Title: Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Summary from Razorbill via Amazon:
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?
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.
Brenna Yovanoff has done it again with yet another book I could not put down from the moment I put it up. Paper Valentine is also completely unlike The Replacement and The Space Between, her previous titles. Hannah and Lillian were very real to me. While Lillian was very hard to like at many points during the book, she was a sympathetic and fully-realized character.
I would have liked to have more character development for love interest Finny, but there was so much going on in this book already that it might have been ‘too much.’ He is a typical-for-Yovanoff intriguing and unusual love interest, so there is that. No cardboard cutouts or Cullen-alikes here.
The mystery did keep me guessing even though I am usually pretty good at figuring these out. I still am not sure what the birds dying had to do with the story but it definitely helped to add atmosphere to this spooky story. I can’t wait to read Yovanoff’s next book–she has been a ‘must read’ author since ‘The Replacement.’
Recommended for fans of horror as well as ghost stories and just good writing that slowly builds tension.
*I read this book via a complimentary e-copy from Netgalley.