Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Published by Razorbill January 8th 2013
Hardcover- 306 Pages
Source: ARC provided by publisher for review
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.
I was happy to be asked to be a participant in the blog tour for Paper Valentine. I haven’t had a chance to read the author’s previous books and knowing how positive the reviews have been, I was excited to read it. There is a lot happening in 306 pages. Though not quite what I expected, I enjoyed many aspects of the book, especially Yovanoff’s writing style. The story revolves around Hannah and the murders of girls in a her town, but that seems like a secondary storyline compared to Hannah’s grief at the loss of her best friend to Anorexia, six months earlier. Actually, my favourite parts were the moments between Hannah and Lillian. I thought the description of Lillian’s obsession with her weight, was realistic and well done. Hannah is slowly discovering who she is, and who she wants to be without Lillian. It’s Lillian, that compels Hannah to begin her own investigation into the deaths of the girls. The ‘creepy’ factor was definitely present and I could not read the book at night or if I was in the house by myself.
I think because there was so much happening in the book, anorexia, a love interest, murders, grief, ghosts; there were many questions that went unanswered. I wanted to know why Lillian appeared to Hannah? What made the “Valentine Killer” kill the girls? The ending wasn't satisfying but perhaps that was the point? I liked Paper Valentine and I know that other bloggers on the tour have absolutely loved it, but I just expected/wanted more.
“Sometimes I think that’s the whole reason she’s still here-she’s weighted down, anchored by all the things she couldn't let go” (15) -love this quote sooo much
“Kissing him is like the wildest, most thrilling thing that has ever happened to me. It’s like diving into the deep end over and over” (187)