Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff: Review

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Paper Valentine
by: Brenna Yovanoff

The summer after Lillian's death, Hannah is trying to figure out how it all fell apart. How Lillian could have died slowly in front of all of them, and why she is still haunting Hannah now. Lillian becomes even more persistent when a rash of murders in Ludlow point to a serial killer on the loose. As Hannah investigates, she comes to terms with Lillian's death, and her own struggles with her identity since her passing. And it all comes down to the Valentine Killer.

Paper Valentine begins with a bang. Lillian's entrance as a ghost and her impact on Hannah is just flat-out creepy. The description of the murder scenes and the feeling that the killer might be just around the corner adds to the suspense.

But, after a few chapters, I found myself a little bored. Serial killer novels involving a teen freelance detective can be very tough. I didn't really understand what Hannah's connection to this serial killer was. Lillian felt very compelled to solve their murders, but Hannah didn't know any of the victims, and there isn't any real brush with the killer that makes it feel like she's in any danger. I felt like the more compelling story was the one dealing with her friend dying of anorexia. Hannah feels grief-stricken and guilty because she watched her friend starve herself to death and she couldn't do anything about it. The serial-killer stuff really just took a backseat to the end.

So, the ending. There was a "don't go in the basement!" moment towards the end that really had me shaking my head. Like I said, it can be very tough in a young adult novel to write a thriller that doesn't involve some measure of going to the cops. And, I get that there has to be a certain suspension of belief. But, for this ending, it just didn't make sense that an adult was not told what was going on, and why Hannah felt like she had to do it on her own.

In the end, I liked a lot of the writing and a few of the subplots that were happening, but it wasn't quite cohesive enough for me to rave about it.

    

14 comments:

  1. You are into the "darker" books lately huh?

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  2. This one has intrigued me because the cover is gorgeous! But I'll admit I'm so easily creeped out that I don't know if I can do it! haha

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    1. You know, this one really wasn't all that creepy. In fact, I wanted more!

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  3. It's a shame this is ordinary. I love the cover! I have it on my kindle, I will probably read it at some point but not overly excited about it.

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    1. The cover is gorgeous! It was decent, I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to. Part of the problem may have been that I read another AMAZING serial killer book just before it.

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  4. Awe, I was really hoping to this would be sooo good. The creepier the better. Sorry it wasn't what you were looking for.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  5. I really didn't like her other book, The Replacement, but I've been seeing pretty good reviews about it so far. I don't read a lot of big mystery books, so I'll give this one a try. Thanks for the review, Emily! :)

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    1. I didn't read The Replacement either, though it is on my shelf. She definitely has potential as a writer, but it just wasn't quite there for me.

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  6. Sigh... I was hoping this one would have more positive feedback. I ...kinda? liked her 1st book? But was hoping this one would step it up. I don't think I will run out and get this one right away, though I kinda want the cover as a poster lol Thanks for the honest review!

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    1. I didn't read the first one, so I couldn't speak to that. But, you're right, the cover is beautiful! I wouldn't be totally adverse to trying another book by her.

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