Title: Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Genre/s: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Romance
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.
To be honest, I was really disappointed with this book. I really love Brenna Yovanoff's Space Between Us that's why I decided to read this. But I guess, I expected too much. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff is a murder mystery infused with a lot of self-realization and romance but not enough suspense to keep you on edge.
The small city of Ludlow was a simple and peaceful place. That's why everyone was disturbed when the police found a dead girl’s body at Muncy Nature Park. People became more careful, kids became more observant, and parents became stricter with curfews. But Hannah along with her ghost best friend, Lilian was too curious for their own good. Soon, they conducted their own investigation and a little bit of Ouija board. And that's where everything got messy.
Hannah was, sorry for the word, pathetic for the most part of this story. She has this really annoying attitude of being dependent to her friends. She doesn’t take risks and doesn’t stand up for herself, all her life she depended on Lilian to protect her. So when Lilian died, she was lost and she was left in the past while all her other friends already moved on from what happened. She was really depressing to read but I’m just glad she has a very lively sister to balance out her gloominess. She figured out her problems in the end but her negativity still overshadowed her good qualities.
The plot was a bit shallow especially about the reasons behind the killings of innocent teenage girls and the suspense from the murders weren’t properly built up. The story focused more on Hannah's life, her insecurities and her budding romance with Finnegan Boone. And there’s not enough of snooping around to find clue about the murderers. (Not that I like snooping around or anything)
Anyway, what really pissed me off with this book was that, out of nowhere, Hannah figured out who the culprit was with just one clue. I mean, WTF! I get that there’s only two people who could possibly dropped that clue, but what Hannah did was so bias and she didn’t even think about it for a second. She immediately went to the police and told them who she thinks the killer was. She only based her judgement on a single piece of lucky charm and all of it was pure hunch. But I gotta say, telling the police your theory without having a strong evidence to back you up was a ballsy move. She just got lucky that the guy she pointed out was one of the killers.