January 9, 2013
Welcome to our Tour Stop for
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
presented by Razorbill Canada!
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.
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **
I’m a huge fan of author Brenna Yovanoff, I think that I’ve made that pretty clear in my past reviews of her works. She never ceases to surprise me and all of her stories leave me shocked, at a loss for words and absolutely dying for the next thing that she’ll come up with. Every single novel she writes is better than the last whether it be the Replacement or The Space Between, her latest installment Paper Valentine goes in a whole other direction from her previous novels, where those novels focus on main characters that aren’t entirely human.
Paper Valentine takes place in a (mostly) normal universe in which our human main character Hannah can see the ghost of her dead best friend. It isn’t until the city of Ludlow is attacked by the mysterious Valentine Killer that random girls are found murdered in the park, but that isn’t what’s scaring Hannah the fact that she can see their ghosts is. Hannah takes it to herself to find out which character it is that murdered these girls who she used to know. While attempting to find out the identity of the killer who leaves behind valentine doilies at the murder sight, she begins to fall for the misunderstood Finny Boone who surprises Hannah with how kind he really is beneath the surface. In Paper Valentine Hannah risks everything to find out who the Valentine Killer is before he finds her.
The first thing that I think really got me with Paper Valentine was Hannah’s ability to see the dead, it screamed Ghost Whisperer especially when she began to use it as a way to catch the killer. I mean, from the opening chapter, I assumed that maybe there wasn’t a paranormal element to the novel (and that would have disappointed me considering how I love how Yovanoff adds the supernatural or the paranormal to all her stories). It wasn’t until we get introduced to her best friend Lillian, and then find out that she died months ago, that we figure out that Hannah isn’t your normal teenage girl. The one consistency that can be found in Paper Valentine compared to Yovanoff’s past works, is that much like in her other works, Hannah is an underdog. She’s an outcast within her group of friends and constantly mentions how she used to want to be just like Lillian (and a few times in the novel, she acts out the way her rebellious friend Lillian used to).
When it came to the killings in the novel, and the descriptions used to describe the crime scene photos, I actually found my stomach getting pretty queasy and that’s a good thing since sometimes the way authors describe the dead just seem really flat and dull. Since these are the murders commit by a serial killer, I was pretty pleased with just how sickening Yovanoff managed to make the crime scenes, especially since there are valentine themed décor at the murder sites. The way Yovanoff constantly used adjectives to make every single chapter of the novel seem foreboding and dark, which I loved since a novel about serial killers shouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows (unless it’s maybe from the killer’s point of view).
Near the end of the novel we finally find out just which character is the one that has been hunting down the girls in Ludlow, I’ll admit that I didn’t see it coming and that I expected a different character entirely. However, I felt that the story mostly focused on the relationship between Finny and Hannah with the addition of Hannah talking to dead people, I personally felt that when it came to the identity of the killer it all happened a bit too quickly. During the big climatic scene where Hannah and the killer face off, I’ll admit that I was only slightly disappointed and that even still, it felt just a bit too rushed. But nonetheless, I still enjoyed it.
I would recommend Paper Valentine to fans of Brenna Yovanoff’s previous works, fans of the YA paranormal scene as well as readers who would like a story that has the perfect blend of murder and romance.
About the Author:
Brenna Yovanoff is one third of the Merry Sisters of Fate along with Maggie Stiefvater and Tessa Gratton, whose flash fiction can be found at www.merryfates.com. She lives in Denver, Colorado. The Replacement is her first novel.