Review: Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book #14 for 2016
PopSugar Reading Challenge Category: A book that takes place during Summer

A big thank-you to Victoria Schwab for introducing me to Brenna Yovanoff when they did an event together at the local library. (Emily Hainsworth was also there, and I look forward to reading some of her books as well.) I don’t tend to seek out YA on my own, so I might otherwise never have heard of her. I enjoyed hearing her describe her writing process (“unhinged” — her word, not mine, I swear) and I’ve enjoyed her voice throughout this novel. I’d be very surprised if Yovanoff is not a Pretty Little Liars viewer, as some of the elements were reminiscent of the show, but she clearly has her own style and her own take on teen life.

I do wish something more had been done with the dying birds. It felt like there was an entire subplot there that got yanked out at the last minute. And parts of the resolution of the serial killer mystery (no, I won’t spoil it by saying what) seemed unrealistic, or at least oddly paced. But Yovanoff did a great job with the Hannah/Lillian relationship, the development of Finny’s role, Hannah’s personal growth, and the character of Hannah’s sister Ariel. Seriously, I want Ariel to get her own book.

I can see how some readers would not like how the story dealt with a lot of different issues. I liked the broad view of Hannah’s various troubles, though, and I thought Yovanoff captured the feel of teen stress very well. I would recommend this to any teen who likes mysteries, and I certainly plan to read more of Yovanoff’s work.

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