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Paper Valentine

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,539 Ratings  ·  973 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Razorbill
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YA Novels of 2013
74th out of 1,522 books — 10,863 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 08, 2013 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
Aw, Brenna. Fair confession: she's my critique partner, so I saw this manuscript when it was just an infant. But it's lovely and creepy and you'll like it, too.

Serial killers (a little), ghosts (a little), and love (a little).
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
It’s no secret that I am an obsessive person. I like my world in neat little drawers, where everything has its own place and its own name and there’s no clutter, confusion, or a single unnecessary item. Hi, my name is Maja and I’m a control freak. Can we still be friends? Therefore, my huge love for Brenna Yovanoff’s books is a bit of a surprise, even to me. She’s an author whose books can’t be properly placed or categorized. Not only is Paper Valentine cross-genre, it combines so many different ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own, mystery-thriller
Being my first Yovanoff book, let's just say that I now consider myself a fan. I was terribly impressed with the writing: Brenna has a wonderful way with words that makes you feel all the creepy. The story which could easily have been a clichéd murder mystery, becomes a work of great atmosphere inside Paper Valentine. There's murder, romance, ghosts, enlightening characters; this is a good one, folks!

This book has a lot going for it, as stated above, it's not just a murder mystery, it has substa
Asghar Abbas
Feb 27, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it

I absolutely loved this beautiful book, laced with myriad themes almost all of them below the surface, nothing was obvious or in your face which is what I really liked about it. It was laid back and assured. Oh and I adored the intelligent protagonist, Hanna wasn't anything, she was just trying to be herself. I wish all the kids were reading books like this, instead of whatever is the latest fad or popular at the moment. This despite being about ghosts and serial killers in quasi Gothicness had
Khanh (the Grinch)
May 06, 2013 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it it was ok
A beautiful cover, a poetic blurb, but the book itself does not reach my expectations. Brenna Yovanoff's previous works were enjoyable for me, but this book fell short.

It was very disappointing. None of the characters in the book appealed to me. The murder plot was secondary and not gripping, despite supposedly being the center point of the book. Finny was not all that appealing for an anti-hero of sorts, Hannah is weird, weak, and dull as dishwater despite her penchant for dressing quirkily. He
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
I really don't know what to think about this. I know I say that fairly often but, well, it's still true.

Anyway -

For those expecting this to be a sort of tense supernatural thriller: Just forget it. Seriously. The murders are, like, background for most of the book, and the resolution is so weird that it didn't leave me feeling remotely satisfied in any way. I mean, the reveal was "Da fuq?". And I don't mean one of those awesome reveals which catches you by surprise but then makes sense in hinds
Feb 23, 2015 Bonnie rated it liked it
Hannah Wagnor is struggling to cope with the recent death of her best friend, Lillian, and the details surrounding it. There is also the fact that Lillian’s ghost now follows her everywhere. While trying to overcome her guilt at not being able to help Lillian when she was alive, Hannah is also trying to understand how to go on with life without her. In addition to Lillian’s ghost which haunts her are several other ghosts that start appearing and they are all victims of a recent serial killer in ...more
Jubilation Lee
My passionate love affair with Brenna Yovanoff’s books continues thanks to Paper Valentine, which, side note, I consistently accidentally refer to as Paper Hearts, otherwise known as That One Super-Creepy X-Files Episode Where The Serial Killer Cuts Hearts In The Clothing Of Girls He Has Murdered And OMG COULD ONE OF THE DEAD GIRLS BE MULDER’S MISSING-AND-PRESUMABLY-KIDNAPPED-BY-ALIENS SISTER SAMANTHA but of course it wasn’t Samantha, get a grip, Fox, it’s only season four.

Where was I?

Shambhawi P.
Brenna Yovanoff is a terrific writer. She has created a masterpiece with this book using the sort of talent which can rarely be seen.

The book revolves around Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - but not really as a retelling. It's like the theme to the story, an anchor to keep the reader from falling too deep into the rabbit hole. It's new and thrilling and intense and creepy and beautiful and poetic and this book was perfect. I loved everything about it.

In the beginning Hannah's description of
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 12, 2013 Joy (joyous reads) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, for-review
While the summary insinuated of a murderer on a killing spree, Yovanoff didn't really satiate my appetite for the gore. I have to admit though, that I was both relieved and disappointed that she opted not to write the scenes of the crime descriptively. There were hints of blood, bruises and cuts but never anything that would cause vertigo over the disturbing killings. But even if I'm disappointed in that aspect of the book, I still think that Yovanoff wrote with such lyrical flourish that I coul ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Holly rated it did not like it
Originally published at Book Harbinger.

It’s been six months since the death of her best friend Lillian, and Hannah wants nothing more for her life to go back to normal. To be able to drop the façade that she is unaffected and untouchable. But that is impossible to achieve because the ghost of Lillian lingers, appearing out of thin air to haunt her every move. While pushing Hannah to investigate the mysterious murders of young girls linked only by a valentine, Lillian also forces Hannah to questi
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
3.5 stars
What would you think if I told you to read Paper Valentine without reading synopsis? I bet you'd think romance immediately. That's what I thought, because of the pretty US cover and cute title, I went for it. Now imagine my surprise when it showed up on my doorstep as the Australian cover with this paper love heart, decorated with blood? I practically went all freakish as I always try to avoid ghost stories. Even though I seem to be reading all t
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Hannah is left reeling with the death of her best friend, Lillian from a long battle of anorexia. Her life wasting away into nothing, until she got so sick and so malnourished, she died. Not only is Hannah dealing with her acceptance of her death, there is also a murderer killing girls in her neighbourhood. Hannah is determined to get to the bottom of the crimes, and that includes the help of her best friend’s ghost.

So I had trouble even s
Danielle (Love at First Page)
He kisses my temple again, only this time he leaves his mouth there. "Hannah," he whispers. Just that. Nothing else.
And suddenly I understand why he keeps touching my cheek.
It's never occurred to me that maybe the raw, stinging place wasn't what he wanted after all. That scrubbing my face in the snow was just about the scrubbing not about the consequences.
"It didn't leave a mark," I say, remembering how the spot was red and raw for weeks. "The snow. It scraped my face, but I healed just fine."
Mar 10, 2013 Trisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Whatever they said, whatever they told you about yourself, it’s not true."

Wow, what an amazing book. It's about so many different things that it's hard to pin down.I do know what my favorite stuff was - and although the mystery and thriller part was pretty cool, it was not my favorite part.

I really liked Hannah. Okay, maybe not at first - because it takes a while to get to know her. But she really is great.

And Finn and Lillian - they all start to really sell me on Hannah - much more than Angeli
Leigh Collazo
Jan 31, 2015 Leigh Collazo rated it it was ok

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: My review is going to seem to bash this story, and I do not want to do that. I did enjoy reading Paper Valentine, and I did find some parts engrossing. Hannah's depression and guilt over Lillian's death is real and believable. However, I can't ignore some problems with characters and plot.

My main issue with Paper Valentine is that it attempts to tackle so many issues at once. The story bounces from Hannah's depression, the ghosts haunting her, her guilt o
Feb 17, 2013 Lindsey added it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Like I told my friend Michelle, this book is like an episode of CSI in YA novel form. Quite suspenseful and pretty creepy until all is revealed. Full review to come.

ETA: originally posted at my book blog:

I'm not entirely sure why, but I chose Paper Valentine for my first read of 2013. Maybe it's because over Christmas break, I had several murder mystery show marathons. Appropriately enough, Paper Valentine played out like an episode of the mystery shows I
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
What a wild and crazy ride this story is. Packed with death, a serial killer and of course love. This was such a great book. Loved the cover art for this also.
Bonnie-Anne Carmichael (Love Triangles Are Fucking Stupid.)
This was...a lot stranger than I was expecting. I really enjoyed it for the most part, the writing was lovely but I was let down by the romance, and I guess I wanted a wee bit more detective work from the characters to solve the mystery rather than (view spoiler)

The most important part of a book to me is the romance (not sorry at all.) This romance started GREAT but kind of teetered out for me. It bugged the hellllll out of me
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
Read as a Your Choice Book for the Quarterly Book Club 3rd Quarter Read (Paranormal/Mystery/supernatural)

Okay so I gave this 4 stars primarily because in comparison to the last book I read, this one was so much better. Once the story started flowing (thankfully within the first 50 pages), I really started getting engaged, and it didn't take me long to finish this at all! (It does help that I had a to-and-back train ride to read.)

The Plot
The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on reco
Jan 13, 2013 Kristina rated it really liked it
This is my first book by Brenna Yovanoff, and I was not disappointed. Paper Valentine started off extremely slow for me, but once the story took off, I could not put it down! It had a little bit of everything in it, and I especially loved the ghost story aspect of it!

Hannah is just a normal teenage girl, who just happens to be able to see and talk to her best friend, Lillian, who died sixth months ago. When a murderer begins targeting young women, Lillian convinces Hannah to dig deeper into what
Dark Faerie Tales
Apr 12, 2013 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A fantastic tale of death, life, and love and will haunt you in a romanticized way.

Opening Sentence: My sister Ariel, is sprawled upside down on the couch, pointing with the TV remote.

The Review:

I love Brenna Yovanoff’s writing. She won me over when I read The Replacement. I was instantly drawn to Paper Valentine by the cover. The simple, but unique font is the perfect balance to the main art: the girl. If you look closely, this is the same
Ms. Library
Feb 16, 2013 Ms. Library rated it really liked it
4 stars.
I want to write a full review of this, because it was so good and interesting, and I think it wasn't what I was expecting, but in some ways it was better. It was about loss and hope and how people change, and how you can hang on to a part of yourself while recognizing that some things have to change. Its about expectations and what people see, and prejudice, and cruelty. Its about anorexia, and how it takes over your life and affects the people around you. Yovanoff deals with this diffi
Mar 05, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
I am a member of a marvelous online book club known as YAckers. Each month we pick a book and read it and then as a group, we tear it apart- for better or worse. Last month we picked Paper Valentine (see our group discussion HERE) and I was a bit excited to give Miz Yovanoff another try. I adored The Replacement but ended up DNFing The Space Between. So away I went…

I’ll go ahead and tell you that I was immediately turned off by the story. The main character is being haunted by the ghost of her b
♞ Pat Gent
Mar 19, 2016 ♞ Pat Gent rated it it was ok
I'm too old to be reading YA literature. The themes and characters are always a million miles away from anything that I find interesting and I always feel when I'm done that I just wasted an afternoon with a pile of fluff.

This one had so much potential. There were lots of symbolic messages that could have been explored in depth and detail, but the author always seemed to back off just as she was getting ready to "make a point."

I thought the premise was fresh and had the capacity to cover a lot
Book Concierge

Hannah Wagner’s best friend Lillian died six months ago. Now Hannah is being haunted by Lillian’s ghost. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really. Lillian gives Hannah courage and helps her come to grips with what is happening in her community. There’s a serial killer on the loose who is targeting young pre-teens.

I admit I picked this book up strictly because of the cover. I needed a book with a heart on it for a challenge and this was prominently displayed on the library’s shelf. Based on the
Nov 07, 2015 Τζο rated it it was ok
Meh.Yep,that is the word that mostly describes this book.The cover is sooo good and the descreption on the back promises a very unusual YA mystery novel but it fell short.Very short,like most YA of this genre usually do.The main character is not that interesting,she has no backbone and accepts everything,burrying it deep inside.Her best friend,the dead girl,was a lot more interesting even though pretty annoying,she is haunting her best friend Hannah,our main character,forcing her to take action ...more
May 28, 2016 Celine rated it really liked it
Beautiful story of mourning, longing, and how it is okay to let yourself be imperfect. The paranormal aspects of the story are there to reinforce the book's message rather than being the focus on the story, which was written in a lyrical but honest style. My favourite of Yovanoff so far.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Dec 05, 2012 Christina (A Reader of Fictions) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
When I went to ALA in 2010, one of the numerous ARCs I picked up and took home, in a haze of disbelief that people would want to give me free books just because I was in training to be a librarian, was Yovanoff's debut novel The Replacement. The Penguin publicist I spoke to hyped it big time, I think because it was part of their Breathless Reads collection. Something I've learned about myself since is that I don't tend to be a huge fan of the most-hyped books put into those collections, though t ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Albert rated it really liked it
Paper Valentine is far from a young romance novel, so don't let the title and cover fool you. If you needed to classify Paper Valentine it would fall somewhere in the youth paranormal section, not paranormal romance either. But the paranormal aspects of the novel are secondary to what drives the novel and that is a well written main character full of self doubt and teenage angst.

Hannah Wagnor lives in the small town of Ludlow and nothing big ever seems to happen in Ludlow, until now. Hannah's b
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
SCPL Teens: Do you believe? 2 12 Mar 13, 2015 04:08PM  
SCPL Teens: Valentine Killer 1 9 Feb 25, 2015 10:09AM  
SCPL Teens: Hannah and Finn 1 4 Feb 25, 2015 09:59AM  
SCPL Teens: Haunting Hannah 1 5 Feb 25, 2015 09:43AM  
Wild Things: YA G...: Paper Valentine 1 13 Feb 13, 2014 04:37PM  
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Share This Book

“You can't keep acting like this," Lillian says, and for the first time in months, it's like she's actually trying to be nice. "Tragedy isn't this evil thing that came from outer space. It's just there, you know. Along with everything else.” 34 likes
“The fact is, the contest has always been invulnerability, and even when you win, you still lose.” 25 likes
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