This was another weird book that I totally loved. I wonder if that says something about me? Maybe, but I don't think it's a bad thing.
I'll see if I can describe the plot as simply as possible. Someone has been murdering girls. They are around 12-13 years old, and they are found surrounded by cheap toys and a paper heart. Hannah finds out the details by looking at the crime scene photos developed at her cousin's photo shop. She has been having a tough time already because her best friend, Lillian, died of an eating disorder just six months ago. She had been the Queen Bee of their group, the Regina George. Therefore, they were sad that she died, but they didn't always miss her. Nobody else knows that Lillian may be dead, but she isn't gone. Hannah's friend still haunts her, commenting on her life and urging her to solve the murders.
As the book goes on, we get more details. Hannah starts to think about how it didn't have to happen. How her friend killed herself while everyone else just watched.
"And maybe, when everyone is always competing to have the most ironic thing to say and wear the most unique outfit and be the most special, maybe it starts to feel like you don't have a choice. Because the truth is that if everyone's special all the time, then really, no one's special, so maybe all that's left is to be perfect, because at least that's something you can measure..."
Hannah gains a love interest in the form of Finny Boone. He's a tall, bleached-haired rebel without a cause. He steals off-brand Zippo lighters from convenience stores, but he also gets back Hannah's beloved Alice in Wonderland bracelet from a thug. I really loved Finny. It's unfortunate that he may be a suspect in the murders.
Eventually, Hannah is haunted by the dead girls as well as Lillian. The only way to put the ghosts at rest is to find their killer.
I just loved this book. I loved the mystery aspect. I loved the numerous descriptions of Hannah's adorable sundresses. I already said this, but I loved Finny Boone. I loved snarky Lillian the ghost.
I received my copy of Paper Valentine from Edelweiss and Netgalley, courtesy of Razorbill. It's available for purchase now.