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Alluring Reads

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Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.Two murder mysteries in a row? Yes, please! After finishing up Kate Brian’s, Shadowlands, I immediately delved into Brenna Yovanoff’s world of Paper Valentine. Now of course having read the two in quick succession, I was constantly comparing them and what was so great about it was that they were both so damn good. In Paper Valentine the city of Ludlow is dealing with some crazy hot weather and living in fear because someone is killing little girls. We get this story through the eyes of Hannah, a young girl living in the city who is dealing with an overbearing mother and still coming to terms with the loss of her very best friend 6 months ago. She lives with her younger sister, Ariel, her mother and her mom’s boyfriend. Not only are these people filling up her home but Lillian, her dead best friend, is also haunting her. I loved the ghost aspect of this story. Yovanoff was a master at creating creepy visuals and every time Hannah would enter a room to find Lillian precariously perched on a shelf or her headboard I was treated to chills. Hannah & Lillian take it upon themselves to play super sleuth and connect the dots in the string of murders ravaging the city. I liked how throughout the story it felt like we had the inside scoop because Hannah worked in the shop where the crime scene photo’s were being developed though at the same time that felt a little far fetched to me. I don’t think the police would go to a little shop in a mini mall to have gruesome crime scene photo’s developed, but who knows, this was a very small town after all. As the girls dig deeper into what is happening in Ludlow things get downright creepy and the visuals presented definitely had me wanting to leave the light on. I have to say that was the star of the novel for me just the eerie tone that Yovanoff achieved and how it didn’t let up at any point in the novel.Of course there is some romance to be had here and it’s a pretty good play on the “good girl falls for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks” tale. I ended up liking Finny, and appreciated how, even though Hannah was falling for him, she still kept her wits about her. It also wasn’t too fast moving and felt like it had a very natural progression. Overall, Paper Valentine is host to a lot of issues; child abuse, eating disorders, depression among others but it doesn’t feel weighted down at all. Everything ties together pretty well in the end. While the wrap up and big reveal did feel a little ho-hum to me, and very rushed, it was something that I could look past because there was just so much going on with the characters and the development of them was phenomenal. This one plays with your head and gets you attached to the characters expertly, highly recommended!