I did it! I'm so very proud of myself. I read one of my books on my Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debuts 2013 and Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want to Read in 2013 lists.
And now, now I'm going to review it.
Why I do book reviews, I really have no idea. They aren't really anything in-depth. If I was an outsider reading it, I'm not sure it would sway me one way or the other to read the actual book... but here I go anyway.
So, Paper Valentine. I had pretty high hopes for it. It promised super natural elements (Hannah the main character is being haunted by her dead best friend), romance, and suspense (someone is going around killing girls - of course our narrator is going to get mixed up in it).
Buuuut, I found this book oddly disappointing. The little blurb on the book jacket made it sound so fun. There was even an intense heat wave and some weird disease going around killing birds -- that could totally be awesome if it lead back into the overall plot. But it didn't. So, I feel like I was set up to be disappointed. I mean, why put that in the hook if it really doesn't relate back to the plot at all? Sure, it sets the scene. But it's not like the weather is influencing the killer.
And then there's Hannah's best friend that's a ghost. I mean, it was weird, and the relationship that the two of them had (when Lillian was alive) was pretty complicated, but Lillian's death doesn't really relate back to the killer at all. (Not much of a spoiler - you find out pretty early on what happened to her). And, I don't know, that just rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, the way that she died, and her death, are important to the development of Hannah's character, but not the driving force behind her growth. Again, I felt like I was set up a bit.
What I did really like about this book though was how it was written. The main reason that I kept reading it was to observe the character dynamics (they are very similar to the ones I'm trying to produce in my thesis/novel) and just the flow of her writing. It was pretty amazing, in describing lover boy Finny Boone's hair we get a memory of the day he first died it that also correspondes with a big moment in Hannah's life. Also, in this memory, we get character insight into more than one main character. So, I found the way that she interwove her backstory and details and whatnot all together pretty fascinating.
Also, she did a really great job of incorporating all the senses in her scenes. Another thing that I'm trying to work on - thus I noticed it. She did it so well, that I think, only if you were looking for it, you would notice that in some cases she weaves all 5 senses onto one page without throwing it in your face.
So... yes, that was a bit better than I've given before... I think. Anyway, I don't think I would recommend this book. I mean, the aspects that I enjoyed in it were all craft related and mostly things I wanted to do better that she did well. If I hadn't been looking for those things and found them in this book, I would've returned it to the library before I finished it. Just saying.
However, this is all a matter of personal taste. Lot's of people on GoodReads loved it - so you can check out reviews there, but this wasn't a favorite of mine. You win some, you loose some.
BUT! Please, if you've read the book and disagree or agree let me know. Or, you know, other thoughts are welcome. Leave a comment and if you hit me up with a link to you're blog I'll try and comment back.