Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
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. Paper Valentine is a hauntingly poetic tale of love and death by the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between.
Paper Valentine is the first book by Brenna Yovanoff, and I have to say, I’m now hooked (I’m already reading another of her books that had been on my unread pile). Paper Valentine simply brings so much to the table, that it was kind of impossible for me to get bored reading it. You get the ghost of the best friend who died of anorexia, you have a murder, and you have some little romance (which was really well included). The mix makes it possible for fan of many genres to fall into the story, because everything seemed so well balanced for me. You get enough of the best friend drama; enough of the murder mystery and enough of the romance not to feel like one wasn’t developed enough (and I’ve just said the word ‘enough’ way too much.)
I have to say that I really liked Hannah. I liked that she followed her instinct. I liked the way she dealt with the ghost of her best friend. She had been dead for six months, which explained the lack of extreme reaction to her ghost, but she didn’t just accept that she was there. She still had issues with how her best friend died, and she ended up questioning her about it. That made me like her, because it gave layers to her character, making it easier to understand her choices. The characters surrounding her brought those layers to light, and I have to say that Finny and Ariel were those characters that I really liked. Ariel is simply so cute, in my opinion. Finny’s chemistry with Hannah was really interesting to follow, which made me like the blooming romance between those two.
Brenna Yovanoff’s writing is something worth mentioning, as it is simply beautiful. She creates an atmosphere that is simply perfect for the novel, leaving us in a dark and slightly spooky world. She also created a murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end, throwing new information at you to make you doubt your suspect. Brenna Yovanoff is an author I will definitely keep on my must read list. Definitely worth reading if you are looking for that kind of book!
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