Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

2015-09-24 06.47.07

Title: Paper Hearts
Author: Meg Wiviott
Genre: Holocaust Fiction
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Amid the brutality of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, a forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this novel in verse that’s based on a true story.

An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.

Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.

This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst. Their heart is one of the few objects created in Auschwitz, and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Written in verse, Paper Hearts was a mix of emotions. It was sad, horrifying, and beautiful all at the same time.

This is a work of fiction, but is based on true facts and events. At the end of the book, the author explains what really happened, what she changed, and what knew and didn’t know.

The story explains how a group of young woman lost most (if not all) of their family during the Holocaust. They found each other and stuck together helping one another out and being strong for each other.

It’s a quick read being told in verse–I read it in under two hours. Yet, the poetry made it seem more real.

The poems are broken up into chapters alternating between two POVs. There were two main girls so I found this to be a good idea and fun to read from their own points of view.

My only complaint is that the character’s name is written at the top of each chapter beginning to show the POV, but there wasn’t much difference in the poetry. Sometimes I forgot which character I was reading so I had to flip back a few pages to look at the beginning of the chapter again.

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Surviving was the best revenge.” –Meg Wiviott, Paper Hearts

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10 thoughts on “Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

  1. Great review! That’s a very interesting comment you make, that the author wasn’t very good at distinguishing POVs in the verse, apart from writing the character’s name at the start of the chapter. Finding a unique voice for each character is hard enough as it is — I can’t imagine how difficult it would be when you throw in poetry!

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