Monday 11 August 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Published: April 1st 2014
Source: Won a copy via goodreads first reads program


It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.


I had heard a lot about this book prior to receiving it for review, there was a lot of hype about it, and everyone was super excited based on the synopsis, and this sometimes does not go so well for me, but this one was different, it lived up to the hype for me. 

There are a lot of different topics covered in this novel, from family to love to molestation and most importantly death. This is a lot for a teenager to handle, however, unfortunately, I think that some of these things are becoming all too familiar with some these days. 

We follow the diary like entries of Laurel, she was given an assignment in English class to write to someone famous whom is dead, and she chooses to take the assignment and run with it, and uses it to make almost diary entries to these famous people and gives them specific examples of why she is writing to them, and what it means to her. The author got it bang on here, and there were people that Laurel wrote to that I had no idea who they were, however, that did not take away from the reading experience at all as it is explained during the letter who that person is, and what bearing it has on her situation.

It doesn't take long to get through this book, however, it does not take away from the importance of it, I think that anyone going through their teenage years would for sure get something out of this. There are beautiful poems that are littered through this book, and I will for sure be picking up some books by the authors so that I can read more, and for that I thank the author for opening up my reading experience.

Laurel struggles with her parents divorce, and most importantly the loss of her older sister. This is something that I could never imagine (the loss of my older sister), and it is made worse by the fact that Laurel was there, and there is something that she is hiding from everyone that makes her feel like it is her fault. 

I think that the author did a great job with pacing, at first I found it a little slow, but then I realized that it had to be like that due to the way that she was playing out the story. If you are looking for a great contemporary, this one is for you, but keep in mind there are heavy topics covered, it is not a happily ever after book, which I appreciate as in these situations it definitely takes time to get through these things.

I give this book a 3.5/5, but on goodreads they don't do half stars, so I evened it out to a 4. If you have read this book I would love to hear from you, or even if you haven't, but are wanting to, I would still love to hear your thoughts!

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