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Paper Valentine

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  7,040 ratings  ·  1,147 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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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,040 ratings  ·  1,147 reviews

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Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This is my first Brenna Yovanoff book, but it certainly will not be my last. I don't want to say too much about the story because I don't like giving away spoilers but I will say that I loved it. The writing was fantastic, the story compelling and I had a hard time putting it down. It had ghosts, murder, romance and was creepy but in a really fantastic way. It's a murder mystery but doesn't read like you typical murder mystery. I was really thankful for that. Grab it, read it, loan your book to ...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 08, 2013 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).
jv poore
Do not let this slip under your radar!

Ms. Yovanoff is beyond brilliant in this gut-wrenching, heart-tugging; bad-ass, hopeful, fast-paced, murder-mystery-ghost story.
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
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
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
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Buddyread with Melissa

Same ol story we've heard before(not that way): Premise sounds interesting (sometimes with a pretty cover) and everything ends up falling flat for the reader.

I couldn't get invested in anything that was going on. Part of it may be that I am "too old" for this type of book. I could see my younger self loving this if I had found it in 6th or 7th grade perhaps.

Some YA I love and they don't "feel" YA... know what I mean? This one felt like it was written for the younger sid
Asghar Abbas
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing

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
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
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
Jan 24, 2013 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
Feb 13, 2013 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
Amber J
May 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. It was a very YA thriller. The paranormal aspects of the book weren't needed though. The story would have been the same with or without it for the most part. I guessed the bad guys almost right away. I did like the romance though between Hannah and Finny, and I loved how dark it read. Honestly, it will probably prove to be a pretty forgettable story. But I enjoyed it while I read it. ...more
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
Joy (joyous reads)
Jul 01, 2012 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
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
Dark Faerie Tales
Apr 12, 2013 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 fon
Jun 24, 2012 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: http://astormofwords.net/2013/02/04/p...

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
Leigh Collazo
Nov 28, 2012 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
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
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pretty covers do not mean fascinating storylines, not that anyone needs this tiny quote of wisdom, it's for me. The cover was indeed fascinating but so was the blurb:

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-
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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."
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.
Hannnah Hansen
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
If Scooby Doo just focused on Velma’s interpersonal turmoil and the ghosts were real.
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 re
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book did not get off to a great start for me. I was a bit bored and was wondering if maybe I should just stop listening and get back to it at another time. Then the plot really starting picking up and I was hooked. I ended up really enjoying this story. Hannah’s best friend died, slowly, right in front of everyone. Lillian now haunts Hannah. The worst pieces of her, the skeletal angry girl right before her slow death from self-starvation. Lillian is not the only young girl to die recently t ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked Brenna Yovanoffs The Replacement and when I saw this book for really cheap I had to get it. I started reading it the moment I came home and finished about 2 am, that's how much it pulled me in.
I'm a sucker for bad boy/good girl trope, especially for bad boy with a heart of gold and this book didn't leave me disappointed. The main character was sometimes a little too much and the summary is a bit deceiving cause I was expecting more of an investigation about murders but all that can be ov
Alex Bodnar
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read from this author, and let me just say that this was an amazing book! It was a mix of YA, horror and thriller, three great genres. Every chapter was pretty interesting, and I enjoyed reading this a lot. 4.5* for this one; make sure you pick it up, you won't regret it! :) ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Standard YA fare. Nothing remarkable, but enjoyable for what it is.
Ashley Mustard
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Why haven’t I read this sooner! It was good 😌
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Young adult mystery/crime fiction. A serial killer leaves paper hearts by his victims. [s] 5 18 Jun 05, 2020 10:29PM  
SCPL Teens: This topic has been closed to new comments. Do you believe? 2 15 Mar 13, 2015 04:08PM  
SCPL Teens: This topic has been closed to new comments. Valentine Killer 1 10 Feb 25, 2015 10:09AM  
SCPL Teens: This topic has been closed to new comments. Hannah and Finn 1 5 Feb 25, 2015 09:59AM  
SCPL Teens: This topic has been closed to new comments. Haunting Hannah 1 5 Feb 25, 2015 09:43AM  
Wild Things: YA G...: Paper Valentine 1 14 Feb 13, 2014 04:37PM  

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“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.” 37 likes
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