Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff.

16137923304 pages

Published January 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK

Hannah’s best friend Lillian may have starved herself to death six months ago, but she never really left. Since her passing, she has been ‘haunting’ Hannah. But when preadolescent girls start getting murdered in their town during a stifling summer, Lillian and Hannah are determined to figure out who the killer is. Hannah has access to the police photos because she works at the photoshop where they are developed, so she knows a thing or two about the crime scenes, like the fact that the killer likes to leave behind homemade paper hearts. All the while, they are oblivious to the fact that Hannah is hurtling headlong into some serious danger.

Paper Valentine is a gritty, compelling and well written novel. Brenna Yovanoff comes up with this creepy imagery that is perfect for  a book about a serial killer. When she pressed against me, her bones felt sharp and spidery, like they might crawl inside me (*shiver*). The atmosphere of the entire novel is fantastic – it’s almost claustrophobic with it’s descriptions of the relentless summer heat wave and the growing feeling that the killer is getting closer and closer.

I absolutely love Hannah. I can’t put my finger on any specific reason why, but I just love her. She’s always wearing these crazy clothes, and she’s strong but sort of fragile and vulnerable at the same time.

There isn’t much focus on questioning why Lillian is a ghost or how she can move on. The ghost thing is just an undeniable fact about Hannah’s life. Paper Valentine is more about the murders.

Hannah is also starting to spend some time with Finny Boone – he was a ‘bad kid’ when they were younger, but now is a bad boy mostly just by reputation. She really likes him, but her friends and family are unsure about him because he’s massive and has bleached hair, a bad rap and only nine fingers. People treat him unjustly because of how he used to be. I’ve always hated seeing people get treated unfairly just because they’ve been ‘bad’ in the past, so obviously my heart went right out to this guy.

If you enjoyed The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting, or Slide by Jill Hathaway, then you’ll like this. Personally, I like this one the best.

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