Hardcover, 306 pages
Received a finished copy for a blog tour
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.
Hannah is left reeling with the death of her best friend, Lillian from a long battle of anorexia. Her life wasting away into nothing, until she got so sick and so malnourished, she died. Not only is Hannah dealing with her acceptance of her death, there is also a murderer killing girls in her neighbourhood. Hannah is determined to get to the bottom of the crimes, and that includes the help of her best friend’s ghost.
So I had trouble even starting this book..I’m scared of ghosts (due to my encounters with the dead and beyond), and while I was reading this book in bed, a book from my pile fell. It literally just dropped like an anvil. I thought nothing of it, until I was AT my computer working, and it did it again. I tried reading the book a second time, and my dog randomly started barking at me. Yet he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking over my shoulder, and animals can sense better than humans. Ghostly encounter? I kid you not..This is true. And now back to the review.
Brenna’s writing is once again beautifully written and I can absolutely say that she is now one of my favourite authors. She has the uncanny ability to write about realistic characters and I kind of love it. I can personally identify with her thoughts, and emotions. It’s almost as good as reading a diary. I just couldn’t stop jotting down quotes because this was one novel that was so spot on, I couldn’t stop nodding my head, agreeing amiably as I read each sentence.
I can sorely identify with Lillian at times. Especially the fact that she is completely stubborn (just like me). The pressure, the stress, the disease that plagued Lillian’s short life was too overwhelming. Although, I loved her personality, it was bit like watching myself on paper, and my own bestie in the story. (Errr minus a few certain details.) And talk about amazing yummy bad boys..Finny is this wonderfully broken boy that masquerades as a “bad” boy. He has such a broken past, that I couldn’t help sympathize with his upbringing. He does selfless thoughtful actions just for Hannah that I couldn’t help but smile like a fool.
Pacing is extremely slow especially when it comes to solving the mystery of the murders. I wanted it to move along with the wonderful character development but it was sorely lacking. It finally appeared at least around the 166th page, so yay! I didn’t mind for the wait because the relationship between Hannah and Finny, and Hannah’s friendship with Lillian surface to further distract me until then.
I think people who really are old souls, really wise beyond their years, would never need to praise themselves through other people’s words. They wouldn’t care about being old souls, because they’d be wise enough to know it didn’t matter.” (28)
..we’d be the girls you could never confuse with anyone else. The girls who invented the colors and started the trends and rolled our eyes at anyone who tried to copy us, because no matter how much effort they put in, they just couldn’t pull it off like we could. The girls everyone wanted to be, even if they denied it or pretended so hard that they didn’t.” (50)
I have this sudden idea that maybe sometimes people who are mean to you wind up on the other end of it more than you’d think.” (57)
Because the truth is that if everyone’s special all the time then really, no one’s special, so maybe all that’s left is just be perfect, because at least that’s something you can measure.” (70)
I wasn’t good enough to have what everybody else did.” (71)
It was a place to put the awful stuff. A box for everything about myself that I didn’t like.” (114)
But when I put on my lacy dresses and give the world a little shrug, at least I know exactly how I look. Bright, small, sparkly. I look perfect.” (135)
Act happy if you want, but know that it’s not going to make the shitty stuff better.” (135)
His tongue brushes the curve of my bottom lip, grazing the hollow underneath, and something leaps and fidgets in my chest.” (139)
That is a lot of boy.” (155)
I told him that maybe he’s free to act like a total dick any other time, but not to girls and little kids. Not when he’s with me.”—Finny (159)
Wishing for happiness. For someone to love her.” (168)
Kissing him is like the wildest, most thrilling thing that has ever happened to me. It’s like diving into the deep end over and over.” (188)