Hannah’s best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can it when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders linked only by a paper valentine? Hannah can hardly begin to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save a 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.
First Sentence: My sister, Ariel, is sprawled upside down on the couch, pointing with the TV remote.
I just love the unique cover of Paper Valentine. When my friends saw it, they immediately snatched it out of my hands to admire it (which they have never done before with any of my books). To make things even better, Paper Valentine sounded like it would be an excellent serial killer murder mystery kind of novel. However, once I started reading Paper Valentine, it wasn’t quite what I expected.
Before I started reading Paper Valentine, I was worried that Brenna Yovanoff would dedicate a huge portion of the book to Hannah’s popularity issue that was mentioned in the summary because that happened when I read other books (like Reaper by L.S. Murphy), but thank goodness Brenna never spent much time dwelling on the issue. Instead, Brenna Yovanoff focuses on other aspects of the book like loss, friendship, and of course, the murder mystery.
Which brings me to my next point – it wasn’t until I reached the end of Paper Valentine that I realized that Paper Valentine isn’t so much a mystery novel than it is a novel about friendship, loss, and finding one’s true self. Basically, I feel that 75% of the book is dedicated to friendship, loss, and finding one’s true self while the remaining 25% of the book drags the murder mystery along. However, Paper Valentine is still a beautiful bittersweet book despite that issue.
Finny Boone, Hannah’s love interest, is really the only character I liked in Paper Valentine. The other characters I just felt nothing for. Finny is just so adorable! Paper Valentine was plain dull until Finny came along. He bought a huge smile on my face and I just loved the tough, but sweet, patient, and quiet guy Finny was portrayed as.
One thing I think Brenna Yovanoff should have done more was give a little more hints or clues about the serial killer’s identity. Once I found about the serial killer’s identity, I didn’t get the satisfied feeling of ohhh, I should have known all along! I was like well, how do you actually expect me to know that that was the killer when you only gave us ONE minor clue on figuring out the killer’s identity? The serial killer’s identity was just totally a surprise for me.
Overall, if you were expecting a highly suspense mystery about a serial killer from Paper Valentine, you won’t get one. Instead, you’ll get a book about loss, finding one’s true self, and growing out of her shell while a serial killer is going around killing people. Basically, the mystery part of Paper Valentine felt like it was in the backseat, along for the ride.