Paper Aeroplanes is the debut fiction novel by the wonderfully hilarious journalist Dawn O’ Porter. Formally known as Dawn Porter, she is famous for her eyebrow-raising, brutally honest documentaries where she has explored a number of typically taboo subjects including polygamy, breast cancer and even Dirty Dancing. Besides being married to comedy hunk Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids anyone?), Dawn O’ Porter is absolutely gorgeous, extremely funny and massively talented… So we have many reasons to be jealous. Having been a Porter fan for a number of years I was eager to get my hands on her first work of fiction to see if it would live up to her amazing reputation.
Paper Aeroplanes is everything I expected and a little bit more. Telling the emotional but beautiful tale of two teenage girls Renee and Flo, Paper Aeroplanes took me on an emotional rollercoaster I really wasn’t expecting. Nostalgia is a funny old emotion, and this book is absolutely full to the brim of it. I was transported back to my teenage years (which are much further back than I realised) and every raw emotion of love, lust, jealousy and extreme happiness and the memories attached to them came flooding back to me. O’ Porter perfectly portrays every important moment in the life of a teenage girl in a stunningly simple yet completely relatable way and reading Paper Aeroplanes was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was expecting to be able to relax and read a couple of chapters a night before bed but I found myself drawn to Renee and Flo, really wanting to find out more of their complicated stories.
If you want to laugh out loud, have a little sob, remember the good times and finish a book with a big smile on your face then Paper Aeroplanes is most certainly the book for you, and if you were or are a teenage girl then it’s probably the most relatable novel you’ll ever read. Though her writing is simple and without any particular linguistic flair, this is clearly a deliberate move and her style suits the genre perfectly. I would absolutely recommend this to any female – it really is lovely.