strong-willed women, turns into a great complicity to save what is left of Uncle Norbert’s store. With Anja’s knowledge of the stationery world and Suzanne’s ability to handle the digital one, once united, they are a force not to reckon with. Will their many late nights working be enough to save Paper Love?
I remember in the middle of April, Jae had asked her followers on Twitter: How many of us still use pen and paper? Back then I thought I knew what my answer was but after reading Paper Love, I find myself mysteriously wishing to buy an expensive refillable pen and try my hand at writing on a quality paper. The details are so well written that writing on a paper could almost feel like an intimate action.
Paper Love is another great success from Jae. Her characters are as usual loveable, mysterious and with a complexity rarely seen in books. It almost feels as if she knows them privately before she writes about them. I loved the fact that both protagonists hold a certain animosity against the other at first, which made the romantic part of the book come in as a great surprise. Another great surprise was once again the mention of a character from one of Jae’s previous books, Jenna Blake. Every time the author writes a new story, I am waiting for the little link between her characters, because there is always one somewhere, only a sentence, or a name, but it is enough to make me satisfied.
What astounded me the most in this book is the city the action takes place in. Knowing Jae is from Germany and having her characters be on her side of the world for once is great. I felt as if it made the story even closer to her heart and the lake she mentioned a few times in the books is a special place to her. I also liked the use of a few German words, about three, that I had to google to understand what they were, because of the German name, but it wasn’t enough to make me stop reading, it’s just that my curiosity needed to put an image to the words.
Paper Love is a great book that will keep you up at night, turning pages, urging the characters to act as you wish they would. Once again, Jae’s writing did just that. Every book I find myself reading makes me respect this author greatly. I recommend it as one of her best yet, along the lines of Perfect Rhythm, Something in the Wine and Just for Show.
Rainbow Moose’s Reviews
Pre-Order Paper Love on Ylva, or get it August 15th: https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/paper-love-by-jae/