Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: January 3, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

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. – Goodreads

This is the first novel I’ve ever read by Brenna, and I was really excited to finally get stuck into something she has written. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by Paper Valentine, as it didn’t live up to my expectations at all. This isn’t going to stop me from reading The Replacement, though! Nevertheless, I did have some issues with this book.

I was under the impression that Hannah, the main character, was going to be doing a lot more investigating regarding the murders than she actually did. I don’t think this book focussed enough on the murders, and far too much on the silly romance that I simply HATED.

The romance between Hannah and Finny (which sounds like a little boy’s name to me, by the way) was awful. I thought it was too rushed, since it came out of nowhere, and the two of them barely said a word to each other, even in the beginning when we are meant to see build up. One minute Hannah was running around staring at him (weird, btw) and the next he was cleaning a wound on her leg and kissing her. I didn’t like it at all. What connection could there possibly be when they haven’t spoken since he bullied her in primary school?!

I really liked the ghost storyline, although that too felt underdeveloped. We never found out why Lillian or the other ghosts were attracted to Hannah. I mean, I would have even liked a single sentence saying that she was simply more open to the paranormal or something, but there was nothing.

Another problem I had with Hannah – along with me having as much of a connection with her as Finny (lol) did – was that she didn’t stick up for herself enough. She allowed herself to be walked all over, and when she did try to talk back to her idiot friends, her comebacks weren’t even good. Hannah basically needed to learn to be a bitch back.

Some people have complained about the author trying to cover too much in one book, making it rushed and kind of all over the place. I do agree, and I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to an interesting murder mystery a la The Body Finder. Alas.

10 comments on “Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

  1. Braine TS January 2, 2013 12:03 am

    Oh cool they redid the cover? This is a pretty popular book, sad to read you didn’t like it as much.

    Happy New Year!

    Talk Supe

  2. Synchronized Reading January 2, 2013 1:16 am

    I’ve seen this book around, but it never caught my interest enough. The romance does sound a little instant and those can tend to annoy me. Glad you gave your honest opinion!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  3. Erin W. January 2, 2013 2:31 am

    I’ve been a fan of the author’s previous work, so I’ll still being reading this one. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it as much . . . but thanks for your honest review!

  4. Little Miss Becky January 2, 2013 4:54 am

    Aw, bummed. I was excited about this one—sorry to hear you were disappointed. I do still plan to read it, but thanks for letting us know what bothered you about it! Surprised because I’ve always heard such amazing things about this author, though I’ve never tried any of her books myself. Great honest review!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 4:58 pm

      I hope you end up enjoying it! I’ve heard that Brenna’s other books are great, so I’m looking forward to reading The Replacement at some point XD

  5. Braiden January 2, 2013 11:46 am

    What a shame that Brenna’s books are going downhill. Well, actually, I didn’t really enjoy The Replacement as much as I wanted to and I still have yet to read Smoulder/The Space Between. Maybe Brenna needs to write a series? Might fix things.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 5:01 pm

      The Space Between sounds great, so if I enjoy The Replacement I’ll definitely give that one a go.

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