Fiction Week: A Million Paper Hearts Everywhere

I am chatting about singleness every Saturday in September. While I have learned to embrace and enjoy my singleness, I will always be a hopeless romantic no matter where my personal journey leads. I am a sucker for a good love story and these three books provide that and more in their pages. I hope you enjoy! – Hannah 

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. One night at the local fair changes everything as June literally collides with Saul Angert. Sparks fly and everything June has always known and believed is flipped upside down. Grabbing onto the past and memories of her father and Saul’s sister, June and Saul flirt between the past and present. There is more to their families’ sordid past than meets the eye and the truth will change everything. Will June be willing to let go? 

This one is not a love story in the typical Hallmark sense of the word. A Million Junes is a beautifully crafted story about how the past shapes our present. Holding on to the memory of grief can shape our legacies heartbeat. June and Saul’s stories are connected in a divine sense, going into the past and learning to let go of it helps both of them embrace love while honoring their loss. It is a beautifully haunting and enchanting book. I knew after reading The Love The Split The World that Emily was an author I would be following for the long haul. She creates worlds that are mystical in a relatable way, her characters make my heart skip a beat, and it takes me a few days to recover from her worlds. I hope you will enjoy journeying with June and Saul as they move beyond the past and into the future, maybe you will too. 

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Abigail doubts romance. She has a desire for love, but her dreams of expanding her small-town business are more important. The town’s Valentine Volunteers meet in her store to continue Love Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark, while also scheming and matchmaking the locals who need a hand in love. When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the hearts, love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple, that challenge her doubts about romance. While she is questioning love, she is dodging the Volunteers’ attempts at set-ups and dealing with her new landlord that is trying to end her lease. As she fights a growing attraction for the man who is trying to end her dreams, she is inspired to string up the anonymous heart letters all over her store, sparking a citywide infatuation. A new set of hearts from the couple arrives and it is obvious that something tragic has happened to them. Will uncovering their story confirm or rescue Abigail’s heart? Only the Paper Hearts will tell. 

This book is a classic Hallmark movie waiting to happen. I needed this book. It is easy for me to get caught up in doubting if I am worth loving or if I am capable of loving another person. This story reminded me that I am worth loving and if God leads me to “the man” I will be capable of loving him. Love is messy, and I think we have all been hurt to the point we start to question love. Paper Hearts renewed my desire for love. This story is filled with quirky small-town charm that will keep you laughing, smiling, and wanting more; a desire to embrace love when it comes.

Everywhere You Want To Be by Christina June

Before you read this one, pick up It Started With Goodbye, you will meet Tilly in these pages through the eyes of her step sister Tatum.

Tilly Castillo has always done what she was told, but when she is seriously injured during senior year, she watches dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer slip away. When she gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the summer in a New York dance troupe, nothing can stop her from saying yes. Leaving behind her mother’s opinions, her fears of a big city, and the commitment she made to Gerogetown she gambles everything on turning her summer experience into her dream career. But, Tilly is not the only one desperate to dance. While dodging sabotage and blackmail from her fellow troupe member, Sabrina, Tilly can’t help falling for New York and the handsome drummer from her past. As the weeks wind down and the drama heats up, Tilly has to make a decision; follow her mother’s path or her own wild dreams. 

This is another one that is not a straight love story, but there is a sweet one within these pages. This book follows Tilly as she takes her last chance, a leap of faith, at becoming a part of a dance company. It is risky to follow your dreams when you know that your parents just want you to be secure. I know how that feels, but like Tilly you just have to try. This book is centered around trying. Trying at your passion, friendship, and love. Forgiveness and learning to take chances are keys to living a full life. Everywhere You Want To Be, is a beautiful read filled with new characters and some you have already met, it’s a challenge to be and take a chance at doing what you want. I hope you get lost in these pages and maybe you will start baking at midnight and exploring your city with wide open arms as you take leaps of daily faith. 

- Hannah