Review: 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell

Review: 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell

11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell is an entertaining take on the secret admirer trope. Following a girl who receives paper hearts from an unknown sender leading her to locations that might help her remember her life before her accident, this one contains many lovable characters and wintry activities. With a wholesome twist at the end, this is the perfect short and sweet Valentine’s Day read.

Review: 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey HartwellTitle: 11 Paper Hearts
Author: Kelsey Hartwell
Publisher: Underlined
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

A YA contemporary rom com about a girl who follows a trail of paper hearts from her mystery admirer--and it's a paperback original perfect for fans of To All the Boys I've Loved Before and the Kissing Booth.

Ella's life was picture perfect. She had a circle of close friends, a jam-packed social life, and an amazing boyfriend. But then something completely unexpected happened: a car accident after a Valentine's Day dance. When Ella woke up in the hospital, she couldn't remember the accident . . . or anything about the weeks before it, including the reason she broke up with her boyfriend.

Now, a year later, she begins receiving paper hearts from a mysterious admirer who seems to have the answers she craves. Ella is intrigued. The hearts contain clues to help Ella remember her life before . . . and take her on a journey she never imagined. Following the paper hearts is the most spontaneous thing Ella has ever done . . . but will she find love?

Amazon “iBooks”

Review: 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell

After a car accident following last year’s Valentine’s Day dance, Ella loses 11 weeks of her memory leading up to that day. Now, a year later, she feels as though something about her has changed, and she is desperate to find out what happened to her and why she feels alienated from her friend group. The answer to her questions may be closer than she anticipated, as she starts receiving paper hearts that send her on a scavenger hunt to locations she visited with her admirer before the accident. I am usually hesitant to pick up books about amnesia, but I found that the events of this one are unexpectedly heartwarming, and I really enjoyed the direction it took with the final reveal.

❀ Fantastic Main Characters

The book’s main characters are fantastic, and Kelsey Hartwell has made each one so lovable. I really felt for Ella, as she is missing memories of a significant part of her life and struggles to fit in with the people she used to call her best friends. Throughout the book, she slowly starts to discover who her real friends are, and I enjoyed watching her stand up to the toxic people in her life. Andy is another adorable character who works at the library, and his dynamic with Ella is well-written. Ella also has the sweetest, most supportive sister, and I loved the way they slowly rekindle their love for each other.

❀ Scavenger Hunt Theme

Because this book depicts an extravagant scavenger hunt, Ella and Andy take the reader to many different locations in hopes of triggering her memories. I was pleasantly surprised by how well each of the locations are described, and I enjoyed the process of deciphering the clues to figure out where Ella would be led next as well as the entertaining wintry activities waiting for her at her destination. I always love reading about scavenger hunts, so I was excited to see that the author really delivers on these elements.

❀ An Adorable Story

11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell is an adorable story about self-discovery, friendship, and the love between sisters. I enjoyed this take on the secret admirer trope, and the main characters each brought a smile to my face. The scavenger hunt elements are especially well done, making this an uplifting read with a touch of adventure.

About Kelsey Hartwell

kelsey hartwell

Kelsey Hartwell lives in Brooklyn with her dog, within walking distance to her favorite bookstores. Kelsey loves watching rom coms, searching for the best pizza in NYC, and finding hidden gems in the Hudson Valley. 11 Paper Hearts is her debut novel.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

25 thoughts on “Review: 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell

  1. Deanna (A Novel Glimpse) says:

    I’m not usually a fan of books where people wake up from an accident and don’t remember (unless it’s a thriller), but I like the paper hearts premise. I am going to have to think about this one more. I might need to read it! Great review.

  2. Eva Millien says:

    11 Paper Hearts sounds like a wonderful romance for me to enjoy! Thanks for sharing your review and have a beautiful day!

  3. Bea LaRocca says:

    Such a pretty cover! Thank you for sharing your review and the author’s bio and book details, this sounds like a wonderful read

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