Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine
Title:  Paper Valentine 
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill

Publishing Date:  January 8th 2013
Pages: 304
Genre:  YA Murder Mystery, Paranormal
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


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 knew the moment I read the synopsis of this book I wanted to read it, OK well after I saw the cover I had a pretty good idea I wanted to read the book, then I read the synopsis and I was sold. This book was super-duper good. I loved everything about it. Great characters, great story, great level of creepiness, and of course a great love story. A book that had a contemporary feel to a serial killing mystery with a flair of paranormal. It was my exactly my cup of tea.

Hannah is still recovering from her best friend's death that occurred 6 months ago when her world is turned upside down. Killings start to happen in the small little town Hannah lives in and the ghost of Hannah's best friend decides they should play detective. The more Hannah dives into the investigation the closer to home the killer gets. Along the way she also meets a very unlikely candidate for a future boyfriend who is uber sweet and the town's known bad boy. 

I thought this book was very awesome. The story had so much depth and was so much more than the average murder mystery book. The story is a realistic fiction, a murder mystery, a coming of age, and a love story all rolled into one fantastic tale. There were so many layers that it was easy to forget at times I was reading a murder mystery and there was a killer afoot. The first layer deals with Hannah and her loss, Hannah's best friend Lillian, and Lillian's cause of death, then we have the fact that Hannah sees Lillian's ghost. Of course we have the murders and the creepiness of the serial killer. Finally we have a sweet love story that just made me smile. 

The writing is so genius of this book. I love the writing style and I cannot wait to read more from this author. It was creepy, dark, beautiful, and sweet. One moment I was getting spooked the next I was teary eyed, and then I was all warm and fuzzy on the inside. It was so full contradictions it was unreal. The author did a superior job fitting every aspect of the story together. It felt like every part of Hannah's story was supposed to fit to make this story into a big crazy book of awesome. The book flowed oh so smoothly, seamlessly, and the pacing...well it was perfect. I was lost inside Hannah's world and completely lost track of of mine. I didn't rush through it. I didn't want to put it down, but it wasn't one of those "can't turn the page fast enough" kind of books. It was a slow and easy kind of read, enjoy every moment book. I wanted to just relax with a cup of coffee, a snack, my pillow and blanket, in my favorite reading spot, and breath in the story with long exhilarating breaths. 

Even though it was a very easy ride, there was definitely a high level of creepiness to the book. I love my murders to be creepy crawly and have a real ewe factor. This book had it. Not too much detail where I had to skip some gruesome visions, but enough to know the killer was oh so sick. The mystery was a doozy too. I really had no clue. I was shocked in the end. I spent the entire reading without ever getting a feel for who the killer could be or was. The mystery was done very well. 

So now on to the love story. The love story was so sweet, full of goodness, and very easy going. Never forced, not rushed. Just a normal (at least what I remember as normal) teenage first love adventure. I loved both main characters and they both held up to their end of the deal very well. They both had their dumb and stubborn moments and neither one took long to get over themselves and be there for the other. It just made me smile a very large glowing smile. 

I absolutely loved Hannah. She was a character that I just wanted to hug and tell her it will be alright. She was suffering so much through most of the book. Lillian really did a number on her when she died. Hannah was depressed, was full of guilt, and just lonely. She found it hard to let go when she saw Lillian still hanging out everywhere and I felt she had a hard time separating life and death. I found her character to be real, even though she saw ghosts, her suffering was was real and the place she was stuck in was real. I think she did grow some throughout the book but for the most part she learned to deal with her feelings. Of course she had a great support partner when she met Finny. 

I loved Finny. He had his own share of suffering throughout his life. He was the bad boy on the outside but really he was a sweet, respectful, just wanted to make it through kind of kid. His feelings toward Hannah showed from the very start and I couldn't help but cheer him on. I felt so much for Finny. One thing I absolutely adored about Finny... he was also a very quite boy but when he spoke up he cracked me up He had some awesome lines. Loved him. 

So there you have it. Awesome writing, great characters, captivating story... all around just super duper, superb, amazing, and oh my goodness just whoa yea. Loved it. 

If you like contemporary, realistic issues, serial killers, and love stories... you just need to read this book. 


  1. This is another one that I have on my shelf unread. But I added it to my wishlist on Audible as soon as I saw that it was coming, so you know how I'll probably be experiencing the story soon. ;)

  2. This one has been on my list since I saw that gorgeous cover! It's still sitting on my shelf though (along with all the other books, I need to find a way to stop time!) but it's one that I hope to get to this summer!

  3. Eeeekkk, this has been in my wishlist for so long. I truly wish I can read it soon. This is such an awesome review! Thanks Jenn!


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