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Paper Valentine

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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.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published January 8, 2013

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Brenna Yovanoff

15 books2,327 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,153 reviews
Profile Image for Debra .
2,427 reviews35.2k followers
March 17, 2018
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 a friend!

Hannah's best friend has died and her ghost continues to haunt her. Her friend's ghost wants Hannah to investigate recent murders. Hannah just wants to be left alone. She also wants to stop thinking about a certain young man named Finney. Hannah is quickly drawn in by the ghost girls, a murder on the loose and secrets.

This was so good!

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Maggie Stiefvater.
Author 81 books168k followers
January 9, 2013
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).
Profile Image for jv poore.
616 reviews214 followers
March 12, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,922 followers
January 30, 2013
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 elements that it’s almost impossible to assign a label to it. It’s infuriating and beautiful at the same time. Oh, and also… it’s kind of magical.

Paper Valentine is a book about a serial killer. It is a book about the loss of a best friend to a long and horrifying illness. It’s about a girl trying to understand herself a bit better. It is about ghosts, hauntings and very strange Ouija boards. It’s about a strange romance between two even stranger kids. But most of all, it’s about things said, and those left unsaid.

The quiet, subtle romance was exactly what I expected from one of my favorite authors. There was this lovely, undeniable, magical understanding between Hannah and Finny that wasn’t flashy or instantaneous at all. And really, who wouldn’t like a guy named Finny Boone? Only Brenna Yovanoff can come up with a name like that and really pull it off – she is the reigning queen of weird and unforgettable character names. Finny himself is just as memorable, though. The only other character who spoke so little but left such an impression also came from Yovanoff’s magical factory. She has a talent for writing silent types and I love her for it.

Hannah takes quiet to a whole new level. Her mind is always racing, but her mouth stays firmly shut. I liked that about her, her ability to keep her thoughts to herself even when other people would probably explode, even when the silence would become awkward and stiff. For his part, Finny isn’t exactly talkative either. His silences are eloquent, but they’re silences nevertheless. To anyone other than Hannah, he’s just a weird, problematic guy, not someone a mother would want to see her precious daughter date, but to Hannah, he is exactly the kind of person she can relate to, talk to, even through a long stretch of silence. When so few words are spoken, a lot of things get communicated differently and the reader ends up with much more useful things.

”It’s not okay,” I whisper, and I don’t just mean his cigarette burns or his hand, but all the catastrophes and the tragedies and the bad, brutal things that happen all the time and everything that makes Finny so quiet. Every awful thing that’s ever happened in the world.

I love that Yovanoff wrote about a real issue without turning Paper Valentine into an Issue Book. I dread issue books, they make me feel claustrophobic and depressed, but Yovanoff wrote about anorexia without making me feel suffocated or overwhelmed. She even went so far as to try and explain the hows and whys of it, but she never stepped onto a podium and started preaching. It was just a natural part of the story. Yes, Hannah had a best friend and yes, that best friend died of anorexia six months prior to the beginning of the story, but the illness itself never took center stage, and neither was it taken lightly or disrespectfully.

Then I cross to the bed and sink down onto the rug, pulling the sheet with me. On the floor, with the sheet over me, I sit with my knees pulled up and my head on my arms. My heart is beating in huge spasms, but under the sheet is safe, like I’m the ghost and Lillian is the real live girl.

Even though I’m pretty good at guessing these things, I remained clueless about the serial killer until the very last minute. Looking back, there were quite a few little warning signs, but I got so caught up in Yovanoff’s gorgeous writing and Finny Boone’s wide shoulders that I failed to notice any of them.

While Paper Valentine doesn’t quite reach the literary and emotional heights of The Space Between, it’s still a book you’ll be proud to own. I know I am.

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,355 followers
January 5, 2013
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 substance and emotions. It even has a flair of contemporary when we learn of the way her ghost friend died from anorexia. Which, and for obvious reasons, affected Hannah a great deal as she's feeling both sorrow and guilt from her loss. We see this darker, depressed side surface regularly in the novel, giving a very realistic portrayal such a death leaves behind. Furthermore, we have a romance that is satisfyingly budding with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, whom Hannah is drawn to even through her suspicions. Suspicions that put a wedge between them even though they didn't always know it was there.

Clever with a fantastic creepy flair, the mystery part of the book is great with a fairly unpredictable ending. I say "fairly" because it's not that it's impossible to guess, it's how so many people are made suspects that even if you do figure it out, it's hard to be convinced your guess is right, and it will most likely change back and forth while the story progresses. I find these types of mysteries the most engaging; being suspicious of everyone, and trusting no one. There are some details of the mystery, as well as the motive, I wish had been given deeper meanings or explanations, though, seeing this is a stand-alone. I was also disappointed about the non-mystery regarding the dead birds. I expected more than "just because of the heat". I guess this is what I get for not reading the synopsis. Unexplainable bird death is just so awesome! I mean in a creepy way, of course. Not at all because I hate birds. Even if I do. There is just something spine-chilling about flocks of bird found dead. It's something I have heard in the news a time or two and I always think the world must be coming to an end. Birds will be the death of us, people! I can feel it! They are vile, evil creatures!

Hannah herself is a great protagonist for this type of story. She keeps her head in the game and doesn't trust people at the drop of a hat. She also has a side to her, a hidden depression, that only her dead friend and the reader gets to glance at. It makes her a very interesting character study, giving it several layers. The same can be said for the love interest which is filled with intrigue as we get his story throughout the book, little by little.

It may be my first, but it won't be my last novel by Yovanoff. Her style of writing is so unique. Lyrical, yet dark and morbid, it really clicked with me. Even though the ending could have been more fleshed out to give complete closure to the several storylines introduced in this book, it remains a small complaint in the bigger picture where I enjoyed everything else so much. This book does contain a mix of genres, but it was written for readers of dark thrillers; It gets bloody, and it gets eerie. If you see yourself in this description I would hand this one to you in a heartbeat!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
May 7, 2013
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. Her personality is a reflection of her clique's style, and not her own; I could not connect with her, Hannah is completely spineless and devoid of spark.

Lillian, the anorexic dead girl and Hannah's best friend was more interesting, even if she was a very irritating ghost. It irked me that Hannah didn't just speak up and vent some anger instead of just taking everything inside. For me, a main character should have inner strength. If he or she lacks it at the beginning, she should at least grow and become stronger through subsequent experience or from an inner revelation. It doesn't feel like Hannah grew up at all. I never felt like she stood up for herself or did anything extraordinary, things happened more as a coincidence than as a consequence of her own actions. The weakness of the main character made the dull plot plod even more slowly, resulting in a very dull reading experience.
Profile Image for TL .
1,882 reviews52 followers
October 6, 2017
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 side of that equation (my humble opinion).

Aah well, "Another One Bites the Dust"
Profile Image for Asghar Abbas.
Author 4 books192 followers
December 23, 2020

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 real things to say, pointed out valid concerns, and pinpoint current issues. Femininity in was really sweet and subtle and not at all surgery or syrupy or overwrought. It felt accurate just right, a book by an authentic woman written about real girls.

The obvious symbolism of Alice in Wonder, white rabbit, and rabbit-holes, all the risks, and dangers, and all the implied meanings, loved it. And like Alice, you have to dig a little deeper. This book was a clear example of showing a story instead of telling it, kinda book that you can finish in one sitting, it was that good; read it. And whoa, what a creepy denouement, that was unsettling in a very good way.

What a kiss of fiction this book was.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the attractive cover? If its movie's poster is half as good it will get people in theaters. Would love to see Hanna's dresses glimmering on the big screen, what an atmospheric movie this would make.

And the author is so sweet and seems like a really nice person.

I can't wait to read her new book coming out in May 2016.
Profile Image for colleen the convivial curmudgeon.
1,155 reviews294 followers
June 14, 2013
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 hindsight. No, I mean one of those reveals which you couldn't see coming because it comes out of nowhere and is just all kinds of "WTF?!"

Also, there's stuff in the book which is meant to add to the atmosphere and stuff and never really goes anywhere. There's this massive heatwave and birds are dying from some mystery disease... and then nothing ever really happens with that. I sort of assumed it would play into the story in some way, but nope. Nothing. Nadda. Zip. What was even the point? Was it some kind of inane red herring?

I have no idea.

Anyway, so the book sort of fails on the horror/mystery aspect.

So what is it?

It's more of a coming-of-age sort of story. But, really, it tries to tackle many issues - possibly too many. Eating disorders, identity/stereotypes, abuse, child services, guilt and depression, mean-girls and bullying and just bunches of stuff.

For a lot of the book I was almost sort of mad at Hannah. I wanted her to stick up for herself. I mean, it's bad enough to get bullied, but to have it done by people who are allegedly your friends are just so much worse. And she didn't even seem to realize how awful they were. Or, she sort of did, but then was just like "meh". And, yeah, you can say her lack of care is wrapped up with her guilt and depression at the death of her best friend - who is haunting her and also a bitch, btw - but that's all sort of subtext. A lot more sort of went into analyzing Lillian - the dead friend - than Hannah ever spent on herself.

And then enters Finn - who very nearly typifies the damaged bad boy, and yet still manages to be one of the more developed and likable characters in the book. I admit, when he first came on the seen and Hannah would follow him into a store just to look at his shoulder or some shit, I thought I was gonna hate it. But the developing relationship and Hannah's search for her identity sort of through it became the most interesting thing about the story. Yes, Hannah was really annoying and wishy-washy, but you saw her develop in the story and, really, that's sort of what the story is about - finding yourself instead of being defined by friends and family and society and all their many expectations.

And - it was ok. It was even good in parts. And then it was boringly repetitive and circular in parts, as many first person narratives seem to be.

But, I liked Finn. And Ariel, the spunky little sister. And Hannah kinda grew on me. Kinda.

But everyone else was sort of horrible.

And I was disappointed that it's not remotely a story about a serial killer. I mean, not really. It's there, and it plays a part, but that's not really the story.

I almost want to give it a three, 'cause I did sort of like it in parts. But, I dunno, man...

2.5 it is. For now rounded down to 2. I might change my mind. We'll see.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews931 followers
February 23, 2015
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 her small town.

This is actually the first story I’ve read of Brenna Yovanoff’s and I definitely enjoyed the story and her writing skills but Paper Valentine didn’t wow me as much as I’d anticipated. The storyline itself was a tale full of emotional resonance but the combination of the ‘coming-of-age’ tale of Hannah finding herself after the death of her best friend AND the serial killer taking out locals was a strange yet engaging mix that managed to work for the most part.

The narrative is told in the first person from the POV of Hannah from which we are able to see just how deeply rooted her depression is. Hannah is a compelling character yet I found many of her actions to be extremely unreasonable especially when it came to the expeditious love for the local bad boy, Finny Boone. Like the time Finny suggested they take a shortcut through the dark park? When there’s a serial killer on the loose? Or when Hannah leaves her younger sister home alone and her and Finny go off to swim in the lake? The overwrought lines regarding him were also treading on ridiculous:

"And then we’re looking at each other, and it’s a look that goes on and on, stretching across space and time. Across galaxies."

The insta-love was there but was subdued enough to not be too bothersome. Seeing Hannah’s progression throughout the novel in finding her individual identity separate from who she was when Lillian was still alive was the most satisfying and convincing aspect of Paper Valentine. While this book had its flaws, it was a somewhat satisfying of a read and succeeded in capturing my interest for the authors previous novels.
Profile Image for Holly.
529 reviews64 followers
March 6, 2013
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 question her role in Lillian’s slow, self-destructive death and whether it could’ve been prevented. As Hannah struggles to find her place among her catty friends and the enticing resident delinquent Finny Boone, she can’t help being drawn into the serial killer’s world and the ghosts he leaves behind. The deeper she delves into the mystery however, the more she realizes how vital her interference is in catching the Valentine killer before he strikes again.

Ever since I heard the news that Brenna Yovanoff, one of Maggie Stiefvater’s Merry Sisters of Fate critique partners had a publishing deal, I’ve wanted to read if not her debut, one of the books that would follow. When her third novel Paper Valentine came up as a YAckers book club choice, I voted for it without hesitation. My feelings for the few YA ghost stories I’ve read have been mixed (see The Ghosts of Ashbury High and A Certain Slant of Light), but I was hopeful, and when I finally opened Paper Valentine, I was intrigued by the story almost immediately.

Paper Valentine draws its readers in from the opening chapter with the appearance of Lillian and the introduction of the murder mystery. As Hannah’s sister Ariel is the same age as the victims, she’s on your radar right away as being in danger sometime in the story. There are a lot of great ideas that we assume will be developed later. It quickly becomes clear that Lillian died of an eating disorder, and so that’s a potential issue to be explored. Likewise, it is apparent that Hannah’s remaining friends never completely accepted her into their socially elitist clique, so the potential for mean girl high school drama is another. But wait! There’s more. Hannah works at a photography shop that processes the crime scene photos for the local police, so naturally she catches glimpses of the murder scenes before handing them over to the authorities. The moment Hannah recognized that the murders are being committed by a serial killer was one of the most exciting for me, Dexter love and all. I assumed the killer would be smart and create a meaningful theme for his murder scenes. But as that failed to happen and the formerly well-paced reading turned into a slog I realized that Brenna had spread herself too thin in Paper Valentine. Instead of narrowing down the focus to either Hannah’s grief or her snotty friends or Lillian’s haunting or the murder mystery, she tried to juggle each direction. As a result, the narrative was muddy and rudderless, leaving the reader with several half-baked ideas, which also explains the weak conclusion. How can you conclude a story that is all over the place? There was so much potential. I just wish Brenna would’ve focused on developing one of those elements with depth. As it was I remained ambivalent towards underdeveloped Hannah and annoyed at unsympathetic Lillian for sticking around. The nail in the coffin was the resolution for the ghosts and the serial killer, which was boring and uninspired. Now that I’ve had my closure Paper Valentine is all yours.
Profile Image for Amber J.
920 reviews64 followers
May 24, 2022
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.
589 reviews1,029 followers
June 16, 2013
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 the ones being published this year.

Paper Valentine is a mixture of three main components: Contemporary, romance and most importantly, mystery thriller. Each of these aspects fit perfectly with each other, it's so obvious of how well Brenna Yovanoff can write. Even though the beginning wasn't exactly the best, as I read this dark and creepy book, Paper Valentine grew onto me. Expect this book to stun you with twists, cute romance and overall, a quite mysterious killer.

Hannah has been seeing her best friend after six months of her death- as a ghost. But that's the least of her worries, as there's a killer on the loose, murdering girls in Hannah's suburban area, leaving children's toys and paper valentine hearts on the dead corpses. As Hannah attempts to seek out the Valentine Killer, she becomes closer to danger herself.

'Ghosts are the kind of thing you go your whole life with everyone telling you they aren't real. I believe in them anyway, because the world is full of things that no one really understands. Mostly though, I believe in them because my best friend died six months ago and now she's with me all the time, materialising silently out of the shadows, creeping closer, reaching out.'

For me, Hannah was hard character to analyse and categorise. But one thing is for sure, this girl has depth. I just re-wrote this part 3 times After some thought, I have come to a somewhat relevant conclusion. Hannah sets the mood of this book. If she's depressed, I was set in a melancholic subtleness, then when I reached the creepy scenes of tense mystery I was almost immediately dragged into this phase where you just want to look behind your shoulder and jump at every freak in the floor. Brenna Yovanoff created Hannah's personality so intricately genuine that it takes ages of thought about exactly WHAT type of person Hannah is, with the fat layers of emotions being played with, I still can conclude that Hannah was a loveable and appreciated character by me.

So like I was saying, Hannah was relatively a quite character throughout even though she manages to keep a cogent voice throughout the novel. But the siding characters she conscientiously mingled with, the connections were stable and unforgettable. My cherished bond had to be Hannah and her little sister's one. The way her little sister wanted to be protective of Hannah was not only cute but also ringed the tightness in this hopeful family and the same genes of Hannah, except her sister was more outspoken.

Another admirable connection was the romance. While I wasn't too happy about the amount supplied, Paper Valentine does justice with a bad boy. Finny; misunderstood, rebel, deep and willing to fight anyone in his way, mysterious, suspected murder even. All if those word(s) are it exactly sufficient to describe Finny perfectly. He is a bad boy, but really soft hearted inside. Nonetheless, he was the perfect match for Hannah- even though I thought it was an absurd match at the beginning, Brenna manages to satisfy with her secret ways.

One major thing that bugged the crabs out of me in Paper Valentine was the background information and loose strings at the end. I wanted to know more about Lillian as a person when she was alive, while there were flash backs and referrals, I wanted Lillian herself to open up so I could explore more of her. Same for Finny. Okay, so maybe he's a mysterious guy that doesn't really reveal much about his past, especially because he was the love interest, I wanted to get to know him more. Moreover, why can Hannah see ghosts? Why can she talk to Lillian? Maybe if there was a sequel, these issues wouldn't have bothered me, but quite frankly and sadly, there is no sequel.

All in all, Paper Valentine was a capturing sinister yet quiet read. For my first Brenna Yovanoff novel, I must admit that I'm off on a great start and will be eagerly awaiting more of her books. While the prose took some time to adjust to, this book filled me with chills. I recommend this book to people who enjoyed The Dead and Buried, Pretty Girl-13 and other mystery thrillers out there!
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,490 reviews290 followers
January 12, 2013
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 couldn't help but read with open admiration for her words.

This novel is about a town in fear of a murderer - so much so that they have become prisoners in their own homes. Amidst the summer heat and the incessant worries, Hannah is being haunted by her dead best friend. But you won't find her freaking out every time Lillian appears; in fact, it was as though she's still alive. Their relationship and interactions didn't change at all. Except Hannah couldn't really tell her family that she's still hanging around. I never got to find out what her unresolved matters are - don't know why she can't go to where she needed to go. Though I'm sure we were told at the end of the book but it's all very...vague to me.

To be honest, I can't quite wrap my head around this book. For all its talks of a rampaging murderer, the book's sole focus is really about the relationships of its characters. It's a coming of age book where our heroine finds a kindred spirit with a boy who, once upon a time, smushed her face in the snow. They've never really had any form of connection. He's the consummate dark character: silent, brooding, often in trouble but has the penchant for being kind toward Hannah. I liked the progression of their relationship. It's one of those, they wake up one day and realized how aware they were of each other.

For me, the major seller of this book was the paper heart cut-outs left by the killer with his victims. I wanted to know why; I wanted to know its significance and how it relates to the killer. In the end, the reason was disappointing. It was almost a random thought - without meaning or purpose. And the same goes with the killer. I wasn't given any hints or even premonitions as to who the killer was. While I can appreciate that to some degree, I'd still would like to be able to make some guesses. I think there was only a page where the actual process of deduction happened and then before I know it, Hannah has the killer. But of course, what's a good murder/mystery novel without a twist? There had to be a twist.

Yovanoff's style of writing is very simplistic but if you really spend time with the composition, you will find a hidden depth. It's disconcerting in a way that it's almost deceptive. This eerie, somewhat romantic novel will appeal to readers who'd like a taste of horror without too much gore (yes, it is possible!). But among other things, this is a story of a girl coming into grips with the loss of her best friend and her regrets over the things she could've done to cry for help when her best friend refused to.
Profile Image for Shambhawi P..
Author 1 book58 followers
July 31, 2013
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 their little clique and the strain in their relationship after Lillian's death reminded me somewhat of Pretty Little Liars. But I should not have worried. There are mean girls and there is bitchiness and there is romance as is the norm in YA books. But they do not rule the story.

The story is about a girl who is haunted by her best friend's ghost. Who is sad, and yet does not let herself be. Until there is a guy who wants her to stop pretending and just be sad if she is so fucking sad. It's a coming of age story about the girl who realizes through the death of her friend what is important in life and why she was only deluding herself by living as she did. And this is also the story of the very same girl who is in a town where young girls are being murdered and she feels compelled to save them and assuage their ghosts unlike what she could not do for her best friend.

The story is profound, moving. The characters are deep with multiple layers to their personality and a raw edge to their feelings. Though told from a first person point of view the emotions of all the characters are portrayed beautifully - which is very very difficult to pull off. The relationship between Hannah and Lillian, Hannah and Finny, Hannah and Ariel, her parents, her other friends - they all have this undercurrent to it that helps the characterization of every single character go deeper than just skin.

And Finny - he is a masterpiece in himself. The nickname sound in odds - almost too childish - compared to his tough persona but somehow manages to portray his inner vulnerability and softness perfectly. A bad boy with a golden heart - it sounds so cliché, so juvenile but he is not like the dark brooding heroes we are so used to (he is dark and brooding , yes, but in a wholly different subdued manner). One can practically see him wearing his heart on his sleeve for Hannah and to see his feelings being reciprocated brought a huge grin on my face.

The thrill though was there in the entire book. The ghosts and ghosty stuffs gave me goosebumps. And though the murderer was fairly predictable - the author would still throw in red herrings to keep us guessing and reguessing till the very end.

Perfect. Creepy, romantic, intense. Simple Perfect.

5 Stars.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
April 12, 2013
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 font used for most of Yovanoff’s books. The girl is drawn by what I think of as Victorian art, the intricacies of the design is beautiful. The bright red color of the heart is a harsh contrast to the rest of the muted and somber colors.

Paper Valentine is about death and loss, simply put. Hannah Wagnor lost her best friend Lillian six months ago. Lillian was Hannah’s link to her friends and normalcy. But Hannah can never go back to normal; she still sees and talks to Lillian, well her ghost anyway. It’s July and the temperatures are scorching in the city of Ludlow. What would have been a great summer has been ruined by someone on a murdering killing spree. The victims are young girls, younger than Hannah and as old as her younger sister, Ariel. Hannah has been seeing visions, glimpses from the victims. Hannah takes it upon herself to find out about their deaths, to uncover the secrets, and to listen to things unsaid.

Hannah is a great character. Her voice is strong, one that I haven’t seen in awhile. What she thinks and what she says are two different things, but her actions are fluid and concise. She was meant to be disconnected to the world around her, while trying to separate herself from Lillian and her life before her death. Her life up to this point has been black and white, always obedient to life and its rules. It takes awhile for Hannah to come into her own, but when she does her actual voice matches her inner thoughts. Hannah had a lot of depth, sometimes happy and mostly this melancholy state on the verge of being morbid.

The characters of Paper Valentine were great and well-rounded, adding to the many layers of the story. Her best friend, her sister, and even the unexpected boy complemented Hannah’s personality in many ways. I felt that Lillian was the perfect mix of devil-on-the-shoulder and best friend. Yovanoff brings out the snark with Lillian, all while being loyal. It was sad to hear Hannah’s thoughts about Lillian and what she went through, and I was surprised that it was even a subject at all. Ariel and Finny were great additions to the story, but in the beginning I didn’t understand and thought it was a bit much. I didn’t see the dots connecting to each other until about halfway through.

Paper Valentine paints a very realistic representation of life and friendships after a death. There’s a strong adherence to realism and truthfulness in nature. Yovanoff infused the story with a message of morals and spiritual thoughts. There’s so much detail written, from the deaths to background stories, I never had a dull moment. There’s a paranormal element written in Paper Valentine, where Hannah can see and hear to Lillian, but in a very contemporary way. It’s interesting to see the two mix, and Yovanoff did it in a perfect way.

I was instantly thrown into city of Ludlow, into Hannah’s life, and I never wanted to leave. Paper Valentine relays that everyone has a story, and there’s something to be learned from every experience. Yovanoff wrote death in a very poetic and romanticized way. She doesn’t write it in a positive light, but she erases the harsh and ugly reality of it. Yovanoff brings strength in her characters and it stays consistent for the whole story.

I really enjoyed Paper Valentine. It had the right amount of joy and pain, and I was never afraid to learn the truth. I loved how the events took place. I enjoyed the pacing and writing style. It flowed so easily that I didn’t even realize I was almost finished with the book. The characters were great. Well rounded and added diversity to the story. No two characters were similar and I appreciated that. The MC had a lot of depth, sometimes happy and mostly this melancholy state on the verge of being morbid.

Notable Scene:

Lillian gave me an outraged look but didn’t say anything. She sat with her hands over the glass, but it didn’t really look like she was touching it at all anymore. Maybe a little, but it didn’t seem that way. I could have sworn I saw the glow of candlelight in the gap between her fingertips and the bottom of the glass.

I sat perfectly still, watching the board with goose bumps coming out on my arms.

The glass looped across the rows of letters, spelling out P-A-P-E-R. Then, without pausing, it circled its way back to H-E-A-R-T.

After that, the glass wouldn’t spell anything else. We tried for another half hour, but it was no good. It just sat in the middle of the board, motionless. Silent.

As soon as Lillian went home, I put the cordial glass back in the closet and threw the board in the Dumpster behind my house.

FTC Advisory: I purchased this copy of Paper Valentine. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
236 reviews4 followers
February 17, 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'm addicted to.

The murders depicted in the novel could be a little graphic, but somehow I felt the scary factor was subtle. With suspense novels like Michelle Hodkin's The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or Gretchen McNeil's Ten, the reader is clearly aware of the elements of horror: creepy images, the uneasy feeling of being stalked, the unreliable narrators. With Paper Valentine, there isn't a constant paranoia with the protagonist. In a way, that just made the story even more chilling and more than once I scolded myself for reading it before bed.

Hannah was a great character because at her core she was a good person. She did have her flaws, mainly her insecurities, but when it counted, she stood up for herself and her beliefs. I liked that she always wanted to give Finny the benefit of the doubt and that while she did question the absurdities that surrounded him, she still wanted reach out to him. Her protectiveness of her siblings and friends was admirable. Hannah is joined by a likeable cast of characters: her family (sister and step-dad, in particular) and of course, by Finny. Sure, Finny was the typical "bad boy except not really" but their moments together were really cute and I really liked the dynamic between them.

On top of the murders plaguing their town, Hannah also has to deal with the ghost of her best friend. Lillian's past was an interesting one and I initially thought it would be tied in with the murders of the Valentine Killer, but it wasn't. (I thought the same thing about the dead birds...) I'm not entirely too sure how I feel about the inclusion of Lillian's ghost and of the various flashbacks and laments about what killed her. They certainly added to Hannah's growth as a character, but it almost served as a separate aspect in the novel. I did appreciate this inclusion to the story, however. What I found interesting, thought perhaps a little misleading, was how the word anorexia is never used when Lillian or Hannah make references to Lillian's death. That in itself is understandable and creates more of a forbidden, untouchable aspect to the situation. In a way, this was another "scary" factor that rivaled the chilling murders.

With regards to the serial killer part of the story, as I mentioned, it really reminded me of an episode of CSI or Criminal Minds except without hardcore detectives and super expensive equipment. I have to admit that I was a tad disenchanted with the reveal of the serial killer (maybe it's just because I watch a lot of murder mysteries and I automatically assume EVERYONE is the killer), but the chase to find out still makes the novel totally worth reading and recommending.

Oh, and now allow me to note the beautiful cover. When I first saw the novel on goodreads, I thought it would be some Jack the Ripper-era story because of the fancy dress. That's initially what intrigued me. The novel's time and setting turned out to be contemporary, but definitely those Jack-the-Ripper-freaky-vibes were still prominent through the novel, especially since the serial killer is dubbed with a name. It feels weird to say that's a good thing because this is a freaking SERIAL KILLER, but yeah ...I like when murder mysteries have this element...

And the final verdict? I really liked Brenna Yovanoff's writing. It had this beautiful flow to it even though this was a story about serial killings. I will definitely be checking out her other titles. Paper Valentine was a page-turning mystery with a touch of paranormal that was enjoyable and suspenseful to read. Just don't read it at night or if you're sitting alone in a park.
Profile Image for Leigh Collazo.
671 reviews224 followers
January 31, 2015

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 over her friend's death, eating disorders, child abuse, the foster care system, mean girls, shoplifting, and romance. The sheer number of heavy issues leaves little room left over for details, resulting in some missed opportunities and plot holes.

Some of the plot issues:

THE BOTTOM LINE: It was okay. Though interesting and engrossing at times, I had too many issues with plot and character to get excited about Paper Valentine.  

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don't have it.

READALIKES: I Hunt Killers (Lyga); Haunting Violet (Harvey)


Overall: 2/5
Creativity: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Engrossing: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Appeal to teens: 3/5
Appropriate length to tell the story: 4/5


Language: mild-medium
Sexuality: mild; some kissing
Violence: medium-high; serial murders, bloody bodies of teen girls found in park; the ghosts may be scary for sensitive readers
Drugs/Alcohol: none
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
April 21, 2016
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 starting this book..I’m scared of ghosts (due to my encounters with the dead and beyond), and while I was reading this book in bed, a book from my pile fell. It literally just dropped like an anvil. I thought nothing of it, until I was AT my computer working, and it did it again. I tried reading the book a second time, and my dog randomly started barking at me. Yet he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking over my shoulder, and animals can sense better than humans. Ghostly encounter? I kid you not..This is true. And now back to the review.

Brenna’s writing is once again beautifully written and I can absolutely say that she is now one of my favourite authors. She has the uncanny ability to write about realistic characters and I kind of love it. I can personally identify with her thoughts, and emotions. It’s almost as good as reading a diary. I just couldn’t stop jotting down quotes because this was one novel that was so spot on, I couldn’t stop nodding my head, agreeing amiably as I read each sentence.

I can sorely identify with Lillian at times. Especially the fact that she is completely stubborn (just like me). The pressure, the stress, the disease that plagued Lillian’s short life was too overwhelming. Although, I loved her personality, it was bit like watching myself on paper, and my own bestie in the story. (Errr minus a few certain details.) And talk about amazing yummy bad boys..Finny is this wonderfully broken boy that masquerades as a “bad” boy. He has such a broken past, that I couldn’t help sympathize with his upbringing. He does selfless thoughtful actions just for Hannah that I couldn’t help but smile like a fool.

Pacing is extremely slow especially when it comes to solving the mystery of the murders. I wanted it to move along with the wonderful character development but it was sorely lacking. It finally appeared at least around the 166th page, so yay! I didn’t mind for the wait because the relationship between Hannah and Finny, and Hannah’s friendship with Lillian surface to further distract me until then.


Too fast, and quite too long..I had trouble sitting still at times.

LOVE IT. Beautiful embossed design on the hardcover and the jacket is done well.

Love the mystery, but loved the character relationships a lot more.

Overall, I highly recommend reading Paper Valentine for it will have you think about how you treat people in such an honest and true way.
Profile Image for Amy.
401 reviews18 followers
October 24, 2019
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-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.

Was the blurb misleading? No, not outright but the energy and mystery that you see in the blurb does not transfer into a power packed novel. The main character is Hannah who is very sensitive but tries to portray that nothing actually touches her or affects her even remotely. By doing this she manages to become even more dull . The characters are very predictable and token like. There's a spunky young sibling, a bad boy who is a gentle giant, kind of hiding his soft interior and protects it with a rough exterior, the mean girls gang and I could go on. The one extra thing that attracted me was the ghost of her best friend. Lillian turned out to have more spunk than Hannah. Ariel and Finny who are not even the main characters were the most interesting and I looked forward to seeing them in the storyline. There was some supernatural stuff in bits and pieces which suddenly concentrates towards the end and the reader is supposed to accept the drama without batting an eye. The damsel in distress needing to be rescued put me off even though I was expecting something of that kind.
Maybe I have outgrown these books...well I will keep on trying to find that perfect book.
Ok read
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,749 reviews167 followers
March 11, 2013
"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 Angeline & Jessica ever did.

I also really loved the ghost story. I thought all these elements shoved together would get confusing, but it's woven together so well that it just creates this amazing story. And I just let myself get wrapped up in it.

There were so many amazing sentences that I think I could have quoted the whole book (or at least one passage or 2 per page) but I didn't want to spoil the reading experience for others. Instead, I will post my top two least plot spoiling favorites. One is above. the other below.

“You were the brave one, not me. No matter what any of them said or did, you were the one who never had to invent yourself. You always just knew who you were."
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
August 8, 2015
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."
Finny only holds on tighter. I wonder if it bothers him that even though I'm telling the truth, I'm still lying. It did leave a mark, just not the kind that shows.
"I was so mean to you when we were little," I say, pressing my forehead against his shoulder. "I wish I wasn't, though."
"You weren't the only one."
"It doesn't make a difference. I should have been nice."
"I pushed you down," he says, like he's offering me a trade, some kind of forgiveness.
"I think I might have deserved it."
"You didn't," he says. "I thought you did, but you didn't. No one does."

Beautiful writing, yeah? Love this book! Read it!
August 4, 2015
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 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.

For a book like this, I think it was well done over all. If I compared to this another book, I'm not sure I would pick out any flaws, because there aren't many--or maybe it's better said that compared to the last book I read, I had a lot more to like in this book in comparison. The plot is pretty average, pretty straightforward. It takes a moment to get used to the idea of the ghost hanging around, but you know what? I think the ghost's relationship with Hannah is the most outstanding part of this novel. The actual mystery plot was pretty predictable, but at the same time, not very. I didn't exactly spot it until later on. Still, it was a nice twist. I was expecting it though!

The Characters
Hannah Wagner is the main character and focal of the whole story. On the whole, she's a quiet girl who always seemed to be overshadowed by her best friend, the now dead Lillian. For a moment, I thought this story would twist their relationship and burn it after ripping up all the history between the two, leaving me with a story about a girl who actually didn't realise her best friend didn't like her that much and was only haunting her because she was the only girl who was too chicken to do anything. BUT. Yovanoff didn't do that. What she did though was paint the story of a girl who had taken her own life and another girl, the one left behind, and wove a beautiful story of friendship between them. The ups and the downs, the anger and the sadness. THe loneliness and the grief. Yovanoff exposes it, and spoon feeds you as the reader, guiding you on a coaster of paranormal mystery. I really love the things that Hannah realises about herself and also, about everyone else around her, and mostly, about Lillian. It was also interesting to compare the inner voice of Hannah and her actual physical appearance. She's described as small, and wears a lot of bright coloured dresses (influenced by Lillian), something I often forgot, since her inner voice never seemed like someone who would wear a brightly coloured dress.

Oh Lillian who I can't remember despite just finishing this, what her last name is. Lillian is the ghost of the story. She is literally a ghost, and she is currently haunting Hannah. Or rather, more specifically, she's watching over her (something that isn't entirely evident until later on). She is definitely a colourful character. Certainly, a much more outstanding social voice than Hannah, yet before this book starts, she suicided, and it absolutely devastated Hannah. Yet she's still alive six months later, albeit as a ghost, and she's haunting Hannah. If Hannah is the main character, then Lillian is the second. And I really loved how her character developed. I really loved how much the pair mean to each other. The declaration of their friendship is so much more than the small romance in this book--the romance is nothing in comparison! It's cute yeah, but your eyes and mind will be on Hannah and Lillian.

Other characters, all had evidently important/key roles in the story. Although with one character, I did want to kind of see what happens after the ending scene of this book, but that's just one small desire compared to whole of the book. One small tie which well, quite frankly, it was nice to see Hannah snapping at that girl! Finny was an interesting love interest. Though, their romance was a very small aspect of the book. Ariel--love her as Hannah's sister! As for other primary characters, they were all interesting! Specially who turned out to be the murderer in the end.

The City of Ludlow.
And also predominantly Muncy Park where most of the killings take place. At times I forgot to worry about what era this was set in, because even though it's set in contemporary I often forgot because Hannah was always wearing some brightly coloured vintage thing. Another thing about Hannah.

The Writing
On the whole I liked the writing. First person, plain and not overly embellished with pointlessly dense metaphors. And yeah, that's all I have to say about the writing. It was very simple, but not overly simple. It brings out the emotions which I like the best about the writing. Other than that, yeah!

I suggest this as a suggestive read. I liked it. (Even if my opinion is a little biased based on what I just read yesterday--A History of Glitter and Blood.) It's not bad for a paranormal mystery. Simple, quick, easy, and not at all disappointing (though maybe if I'd read this another time, after a series of spectacular books, this book's good stuff might have been dimmed in comparison).

Profile Image for Petra.
353 reviews36 followers
September 12, 2018
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 overlooked. Maybe the best part for me was seeing the relationship between MC Hannah and her deceased best friend Lillian who stayed with her as a ghost. Like all relationships it is complicated and messy and sometimes I wanted to scream at both of them for being stupid but for the most part it was nice seeing how much they cared about each other. The way author described anorexia was really eye opening for me and I felt for Lillians character so bad.
Profile Image for Alex Bodnar.
Author 1 book6 followers
October 17, 2019
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! :)
Profile Image for Jerry.
265 reviews34 followers
February 2, 2019
Standard YA fare. Nothing remarkable, but enjoyable for what it is.
Profile Image for Kristina.
890 reviews19 followers
January 13, 2013
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 is happening in their town. Around the same time, she begins a friendship with bad boy and loner, Finny, who people suspect is the murderer, but Hannah has seen the sweet side of him, and knows he couldn't hurt anyone. That is until Lillian starts to convince her otherwise.

Hannah works at a local photo shop, that is often visited by the local police so she has seen the gruesome pictures of the murders of the young girls. Her curiosity is peeked, and it turns out that when Lillian was alive, she too was obsessed with a murder that happened in the town the year before. Thinking there is a connection, the two of them try to figure out who the killer is before he can strike again.

I really loved the mystery aspect of the story, and I had no clue who the murderer was going to be. The ending was very creepy, and I was very scared for Hannah.

I also loved the sweet friendship between Hannah and Finny. I felt bad for him and everything he went though. It sucked when the police were blaming him for the murders, but Finny was used to be blamed for everything bad, and it didn't even phase him when he was arrested. Which made me feel even worse for him.

I really enjoyed Paper Valentine. I had no idea where the story was going to go, and I loved that about it. I am looking forward to reading more from this very talented author!
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