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Paper Valentine Hardcover – January 8, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595145990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595145994
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Hannah Wagnor is haunted by the ghost of her dead best friend, Lillian. As the summer temperatures heat up, so does Hannah's love life. Hannah starts dating local bad boy Finny Boone, but something feels off about him. When girls start showing up dead, Hannah worries that the murderer might be Finny or someone he knows. Using her Quality Photo job to sneak a peek at the crime scene photos her boss develops, she discovers that each picture features a girl who has been hit over the head holding a paper valentine in her hand and kids' toys spread all around the murder scene. Hannah realizes that the deaths are somehow linked to an older murder of a classmate. With the help of the murdered girls' ghosts, she and Lillian try to solve the case, but the killer is closing in and doesn't want to be discovered. Can Hannah figure out who the murderer is before she becomes another victim? Caitlin Prennace's narration of Yovanoff's tale (Razorbill, 2013) is engaging. Although the characters could have been better developed, their personalities are brought to life through the narrator's unique voices and intonations. The plot has a few holes in it and the murderer lacks motive, but the narrator's smooth, expressive transitions will easily draw in listeners. Fans of mysteries peppered with romance will enjoy this audiobook.–Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Yovanoff (The Replacement, 2010, and The Space Between, 2011) returns with another tale barbed around the edges by the profane and the grotesque. It’s been six months since Hannah’s best friend, Lillian, died from an eating disorder, a fact Hannah can’t forget because Lillian is haunting her, rather languorously, sighing over Hannah’s clothing choices and criticizing her taste in boys. This edgy supernatural relationship intensifies with the arrival of the Valentine Killer, a child murderer who dresses up his or her victims with toys and paper valentines. Lillian is able to conjure the voice of one of the deceased, who supplies the girls with a clue, and soon the unlikely investigative duo is hunting down the criminal—who may or may not be Finny, the hunky delinquent who’s got Hannah feeling “squishy.” The killer-explains-all conclusion is pat, but everything else goes gangbusters, with Yovanoff’s patent-pending blend of weak-kneed ennui and crackling nastiness turning pages faster than ever. Thrills, romance, gore—what’s not to like? Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

I'm good at soccer, violent video games, and making very flaky pie pastry.

I'm bad at dancing, making decisions, and inspiring confidence as an authority figure. I suspect this is because I am short, and also terrible at sounding as though I have any idea what I'm talking about.

I was homeschooled until I was fifteen, which has probably affected my world view in ways I can't fathom.

Also, I really, really like parentheses. (Really.)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 61 customer reviews
Equal parts mystery and ghost story, Paper Valentine is a gripping, unexpected read.
Miss Print
Lillian is eventually able to admit to Hannah why she did what she did, and I loved seeing Lillian change over the course of the book just as much as Hannah did.
Ashley Ferguson
There was just a little too much "What is she wearing?", "Why is she hanging out with him?".

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on April 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
3.5 stars
What would you think if I told you to read Paper Valentine without reading synopsis? I bet you'd think romance immediately. That's what I thought, because of the pretty US cover and cute title, I went for it. Now imagine my surprise when it showed up on my doorstep as the Australian cover with this paper love heart, decorated with blood? I practically went all freakish as I always try to avoid ghost stories. Even though I seem to be reading all the ones being published this year.

Paper Valentine is a mixture of three main components: Contemporary, romance and most importantly, mystery thriller. Each of these aspects fit perfectly with each other, it's so obvious of how well Brenna Yovanoff can write. Even though the beginning wasn't exactly the best, as I read this dark and creepy book, Paper Valentine grew onto me. Expect this book to stun you with twists, cute romance and overall, a quite mysterious killer.

Hannah has been seeing her best friend after six months of her death- as a ghost. But that's the least of her worries, as there's a killer on the loose, murdering girls in Hannah's suburban area, leaving children's toys and paper valentine hearts on the dead corpses. As Hannah attempts to seek out the Valentine Killer, she becomes closer to danger herself.

'Ghosts are the kind of thing you go your whole life with everyone telling you they aren't real. I believe in them anyway, because the world is full of things that no one really understands. Mostly though, I believe in them because my best friend died six months ago and now she's with me all the time, materialising silently out of the shadows, creeping closer, reaching out.'

For me, Hannah was hard character to analyse and categorise. But one thing is for sure, this girl has depth.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AJ TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
PAPER VALENTINE by Brenna Yovanoff is a magnificently, hauntingly, wonderful book.

I first read Brenna Yovanoff in last year's THE SPACE BETWEEN. Her writing is arresting and-at times-uncomfortably immersive. It's as if Brenna cracks open her characters skulls and lets all the messy and heartbreaking parts spill onto the pages. In PAPER VALENTINE, that same raw and naked emotion drips across every scene. As in THE SPACE BETWEEN, we meet a character whose life has been battered by grief. Hannah had to watch her vibrant, glittery best friend wither away and die-only she never ended up leaving Hannah. Lillian is like a super pissed off Jiminy Cricket, constantly telling Hannah what to do and disparaging the choices she makes. It would be funny if their relationship-both before and after Lillian's death-wasn't so tragic.

No one knows that Hannah still sees Lillian, not her overly protective mother, her boisterous and outgoing little sister, or her trio of Heathers-like friends. Certainly not the criminally inclined Finny who tormented her as a child. In the months since Lillian's death, Hannah has tried to keep a smile on her face even as her friends become less friendly, Finny becomes more confusing and surprisingly tender, and girls start dying in gruesome ways.

There are so many achingly realistic relationships portrayed here. The most compelling is the relationship between Hannah and Lillian. It's laced with anger and bitterness and a love so strong that it defies even the grave. The relationship that creeps up between Finny and Hannah is just as powerful, just as alluring, but for different reasons. Finny isn't an obvious hero or love interest. But like all good characters, he's got layers upon layers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on February 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Hannah Wagnor is struggling to cope with the recent death of her best friend, Lillian, and the details surrounding it. There is also the fact that Lillian’s ghost now follows her everywhere. While trying to overcome her guilt at not being able to help Lillian when she was alive, Hannah is also trying to understand how to go on with life without her. In addition to Lillian’s ghost which haunts her are several other ghosts that start appearing and they are all victims of a recent serial killer in her small town.

This is actually the first story I’ve read of Brenna Yovanoff’s and I definitely enjoyed the story and her writing skills but Paper Valentine didn’t wow me as much as I’d anticipated. The storyline itself was a tale full of emotional resonance but the combination of the ‘coming-of-age’ tale of Hannah finding herself after the death of her best friend AND the serial killer taking out locals was a strange yet engaging mix that managed to work for the most part.

The narrative is told in the first person from the POV of Hannah from which we are able to see just how deeply rooted her depression is. Hannah is a compelling character yet I found many of her actions to be extremely unreasonable especially when it came to the expeditious love for the local bad boy, Finny Boone. Like the time Finny suggested they take a shortcut through the dark park? When there’s a serial killer on the loose? Or when Hannah leaves her younger sister home alone and her and Finny go off to swim in the lake? The overwrought lines regarding him were also treading on ridiculous:

"And then we’re looking at each other, and it’s a look that goes on and on, stretching across space and time. Across galaxies.
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