Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hardcover304 pages
Published January 8th 2013

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

My thoughts…

Paper Valentine started off tremendously slow for me, but once the story took off, I finished it in one afternoon.

Hannah is a teenage girl, who can see and talk to her best friend, Lillian, who died sixth months ago, from anorexia.  Her death has affected Hannah a great deal as she's feeling both sorrow and guilt from not being able to help her friend more when she was alive.  We see this darker, depressed side of Hannah in the novel.

When a murderer begins targeting young girls, Lillian convinces Hannah to dig deeper into what is happening in their town.  Hannah begins to see visions and hears the voices of the murdered victims.  They leave her messages with the help of a make shift spirit board, they are trying to get Hannah to discover who their killer is.

Around the same time, she begins a friendship with damaged bad boy and loner, Finny, one of the more developed and likable characters in the book.  I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship develop throughout the novel.  Hannah is drawn to Finny, even though she has her suspicions. Suspicions that put a wedge between them, until she realizes that Finny could never hurt anyone.

Meanwhile, Hannah has terrible friends, it's bad enough to get bullied, but to have it done by people who are allegedly your friends are just so much worse.  Hannah didn't even seem to realize how awful they were.  We saw Hannah really develop in the story and starting standing up for herself and not be being defined by friends.

I really liked the mystery aspect of the story, and I had had a clue early on who the murderer was going to be.   This was the first novel by Brenna Yovanoff that I’ve read, I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

Happy Reading ~ Jovi


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