Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Reads: Paper Valentine

This year I'm going to TRY to do a Friday Reads post every week. Note the emphasis on TRY. This is because sometimes I'm so busy, one book stretches from Friday to Friday.* There will be an abundance of YA titles, because my "work" reading has overtaken my "grown-up" reading. I have almost stopped reading anything but YA and MG titles, because those are what I need to recommend to others at work. I regret nothing. I tend to prefer YA over most adult books. YA has better fantasy.

You will probably get a bit of a lecture in literature while I'm at it. I'm sorry in advance. I really can't help myself.

As always, if you're interested in chiming in, head to the comments!

This Friday, I'm reading Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff. This is a new book at the library, though hardly a new release. I originally picked it up just to skim a bit. But then I couldn't put it down.

The reason for this is the characters, most specifically those of Hannah and Lillian. I am drawn to their rather non-traditional conversations (Lillian is a ghost), and while I read, I'm pondering whether Lillian is a ghost or a manifestation of Hannah's grief. I really love magical realism, which is a literary technique, developed in Latin America, in which the unreal coexists with the real in a plausible way, so the reader must suspend disbelief as the story progresses. Some great examples of magical realism include The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (who is a master of magical realism--this is just my favorite of her novels, even though that's sort of a cliche. I don't care. I love that book),Gabriel García Márquez's books,and Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (a great YA title). You can also look up the paintings of Frida Kahlo as an example of how magical realism looks on canvas.

Here's the publisher's description:
The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. 
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying 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 move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.
If you're interested, you can snatch this up at your favorite indie bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or (of course) at your local library!

* I blame exercise--it cuts down on the reading time. It does, however, guarantee that I'll be able to breathe while I read without asthma knocking me down dead, so I'm okay with that.

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