Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Buy The Book: Amazon
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.
I'm not really sure how Brenna's work has always eluded me, but I'm so glad that this gorgeous haunting cover caught my attention! It was clear from the first few chapter's, that while her work is unusual, there is something so uniquely beautiful about it!
Paper Valentine is the story of Hannah, who is "haunted" by the ghost of her recently deceased friend Lillian. I love scary stories, and murder mysteries, but I shy away from ghost stories so I was reluctant to pick this one up. If you are too, let me reassure you, there are no crazy spirits or heebee geebee's going on here! Throughout the story, Hannah still see's Lillian, and hear's her, but no one else can. There are no weird posessions or excorcisms or anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. I promise!
There is a string of murder's going on in Hannah's town, and eventually, Lillian convinces her to investigate. This story had a little bit of everything, tales of life, loss, love, friendship, growing up and even tragedy. It was written so well that I don't think the any one part of the story detracted from the other. There was just enough love, but not too much to take away from the murder plot and vice versa.
As far as the murders go, I never was able to tell who was going to die, or why. Nor was I able to predict who the murderer was! I honestly couldn't even make a guess, which made the end that much more gripping.
There is something beautifully haunting about Brenna's ability to create a story and bring it to life and I highly recommend picking up a copy of Paper Valentine!