I’ll go ahead and admit that the sole reason I picked up this book was the cover. Gorgeous. And now that I’ve read it, you know what I love even more than the cover? Finny Boone. Oh my goodness, Finny. I’m such a total sucker for the strong, quiet, former bad boys of fiction, and Finny is swoon city—rough around the edges but kind when it matters. Even though we don't actually get to find out that much about him, I think he might possibly—possibly—be in the running to join Jonah Griggs, Sean Kendrick, and Owen Armstrong on my list of YA boys that I’m kinda totally in love with.
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.
But tearing myself away from the topic of Finny, the rest of the story was pretty dang good too. It was a bit darker than I was expecting for some reason—it turns out this book is a murder thriller full of serial killers and ghosts. Which, while it a bit unexpected, I kind of really adored since I went through this phase six or seven years ago when basically all I read were romantic suspense novels about murders and serial killers. So this book was a bit of a throwback for me, and I had a good time getting sucked in by all the suspense. Although I noticed I definitely get creeped out way more easily than I used to, because this book had me vaguely regretting reading it at night on a weekend my roommate was out of town.
While Finny was the character I loved the most, there were quite a few other characters that I liked. Hannah, the main character, has an awesome sense of style, which may seem like a shallow reason to like a character, but I definitely envied all her sundresses. But aside from her clothes, I liked watching Hannah’s slow discovery of who she is without her best friend, who died six months earlier. I also really enjoyed Hannah’s relationship with her little sister, Ariel, who is totally spunky and awesome in her own right. And an honorable mention goes out to Decker, their stepdad, who I wouldn’t have minded getting to spend more page time with, seeing as how he’s so dang cool.
Overall, if you’re in the mood for a mystery that’s on the more darker, suspenseful side, this could be the book for you. If nothing else, read it for the swooniness that is Finny Boone.
Rating: 4 / 5