Cover image for Paper airplanes
Paper airplanes
O'Porter, Dawn., author.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Paper aeroplanes
Publication Information:
New York : Amulet Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
254 pages ; 22 cm
The story of the strong bond of friendship between two fifteen- year-old schoolgirls in Guernsey in the mid-1990s, who became friends through their shared loneliness and dysfunctional families, despite their differences in personality and ambitions.
General Note:
Previously published in the United Kingdom by Hot Key Books in 2013 under title: Paper aeroplanes.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.6 10.0 172949.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult

On Order



Ren#65533;e and Flo are the most unlikely of friends. Introspective and studious Flo and outspoken, wild, and sexually curious Ren#65533;e have barely spoken in their years of going to school together in Guernsey, a small British island off the coast of France. And yet, when tragedy strikes, it is only wild child Ren#65533;e, who lost her mother at a young age, who is able to comfort a grieving Flo. The girls form an intense bond that sees them through a host of deeply relatable, wince-inducing experiences--drunken snogging; a s#65533;ance in which clueless friends offer to summon Ren#65533;e's mother; dating a guy for free fish and chips. But toxic mean girls and personal betrayals threaten to tear the girls' delicate new friendship apart.
In this gripping debut, Dawn O'Porter shines an unflinchingly honest, humorous light on female friendship, lost innocence, and that moment when you are teetering on the threshold of adult life.

Praise for Paper Airplanes
"Dawn O'Porter was a teenager in her past life. Well, duh! How else could she have gotten this bitch-perfect, debut novel so right! Paper Aeroplanes is spot on! This teen friendship, is
brutal and beautiful, flawed and forgiving. The angst and anguish of adolescence are made safer by her talented hand. Wish she had written this when I was 15!"
--Jamie Lee Curtis

"Poignant and edgy, this exploration of lively female friendships rises high."
-- Kirkus Reviews

Author Notes

Dawn O'Porter is a British journalist known for her frank and often comedic investigations of women's issues, including weight, breast cancer, and self-esteem. She has made documentaries for the BBC, TLC, We TV, and others. She also writes a column for Glamour UK . She lives in L.A. and New York with her husband, actor Chris O'Dowd ( Bridesmaids, Girls ). Visit her online at

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

British media personality O'Porter debuts with a punchy story (partially mined from the author's own teenage diaries) about the bonds of female friendship, told through the alternating perspectives of two vulnerable girls. It's 1994 on the small British island of Guernsey, and 15-year-olds Flo and Renée become strongly attached to one another. Flo struggles with a best friend who erodes her self-esteem, as well as increased responsibilities at home due to her depressed father's absence. Renée is dealing with the death of her mother, romantic entanglements, and her sister's bulimia, among other problems. The girls encourage and challenge one another to persevere, even as outside forces and mutual betrayals threaten their intimacy. O'Porter uses candid warmth and humor to convey the awkwardness of sexual urges and puberty ("If one more person says the words `period' or `panty pad' in front of Pop, I am going to have to jump out the window, run to the sea, and swim to France"). Fierce, full-blooded girls who fistfight one minute and burst into tears the next carry this powerful coming-of-age story. Ages 14-up. Agent: Adrian Sington, DCD Publishing. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Gr 10 Up-In this captivating and at times gritty debut, O'Porter presents a funny and poignant coming-of-age friendship of Flo and Renee. It's 1994, and the 15-year-olds are each facing their share of troubles on the small British island of Guernsey. Flo's parents have split up, and she's dealing with a critical mother at home and an incredibly domineering best friend at school. Renee is an extroverted troublemaker at school, but feels like a stranger in the home she shares with her bulimic younger sister and emotionally unavailable grandparents. The girls bond over the shared experience of familial tragedy and become close friends, exchanging notes on paper airplanes and finding in each other the support they crave. Readers will be drawn into the story, which moves quickly through alternating first-person narrations, which also serves to reveal potential cracks in the teens' bond. By the end, each girl comes to learn the importance of friendship and forgiveness and that the past, while not forgotten, doesn't have to define you. Though their behavior can be frustrating at times-Flo not standing up to mean girl Sally; Renee secretly having sex with Flo's older brother (in a scene that is entirely more heartbreaking than risque)-readers will root for the pair and will also eagerly await the sequel.- Amanda Mastrull, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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