“Paper Valentine” Book Review

This book has many elements that work together to make a highly interesting story.

Amazon.com

This book has many elements that work together to make a highly interesting story.

Jesten Richardson, Staff Reporter

I was expecting great things from “Paper Valentine” for the simple fact that Brenna Yovanoff was the author. I have read her books before, and I am always impressed by her ability to find the perfect balance between romance and supernatural elements. I considered going the cookie-cutter, xoxo route, since this is the Valentine’s Day issue, but I knew that Yovanoff would do a great job, and it seemed like such a waste not to draw attention to her work. Though this book certainly does not fit into the light, fluttery side of Valentine’s Day, it has a realistic romance with a sweetness all its own and a sense of mystery that keeps your heart racing even when the romance is absent. And, who can look past the sheer perfection of the cover and the name?
Let me stop my rambling and get us started with a description of the book. “Paper Valentine” is the story of a high school girl named Hannah whom has been mourning the loss of her best friend for the past six months. Hannah seems okay with her spunky, colorful personality and her bright clothes, but she is clearly not okay. Even if she were ready to move on, Hannah is haunted by the ghost of the best friend, Lillian, which would already be terrible, but it is made worse by the fact that Lillian acts like things haven’t changed. Lillian’s presence is really making life hard for Hannah, but it is the least of her worries before long. Young girls are dying left and right in Hannah’s small town, and the reoccurring patterns paired with the calling card make it clear that a murderer is on the loose. No young girl is safe, and Hannah is in extra trouble when she starts to think more frequently about a troubled boy that could just be the killer.
It sounds like a lot to have in one book, I know, but it somehow works. There was not a single point that I had to stop while reading the book and rant about the fact that too many elements were present. There was a remarkable blend of fantasy, reality, love and horror. If you are anything like me, you will devour this story and revel in the fact that it is insanely complicated and that it seems insanely real. From the girl just trying to find out who she is without her best friend, to the boy that is more than he seems, to the friend that just didn’t know when to stop, there is a character that could fit into anyone’s life and heart. If you are a person that reads for the characters, this is definitely the book for you, and if you aren’t, there is sure to be an aspect of the story — mysterious murders, unique romance, supernatural craziness– that you cannot help but enjoy.