Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

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Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: An atmospheric read that's not haunting because of the ghosts, but because of the brilliantly portrayed effects of anorexia on both the sufferer and their friends and family. A really enjoyable read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857078148

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Hannah's best friend Lillian starved herself to death six months ago. And now she's haunting her. Hannah wants life to resume as normal, but even if she wasn't constantly in the presence of Lillian's ghost, that wouldn't be possible. How can she carry on when her best friend is dead? To add to her problems, girls in her hometown are dying, beaten brutally then arranged in a ritualistic sort of way. Soon Hannah's being haunted by more than just Lillian, each vision more ghastly than the last.

In between all this, there's Finny Boone, juvenile delinquent and occasionally caring friend, who Hannah really needs to stop daydreaming about...

I read this while alone in an unfamiliar hotel room, and I'm not ashamed to admit it creeped me out a little. There's some very atmospheric description and detail, starting with the heatwave being experienced by the town, added to by the birds dying of avian flu. None of these things particularly move the story forward, but as staging they're pitch perfect.

The mystery of who's killing the girls is also only really dressing for the true story at the heart of the novel - the relationship between Hannah and Lillian and how they both come to terms with her death. To say that sounds derogatory towards the mystery, which is not entirely fair. It was an interesting mystery, and Hannah's creeping doubt that love interest Finny might have something to do with it added nice flavour to their relationship development.

The question of 'whodunnit?' is fairly easy to figure out, with a limited cast of characters and a number of clues if you're paying attention, but as I said, it's really not the main story. The two main girls and the psychology of their relationship are so very real, and at times heartbreaking.

Overall, an atmospheric read that's not haunting because of the ghosts, but because of the brilliantly portrayed effects of anorexia on both the sufferer and their friends and family. A really enjoyable read.

Fans of the creepy might enjoy The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Buy Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff at Amazon.com.


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