NICOLE'S REVIEW: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine is magical. I've been a fan of Brenna Yovanoff's writing ever since The Replacement. When The Space Between came out it was no surprise that I bugged the staff of my local bookstore to please save me a copy. I was there every week and every week I asked if my copy had arrived. Yes. I'm annoying when I'm desperate.

The book is wonderfully atmospheric and I love it. It's got a delicious blend of mystery and thrills and romance and the complexities of friendship. Yovanoff manages to talk about anorexia in a way that isn't preachy at all and I love her for that. I do. To top it all up, Yovanoff has a great cast of characters who are so real it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them.

I loved Hannah as a narrator. She's got a whole lot of substance and depth and it's hard not to feel her grief and her devastation and guilt. She wonders if there's something more that she could have done. Hannah isn't all rainbows and butterflies, she's sad and broken because that's what losing someone close to you does. But she's not mopey or whiny or whatnot, she's just sad. It's a sadness that's just there; hidden behind the smiles and the laughter and her attempt at normalcy, and its so incredibly real I just wanted to hug her. 

I'll admit Finny Boone took a while to get used to. I thought he was going to be your usual jerk that Hannah inevitably falls in love with but he's not. He's got the bad boy look down pat but he's quiet and he's actually nice despite what everyone thinks. I loved how he and Hannah just fit together, he's not perfect, he's got his own issues but they fit. I like how their relationship wasn't just all fireworks and kissing and while they do have those, they also bonded over long stretches of silence.

As for the murders going around town, it was something else being kept in this state of suspense. I kept trying to guess who the killer was but I couldn't so I ended up just hoping and praying that it wasn't going to be Finny. Anyone but Finny, please. I loved how Yovanoff managed to blend the murder-mystery aspect with Hannah's ghost problem and touch on other subjects while she's at it. And while there a few questions left unanswered, and some loose ends that still remained loose I was all in all satisfied. Very. Satisfied.

For those who are looking for a book that's wonderfully atmospheric with undeniably lyrical prose, check Paper Valentine out. On second though, check out ALL of Brenna Yovanoff's books, they are wonderful.