Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Rating: 2 out of 5
Summary (From Back Cover)
Hannah's best friend, Lillian, starved herself to death six months ago, and Hannah's been haunted by her ever since. But now Lillian's ghost has an urgent task for Hannah - someone is killing girls in their suburban neighbourhood, and the victims want justice. Drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets, Hannah slowly pieces the clues together, starring with the child-like paper valentines the killer leaves on each body. But her investigations are bringing her into the Valentine Killer's orbit. How long before he strikes again?
Your first thought when putting down a book should never be, well I've read worse. Which is exactly how I felt when I finally finished this book. I was really disappointed with this book because I loved Yovanoff's first book The Replacement. It's a slow burner, that if I'm completely honest, I though I wasn't going to finish it for a while. It wasn't until the last 100 pages or so that it actually got interesting.
I think the main issue I had with this story was that the character's didn't seem real. The way Hannah's little click is described seemed a little farfetched and it was a struggle to imagine them... but maybe that's just because I'm British. Maybe girls dress and act like that in America? I don't know, but I think that no matter what, you should be able to imagine the character's in a book - even if you don't relate to them, they should at least seem real. Which unfortunately these did not.
The story itself takes way too long to get going. I wanted to know more about the killings, I needed to have something other than bitchy teenage girls to a plot line. It seems the the author wanted to set the scene and drop lots of little hints the we'd be able to pick up on later, but that doesn't work if we get so bored that we put the book down before we get to the end!
Redeeming aspect are few and far between but there are some. For instance I thought that the whole family dynamic was sweet, I could imagine Decker cooking pancakes for the two kids and Hannah. Also I really liked Finny's character. Maybe I just need a love story? Because until we really got to know a bit more about him - I wasn't really interested. I mean, I wasn't fangirling over him or anything, but having someone other than a winy teenage girl was a real boost to the story!
As far as the story goes, it had potential, it could have been really good and maybe it would have been more interesting if I was slightly younger? I wouldn't recommend this to anyone over the age of 16. I really wanted this book to be good, but unfortunately it just wasn't. It had it's moments but I struggled to make it to the end.