Paper Valentine


I have wanted to read this book for a long time. I loved the cover art and the reviews on it said phenomenal things. Now that I’ve read the book, I am going to read a lot more of Brenna Yovanoff’s books.

We start of with Hannah. She has a secret that she can’t tell anyone. She can see the ghost of her friend, Lilian. Together, the two of them get roped into a chain of murders done by a Valentine Killer. Lillian becomes curious about the murders and wants to investigate them with Hannah. Hannah, being inquisitive herself, agrees to go with Lillian. When they are both waist deep in the mystery, ghosts start to come to Hannah, begging her to find out who the killer is that murdered them. With the help of Lilian, Hannah must find out who the killer is, before more people get hurt.

In retrospect, I didn’t really find anything wrong with this book. There are a couple things, but they are pretty minor. It is an excellent mystery book and a spooky horror story.

I love every character in this book. They are all unique in their own ways. Lillian is bold, but she is also one for creepy things. Finny is tough and rebellious, but he also has a soft side. The only characters who seem alike are Hannah’s friends. I can easily tell everyone else apart.

Now this is just my personal problem with the book. When I saw the cover, there were dead trees and a grey sky in the background. It looked like it was about to snow. Trusting the cover, I thought the story would take place in winter. I was horribly wrong. The story is actually taking place during a scolding hot summer. I feel that if it was winter, the book would give off more of a chilling vibe. I do get why it is based in the summer however. Hannah needs to be able to go out and do certain things, so if it’s summer she doesn’t have to worry about going to school. She can’t do that in the winter (unless it is Christmas break). It’s not really a problem, I just think that the book could have been even creepier in the winter.

This book is very eerie sometimes. You can never shake off this chilling feeling while you are reading. The whole murder mystery is thrilling and how they described the bodies is very detailed. The descriptions can easily make a person who doesn’t like dead bodies jump. What I love most about the book however, is the book jump scares. Later in the book, more ghosts come into the picture. Let me just say this, they died some gruesome deaths. The way Brenna describes them is horrifyingly good. I’m pretty good at handling gore, and even this freaked me out. It doesn’t help that the ghosts will pop up at anytime toward the end of the book. You will not be expecting it.

The mystery in this book is superlative. When I read the book, the only thing I could think about was Danganronpa. Danganronpa is a game where you have to solve murder mysteries in order to save your own life and other’s as well. Here is an article explaining it better. Though both are with some faults, they have an awesome mystery that will have you thinking very hard on who the murderer is.

The only thing bad about the mystery is the rushed end. Hannah only finds a couple clues before knowing who the culprit is. She doesn’t even investigate much. I get that it is purposefully rushed, but I still wish there was a bit more investigation. It is too short lived.

The plot twist is underwhelming at the end. It’s a cliché done in many books. You think you know who the culprit is, but then you find out it is someone else and you now have to find the other person that did it. I should know this cliché by now since every Danganronpa trial has it. I think the ending could have been a bit more creative, but in some ways, it is. Hannah is not totally wrong and, without spoiling anything, you might never guess who the culprit is.

Overall, I love this book. The Horror part is gruesome, the mystery is captivating, and the characters are all very lively and different. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a scare and a good chiller.

Just remember,

The glass looped across the rows of letters, spelling out P-A-P-E-R. Then, without pausing, it circled its way back to H-E-A-R-T.

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