Sunday, August 25, 2013

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

"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."

I'll just say it: this book wasn't really the best one I've ever read. I'd give it maybe 3.5 stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't have a whole bunch of excess love for it either. Maybe it was just the transition from the exciting vivid 20's setting and fluid writing of last week's book, or maybe I wasn't able to appreciate the style it was going for, but the writing seemed to fall pretty flat. When it keeps referencing the heat but can only seem to ever muster the word "limp," and when I went the whole book not really having a sense of what Hannah looks like beyond her hair color and that she's "occasionally pretty," I tend to get a little bored. To give the author credit, there was quite a bit of introspection and dealing with issues and emotions, but it's kind of off-putting to realize that, two-thirds of the way through the book, I still couldn't picture Hannah at all. It just focused on the situations. These however, I'm happy to report, were mostly well-handled and very realistic--a trait that made the ending stronger but admittedly caused some chafing/awkwardness along the way. In a sweet way though, I guess. So, like I said: 3.5 stars. I wouldn't go around recommending this to everybody, but if you're looking for a book you can blaze through in about 4 hours you could really do worse. A resounding "meh."

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