[Book Review] The Girl on Paper

9781908313058The Girl on Paper (La Fille de Papier)

by Guillaume Musso

320 pages | Read in eBook format

31 March 2010, Gallic Books

Goodreads Average Rating: 4.04

My rating: ★★★☆☆


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“She appeared on my terrace on a stormy night, soaking wet and stark naked:
– Where did you come from?
– I fell…
– Fell out of what?
– Fell out of your book. You know, out of your story!”

Tom Boyd, a famous writer who’s suffering from writer’s block, meets one day the heroin of his novels. She’s pretty, desperate, and tells him she will die if he stops writing.
Impossible? And yet…

Tom and Billie will embark together on an adventure where reality and fiction are intricately intertwined, constantly shifting in a seductive and potentially deadly game…

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First off, I would like to formally announce that I searched for a copy of this book for a year and eight months because eBook copies are either not available in my country for purchase or it would be damn expensive, and physical copies are out-of-reach because I can only get one from The Book Depository and is worth a treasure. It was through the help of my co-member in JJP Book Club that I finally got a hold of a copy.

Second, I would like to part the book in two. The slow-as-heck phase and the Speedy Gonzales-induced phase. I have a truckload of rants coming so please be patient with me as I have said, I’ve desired to read this book for almost two years.

— Phase 1

The first few chapters of the book were kind enough to clearly elaborate the basis of Tom Boyd’s present situation, along with the patient narration of his life at the moment. Everything was well-detailed. The introduction of Billie Donnelly in the story, as well, has been much of a highlight, together with her adventures with Tom. It is, however, their tragic adventures that made the story seem unrealistic. It happened too many times, it is unbelievable for some, especially for me and although it is possible, that there are people who encounter misfortunes non-stop and continuously to the point that their supposedly fun and amazing adventure ends up very annoying because nothing happens but disaster. It brings unease to the reader.

For so many chapters, the reader has to deal with this kind of phase that will bore them, not because it happens too slow, but because there is no sense in what was happening. (Sorry.) The first phase feel like they were having an intricate journal entries of their everyday misfortunes that we had to read word-per-word, and it is like as if there is no end, it just keeps on going. Until the second phase happened…

— Phase 2

It is until the casting of spotlight on Tom’s friends, Milo and Carole, that the story went ahead. The second phase happened so fast, and it lost its focus on the main characters. It has become Milo and Carole’s story. It kept on having sneak-peeks on love stories that are unnecessary because it has no tight connection to the story. Love stories that does not even involve just two people. The phase happened so fast, Milo and Carole are seen from one place to another in just a short span of time. No further elaboration anymore. It was like having a series of previews.

It all happened so fast, so quick, Tom and Billie did not even have the safe space of falling inlove with each other but they did. *Poof* We’re inlove. Just like that. That is why I don’t see the point of Tom doing everything for Billie because I did not have the luxury of seeing them feeling each other. The second phase just revolved around Milo and Carole, which was pretty unnecessary, and has lost its attention to Tom and Billie, the main characters. They became a side-story. All of their milestones were robbed of special moment and just became an ‘on the side note, we have Tom and Billie doing this and that, now back to Milo and Carole.’ It made me sad. I really like the chemistry of these characters.

Moreover, Billie’s plan were out-of-scene but they happened just like that. Aurore came in the picture so often you would not think they’ve had a problem before. That is kind of awkward, and alarming. After Tom f*cked up his life because of Aurore, he wakes up one day and she is back and he does not care, and it happens swiftly as if it is not a vital part of the story. Everything was realistically impossible.

The whole ‘Tom Boyd, a famous writer who’s suffering from writer’s block, meets one day the heroin of his novels. She’s pretty, desperate, and tells him she will die if he stops writing.’ was reduced into an ‘on the other hand’ scenario.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT MADE ME EVEN MORE SAD? AND MAD? The last 20% of the story. IT WAS UNNECESSARY. IT ROBBED THE STORY A NICE ENDING. The whole precious and unique idea of the plot was thrown to the trash. Guillaume Musso, you are evil. You are no different from all those authors who make the readers fall inlove with characters and kill them right after. You crushed my heart, and I will never forgive you for that.

— On-the-Run Queries

  • If there are 100,000 faulty copies published, one ended up with Bonnie and one saved by Milo for Tom, how come they only counted 99,000 during the process?
  • Why does Tom need to write another ending for Billie to come back to the book when the book is technically finished and just needs to be reprinted to be restored, for Billie to come back?

Overall, I think the story has too much unnecessary scenes that it forgot to cover its real essence, and that is so heartbreaking because the plot has so much potential. It is a unique story but it was robbed. I am so disappointed. I expected too much because the idea of this book was new to me.

I still give the book three stars out of five because it kept its mystery until the end. Although I was pretty much annoyed the whole time, it kept me wanting for more, it made me think, it gave me the desire to unravel the story. I would still recommend this if you are interested in having some light but queer type of read. The story is comparable with Jodi Picoult’s Between the Lines!

See you next blog, yeah?

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“A book only comes to life when it’s read. It’s the reader who pieces together the images that create the imaginary world in which the characters develop.”

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