Valentine’s month may be over but that didn’t stop me from picking up a new romance book: Brena Yovanoff’s new novel Paper Valentine. Before I had read the synopsis, Paper Valentine caught my attention because the title and book cover looked romantic. The cover also had a touch of Alice in Wonderland-esque art.
To be honest, it was hard to get through the book and took some warming up in the first few chapters. It was told in a melancholic tone that conveyed what Hannah felt about losing her best friend. Most of it centered on Hannah’s mundane life, and how she is haunted by her best friend’s ghost. Hannah and Lillian’s relationship is interesting —– unconventional, but it is obvious that they valued their friendship. They were so attached to each other that they grew up alike. In fact, at times I could not tell one girl from another. It is clear that Hannah loved — still loves — her very much and kept blaming herself for her best friend’s death. Anorexia is a big issue among women today and I am glad Yovanoff addressed it in the book, in a subtle way. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the coming-of-age part of the story but I like how Hannah’s personalities and relationships with her significant others are developed in the end.
As for the romance in the story (yes, there is romance!), it is a queer one: Finny Boone isn’t exactly the kind of guy you see as Hannah’s love interest. He is an integral part of the story, and a surprising character.