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Monday, January 20, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #9: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 8 2013
Publishing House: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595145994
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Hannah's best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can it when Lillian's ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders linked only by a paper valentine? Hannah can hardly begin 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 to move o with her life - and it's up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Paper Valentine is magical. I've been a fan of Brenna Yovanoff's writing ever since The Replacement. When The Space Between came out it was no surprise that I bugged the staff of my local bookstore to please save me a copy. I was there every week and every week I asked if my copy had arrived. Yes. I'm annoying when I'm desperate.

The book is wonderfully atmospheric and I love it. It's got a delicious blend of mystery and thrills and romance and the complexities of friendship. Yovanoff manages to talk about anorexia in a way that isn't preachy at all and I love her for that. I do. To top it all up, Yovanoff has a great cast of characters who are so real it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them.

I loved Hannah as a narrator. She's got a whole lot of substance and depth and it's hard not to feel her grief and her devastation and guilt. She wonders if there's something more that she could have done for her best friend. Hannah isn't all rainbows and butterflies, she's sad and broken because that's what losing someone close to you does. But she's not mopey or whiny or whatnot, she's just sad. It's a sadness that's just there; hidden behind the smiles and the laughter and her attempt at normalcy, and its so incredibly real I just wanted to hug her. 

I'll admit Finny Boone took a while to get used to. I thought he was going to be your usual jerk that Hannah inevitably falls in love with but he's not. He's got the bad boy look down pat but he's quiet and he's actually nice despite what everyone thinks. I loved how he and Hannah just fit together, he's not perfect, he's got his own issues but they fit. I like how their relationship wasn't just all fireworks and kissing and while they do have those, they also bonded over long stretches of silence.

As for the murders going around town, it was something else being kept in this state of suspense. I kept trying to guess who the killer was but I couldn't so I ended up just hoping and praying that it wasn't going to be Finny. Anyone but Finny, please. I loved how Yovanoff managed to blend the murder-mystery aspect with Hannah's ghost problem and touch on other subjects while she's at it. And while there a few questions left unanswered, and some loose ends that still remained loose I was all in all satisfied. Very. Satisfied.

For those who are looking for a book that's wonderfully atmospheric with undeniably lyrical prose, check Paper Valentine out. On second though, check out ALL of Brenna Yovanoff's books, they are wonderful.


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

It's been so long since our last Novel Nails post hasn't it. Sorry guys but now it's back! And this week's feature is, obviously, Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff. I love this book. I want to hug it, and cuddle with it and sleep with it. Yeah, not creepy at all right? Right.

So anyway, for this feature of Novel Nails I attempted another free hand nail art - sorry I'm a bit rusty - that I hope you guys will like.

The cover's just too pretty. Too. Pretty.

So for the colors I used:
Red: China Glaze Salsa
Black: Orly Liquid Vinyl
White: White acrylic paint 
(it's unbearably hard trying to freehand with white nail polish)

To start it off, I love my thumb, I really do. It was inspired by the vines creeping up the girl's throat. It's going to be so hard for me when I finally have to erase it.

Here's the rest of the manicure, sorry, the focus seems to be on the middle finger which was actually quite a challenge to draw since it's tiny.

Do you see that girl in the center of that heart? I tried copying her onto the heart I drew on my middle finger's nail. I might have gone a little cross eyed for a bit. 

As you can see, two of my nails have snakes and they were inspired by this part of the book cover. Sorry about the blurriness. 

Here they are! All matchy-matchy with the book. I definitely need more practice.

So what do you guys think? Yes? No?

If you want more nail art pics, you can always check out my instagram @nicolereadsbooks. I'll be posting more book related manis soon. I have a whole lot of books lined up.  



  1. Okay, seriously Nicole? You put the ART in nail art. LOVE THIS! <3 And yet another rave on Paper Valentine that makes me want to read it asap. But I still have to buy a copy so I'll save it on my top-books-to-buy list. And it's a standalone which is always a plus!

    1. You shoooould! Check out all of Brenna Yovanoff's books! They're amazeballs. They're actually all four star ratings for me.

      And thank you! More nail art to come. :)

  2. Ooooh...I haven't come across this book, even in Goodreads. Although your review makes me want to buy a copy immediately. This seems like a really interesting underrated read so I might stop by my local bookstore and buy myself a copy!