Paper Valentine – not as cute as the title suggests


Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

I read a paperback

Bought for myself

Published Jan 2013 by Simon & Schuster

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 realises 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.


What a surprising read! I love it when books are unexpectedly good. This is the second book I’ve read by Brenna Yovanoff and there is such an addicting, unique quality to her writing, I find her style so unique and she is now officially an autobuy author for me! It’s my mission to read the rest of her books.

Paper Valentine is a murder mystery/ paranormal mash up where the main character Hannah is haunted by her dead best friend, Lillian, and together they begin to get caught up in the current murders that are happening to young girls in their community.

Freaky alert. This book gave me the creeps at times. Be prepared to get a little scared as there are ghost flashes, graphic murder scenes and disturbing things all round. Though disturbing seems to be Brenna Yovanoff’s forte and she does it very well.

This had some tropes that in a normal circumstance, I would not like such as bitchy popular girl group, toxic relationships, the bad boy that is actually good and a hint of insta love. Maybe I was in the right mood, but these things did not bother me so much. The bitchy girl groups was surprisingly dynamic and the insta love was reminiscent of high school first love. I found it to be more cute than annoying.

There was also the issue of anorexia is this book. Dead bestie Lillian succumbed to anorexia and I liked Yovanoff’s portrayal of the illness. This does not happen often, as I find most portrayals to be highly unrealistic and not at all what dealing with anorexia is actually like. The complexity is shown really well through Lillian’s multiple discussions with Hannah and it made total sense to me.

Overall I loved this book and I think it deserves a solid 4.5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good young adult murder mystery.

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