Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine

4.2 26
by Brenna Yovanoff
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Paper Valentine is a hauntingly poetic tale of love and death by the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her chilling third novel, Yovanoff (The Space Between) combines supernatural horrors with others that are all too human. Hannah Wagnor is deeply depressed, unable to handle the recent death, by anorexia, of her best friend, Lillian. However, Lillian is still around: she’s haunting Hannah on a daily basis—at once a consolation and a burden—still Hannah’s friend, but making it impossible for Hannah to accept her death. It’s one of the hottest summers on record, and everyone is on edge because of a recent murder in a town park. More murders follow, all girls, their bodies found surrounded by cheap toys and paper valentines, a creepy combination of innocence, tackiness, and gore. Pushed on by Lillian, Hannah becomes obsessed with the murders, while also falling deeper into her attraction to one of the local juvenile delinquents, the hulking, potentially dangerous Finny Boone. Against a grisly backdrop, Yovanoff gives keen insight into friendship, sisterhood, and the stresses involved in being a teenage girl, in a painful but satisfying story that shows off the author’s gifts for writing dark contemporary fantasy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
An NPR Best Book of 2013

A Boston Globe Best Book for Young Adults of 2013

A YALSA Best Book for Young Readers of 2014

A 2014 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers

A 2014 Booklist Pick for Best Fiction for Young Readers
 

VOYA - Elaine Gass Hirsch
Hannah is spending an unbearably hot summer as many suburban teenagers do: she is working part-time, watching her younger sister while her mom and stepdad are at work, hanging out with friends, and thinking about a particular enigmatic someone. All she wants is for life to stabilize after the slow death of her best friend, Lillian, six months ago, who starved from anorexia. It is challenging, however, with Lillian's ghost haunting Hannah as she goes about her day and a serial killer on the loose preying on the city's pubescent girls and leaving handcrafted Valentines near their dead bodies. This is the third contemporary, dark fantasy from speculative fiction author Yovanoff, who is establishing herself as an author of note in this genre. Her first book, The Replacement (Razorbill, 2012/Voya December 2010), was a New York Times best seller, and her novels feature mesmerizing cover art to attract readers' attention. Although the second half of the book is less engrossing than the beginning, with its interesting premise and modern detail, it is a satisfying story that will appeal to those with a taste for the eerie and off-beat. Reviewer: Elaine Gass Hirsch
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
A simple handmade paper valentine terrifies a community enough that they keep their children especially teenaged young girls from venturing out into the park at night. Our heroine, Hannah must solve the murders of several girls and come to grips with the death of her best friend, Lilly, before her own sister becomes a statistic. This gripping book takes a hard look at the chemistry of high school students and what makes someone so twisted that they cannot feel remorse even before the age of eighteen. The action pushes the story and sometimes I lost track of what is happening. For instance, the time of year feels confusing because Ariel is still taking classes whereas it seems that Hannah is out for the summer or maybe not. The plot and characters even Lily inspire the reader to keep turning the papers because they want to know what happens next while the unexpected twist at the end stops the reader cold. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The sleepy, small-town community Hannah Wagnor grew up in used to feel safe, but now, during a record-breaking July heat wave, a serial killer is targeting young girls. Depressed since her friend Lillian's death six months earlier, the 16-year-old goes through the motions of daily life, with Lillian's ghost a constant presence at her side. As more bodies are discovered, Hannah begins to see more ghosts-those of the murdered girls. Investigating the deaths, she begins to wonder how much she really knows about Finny Boone, the cute bad boy she's known forever but is only just beginning to understand. Hannah's depression is believable, and teens dealing with a recent loss will identify with her; however, the overambitious story bounces from guilt, depression, and eating disorders to child abuse, foster families, serial murder, dead birds, mean girls, petty crime, and ghosts. Paper Valentine takes on so many issues that character and plot remain underdeveloped. The murderer, once revealed, seems random and lacks real motive, and his ultimate confession to Hannah smacks of a Scooby-Doo moment. Following clues to discover who did it is far more important than insight into the psychology of a murderer or the fate of the ghosts in the end. Though it is engrossing at times, Paper Valentine leaves too many loose ends, too many questions unanswered.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595145994
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
195,592
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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From the Publisher
An NPR Best Book of 2013

A Boston Globe Best Book for Young Adults of 2013

A YALSA Best Book for Young Readers of 2014

A 2014 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers

A 2014 Booklist Pick for Best Fiction for Young Readers
 

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