This was a good paranormal suspense book. This book dug a lot deeper than the murders that were happening. It was really about a girl who needed to find herself and realize who she really is underneath all the bullshit of high school and life.
Throughout this book a killer is on the loose killing pr-teen and early teen girls. The girls are found mostly bludgeoned to death and surrounding them are cheap plastic toys that can be put into kids goodybags for a birthday. A paper valentine is also found with the bodies causing the media to call him the Valentine Killer.
In center of all this is the main character, Hannah. While I did like Hannah, she was weird. She liked to make her own clothes and embellish them with weird kids like things like fabric roses and charms. She has a hilarious little sister named Ariel who I really liked a lot. Oh and she can also see her dead best friend Lillian who is a ghost. Lillian died of anorexia about 6 months prior to the story. Hannah has had to navigate high school with out her best friend Lillian who basically told her what to do, what to wear and who defended her. Hannah followed Lillian everywhere and let Lillian fight her battles for her. Now Lillian is still around but Hannah can't talk to her in public because obviously people will think she is crazy.
While Lillian is kinda mean to Hannah sometimes, she is the best friend that Hannah ever had. These two have intense conversations about why Lillian starved herself to death and together they try to solve the murders.
Then there is Finny Boone. I really liked him. He is the token bad boy who steals, is in summer school, who wears jeans, wifebeaters, white t-shirts and who bleaches his hair with clorox. He has scars on his back and is missing his pinky finger on one of his hands. And he falls for Hannah, who reciprocates the feeling. On the outside Finny is tough and hard, but he really is a caring and gentle person and that's who he shows to Hannah. He cares for her when she falls and gets hurt. He walks her, Her little sister and her little sister's friend to Dairy Queen because Ariel wanted ice cram and Hannah's mom didn't want them to go out because of the killer. He tells her things about himself that he's never told anyone before. Hannah feels like herself around Finny and they complement each other so well. She really likes him and everyone in the book is telling her that she's crazy to be with him. Her friends are really mean calling him a retard and a delinquent to both Finny's and Hannah's face. Even Lillian always has something bad to say about Finny just because of how he looks. I loved it when Hannah stood up to her friends and defended Finny.
I really liked their romance because it was a realistic romance. There was no insta love and really no actual love between them. It was just a girl likes a guy, the guy likes her too and they spend time together to get to know each other. They go out, have fun and kiss. Its not about love but like and you can totally see that they will eventually come to love each other. There's no fast paced, freefall love that the author has to squeeze into the book. There were times in the book that Hannah even said that she didn't know what she had with Finny and what to call it. They never call each other boyfriend or girlfriend even though by the end of the book that was obviously what they were to each other. In other words, the romance was how high schoolers REALLY date. No epic love, just a regular old romance. And I loved every minute of it. Hats off to Yovanoff for this.
The murder mystery was interesting and you didn't know who the killer was until the very end. There were no clues to help you guess who it was until right before Hannah figured out who the murderer was. You had to figure things out with Hannah. This is not a book where you know all the clues and information that Hannah doesn't. You find out everything that Hannah finds out when she finds out.
Some parts of the book were creepy like the few seances in the book. Hannah goes a little crazy and starts to hear voices which are the voices of the murdered girls. The ending is great too because when Hannah confronts the killer, she still insults him (which may not have been a good idea), stands up for herself and was completely brave in the face of death. She also sees all the ghosts of the murdered girls who have come to haunt the killer. Its so creepy because she sees the ghost close in on him and she says to him "They're coming for you. The girls. They're coming." Its like a horror movie.
I know this review is kinda choppy but I am trying not to give anything away, only the basic information about the plot and characters. The book really is a good and entertaining read so I suggest for everyone to give it a try.
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews