The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.
With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.
Paper Valentine is a hauntingly poetic tale of love and death by the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between.
In her chilling third novel, Yovanoff (The Space Between) combines supernatural horrors with others that are all too human. Hannah Wagnor is deeply depressed, unable to handle the recent death, by anorexia, of her best friend, Lillian. However, Lillian is still around: she s haunting Hannah on a daily basis at once a consolation and a burden still Hannah s friend, but making it impossible for Hannah to accept her death. It s one of the hottest summers on record, and everyone is on edge because of a recent murder in a town park. More murders follow, all girls, their bodies found surrounded by cheap toys and paper valentines, a creepy combination of innocence, tackiness, and gore. Pushed on by Lillian, Hannah becomes obsessed with the murders, while also falling deeper into her attraction to one of the local juvenile delinquents, the hulking, potentially dangerous Finny Boone. Against a grisly backdrop, Yovanoff gives keen insight into friendship, sisterhood, and the stresses involved in being a teenage girl, in a painful but satisfying story that shows off the author s gifts for writing dark contemporary fantasy. Ages 12 up.
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This is hands-down THE best book I’ve ever read. I checked this out from my school library, and for the first time in 17 years of living, I actually had to pay fines for the book being overdue. I couldn’t put the book down, but it was overdue from me reading the book again and again from start to finish. Brenna Yovanoff captures seemingly mundane details from the setting (as a whole and scene-specific) and makes them come to life, as well as important to the story. Even the actions of the minor characters make you feel like you’re there, and sometimes I caught myself thinking a certain thought that I’d speak to whoever said what, and eventually started to think like Hannah! The relationships between all the characters seem very real, and again, I felt like I was actually there. This book is an absolute must-read, and I’d recommend this book to anybody.
I'm blown away
Never have I read a book so simple and yet so incredibly breath taking. Brenna Yovanoff paints flawless images with her words, articulating emotions so smoothly you feel like you're in the book. As always, she was able to capture the essence of not just living, but surviving. This, like her other books, pulls you in to the reality of the world and leaves you feeling complete, but also a little empty because you've finished. This has to be one of the best books I've read, and I read more than most. Unbelievable!