(side note... I really love this Tim Burton type of cover)
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff is a dark tale set in the hazy summer heat. Hannah is the main character and also the narrator. It has been 6 months since Hannah’s best friend died. The opening chapter involves the broadcasting of a recent murder in the park next to Hannah’s house. Also, Hannah’s friend Lillian, who died, is haunting her. There is also this boy Finny that has Hannah in a twist. While the story telling is simple, that of good friend relating a tale of their teenage years, it is also complex and not easy to piece everything together. This writing reminds me of the author’s blog; however, the blogs are less dramatic. One minute you get a story based on what is happening presently, and that story gives you a clue to the bigger picture.
Lillian is the best friend/ghost. What can I say Lillian is a bully; she is also girl that battled with obsession, control and anorexia. Her constant mission in this story is to challenge Hannah into a reaction. At first she almost seems like an unworthy friend, but as the story comes to a close one can see her true nature.
Finny is a scary kid. You know the ones that never go to class, are huge in comparison to the football team, and are you know… scary. All of this does not deter Hannah from crushing on him, hard. Even with his scary persona, there are many kind moments shared between the two, and even with Finny and Ariel, Hannah’s little sister.
The story opens up with a murder, but soon the number grows and connections to a past murder are eluded. They are young girls between the ages of 13-16. It is ritualistic and sadistic. I think this is the best part of the story because it is very difficult to figure out who is behind these murders and why. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed about how it unfolds.
A really good story. Simple but overly dramatic. 4 out 5 stars.