Thank you to the publisher for
the finished copy
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.
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.
Overall, I highly recommend reading Paper Valentine for it will have you think about how you treat people in such an honest and true way.