Review: Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff

Release Date: January 1st 2013
Published By: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 305
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: 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 realises 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.

Review: This is the first book of Brenna Yovanoff’s that I have read, but I am most definitely keen to read some of her other books now that I know what her work is like. It was one of those books that I barely knew anything about before I went into it (I’ve been kinda doing that a lot lately by my own admission).. and in this case it worked exceptionally well.

Dark, not afraid to cross genres and most of all strong from start to end, I really enjoyed Paper Valentine. Part paranormal fiction, part murder mystery and part contemporary, this was a beautifully unique blend of genres that hadn’t crossed my mind before.

Hannah has been seeing the ghost of her best friend Lillian for 6 months now. Lillian passed away from anorexia and she follows Hannah just about everywhere. Then the murders start happening in Ludlow. Teenage girls are being killed brutally with small toys being sprinkled around their dead bodies. Hannah is appalled but also morbidly curious about finding out who is behind the murders. And of course, there’s Finny. The object of Hannah’s fantasies. Finny is the bad boy at school, and Hannah can’t help but become drawn to him despite her best attempts not too.

Firstly, I loved the relationship between Hannah and Finny. Going from acquaintances to awkward friendship to their first kiss. Finny is the ultimate example of being misunderstood. Yes, he’s done some bad things before. But he’s also had a really bad life and suffered through some pretty shitty things from the sounds of it before living with his Aunt, whom it’s clear he adores. Maybe it’s me.. I am a sucker for a bad boy, but in this case I think Finny has been judged too soon!

Lillian…. sigh. I didn’t like her character at all. But I learnt to look past her (cause she’s a ghost… get it?! *crickets*) mostly because whilst she is present a lot of the time, it’s background noise a lot of it. I got why she was in this book, I made the connection when I finished this read and could see why she was included, but at the same time, I feel like this book could have very well have been written without her character included and it would have still been as good. I didn’t feel she offered THAT much to the story, except to go into detail about what happened to her - which I feel could have been told by Hannah without Lillian actually being a character in the novel. It didn’t annoy me THAT much. It was the only thing that made me go meh in this book.

The plot was absolutely original and suspenseful. I admittedly didn’t see the twist coming (because I have always been absolutely terrible at these types of guessing games my whole life - I know this will never change, and I accept this about myself) and as soon as it happened I was like OMG I saw that coming all along (I didn’t). I really enjoyed the ending. I thought it was a perfect end to a really entertaining book.

Definitely pick up a copy of this one guys - even if you borrow it from your library like I did. I really enjoyed this!

What do you think?

  • Melanie says:

    Ooh! I’m currently reviewing this book right now! I challenged myself to review it without getting distracted… WELL you can see how that is going, with me on my computer *sighs*

    Great review though, I’m giving this 3 stars though as I felt that the story was left incomplete.
    Melanie recently posted…Defiance By C. J. RedwineMy Profile

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