Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paper Valentine

Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Goodreads Rating: 3.94
Pages: 368
Format: ARC from NYCC12

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.

I felt that Paper Valentine was a really well written book. From the start I was pulled right into the story line and I couldn’t put the book down. All in all, it took me a few hours to read if we don’t include leaving for a run into civilization. Yes, I did read this book during the Sandy Blackout of the Northeast, and that’s why it has taken me some time to get this review up. I really felt that it has this intricate plot that dealt with Hannah really coming to terms with Lillian’s death and this investigation into who was killing these middle school girls.

I loved the investigation of the girls who were dying. While it wasn’t the most centric point of the book, I still enjoyed how the plot did incorporate it. I did not see the killer coming although once the killer was revealed it was easy to see how this person managed to become who they were. I felt awful for these little girl who had to lose their lives for such a stupid reason. In the murder plot, I loved how Lillian and Hannah worked together to try to figure out the different clues that they were given. I did find it a little creepy that Lillian kept like a murder binder about the first girl that died.

I felt that Hannah as a character was very loyal and I really liked that about her. Even though she had a strange little sister, she still treated her fairly and took care of her. I also loved that she worked in her cousins photo shop because I used to love to take photos and I always wanted my own dark room. It’s a total bummer that it’s a dying hobby, but I thought that part of the story was very cool. As for how this relates to Hannah, well even though she doesn’t get paid to work there its still great that she did it for her cousin even though she didn’t have to. Of course, there was the bonus feature of the crime scene photos, but either way, still very cool.

I adored Finny. I will admit that I was on the judgmental bandwagon when we were first introduced to him and his looks. Bleached hair? Summer school? He sounds just like an overall bad pill, but then you factor in the really cool and sweet things that he did like stick up for Hanna in the months following Lillian’s death, and how he sort of watched out for her little sister as well. There were a few times that he was a little suspicious, like when he had them cut through the woods where girls bodies were being found rather than taking the longer safer way home. But I still adored him and his sad story. I felt bad for him and I wanted to kiss all of his troubles away. (Just don’t tell my boyfriend.)

I was really glad that Hannah gave him a chance even though she knew she was going to get shit from her friends and she was very far out of the realm of his type.  I was so proud of Hannah when she stood up for herself and Finny, and that was the moment where you saw that there was this really positive influence that he was having on her. Even when Lillian said that Finny wasn’t good enough for Hannah, she fought back.

I felt bad for Hannah and the guilt that she seemed to still carry around about the reason that Lillian died. It was no secret that she starved herself to death, and I felt bad that Hannah clearly felt that she should have done more to help her friend. In my own opinion, I think that there as more that she could have done for her, but that same loyalty that she has for her friends and family as blurred on if she should rat Lillian out about her anorexia. It was the decision not to that lead to her death. I know that being a teenager is hard, and I know that it can be hard to decide when to say that something is wrong and when not to, and Hannah made the wrong decision, but you can see how she grew from the girl that didn’t say anything and that would just set aside her own food for her friend into this young woman who wasn’t going to let her friend/boyfriend be bullied (or herself for that matter). I was pissed though that her mother got away with saying these awful things to her daughter about her weight when she was very clearly in trouble and she needed help, not someone to continue to make her feel inferior.

I adored this book, and Yovanoff has a new reader for life. I plan on checking out some of her other book and seeing if they can hold up to Paper Valentine.
The Courts Decision:



  1. I'm reading it right now and I'm having a hard time to get into the story! I just put it aside to read Angelfall instead.

  2. I do recommend The Replacement, though. This is the link to my review

    Okay, I'll pick it up again :-)

  3. I need to read this one, but I keep putting it off. Glad to see you enjoyed it! Such a wonderful review!

    YA Sisterhood



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