Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Date of Publication: January 2013

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.

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.

I have very mixed feelings about  Paper Valentine.  On on hand, I really enjoyed the story.  The book did capture my attention very early on and kept me intrigued enough to keep reading.  I was dying to find out who the killer was and his/her motivation behind the murders.   I also liked the "haunting" of Hannah by her dead fiend, Lillian.  I looked at the haunting as Hannah's way of working through her grief at the loss of her best friend to anorexia. Even to the point that I wonder if she was really being haunted. 

While I enjoyed the overall storyline, in the end, I was a tiny bit disappointed.  Throughout the book, I was expecting more of a ghost story or just more paranormal elements. For instance, emphasis keeps being placed on dying birds, but in the end they really had nothing to do with the story.  Instead, I feel this was more of a coming of age story.  As Hannah works through solving the mystery, she also works through discovering who she is without her best friend by her side. She even finds a bit of romance along the way. The relationship between Hannah and Finny was very sweet. It was a fast read and good enough to recommend.  This is my first book by the author.  I am intrigued enough to go out and try her other works.   

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