Published April 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux|327 pages
Where I Got It: bought the hardcover
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
What I Thought:
I liked Love Letters so much more than I expected, but not as much as I hoped!
I love that the entire book is full of letters. I love that she writes to them, and that she has connections to each of the people she writes to. It very much felt like she was writing a letter to a true friend, and it really felt like she knew what they were going through. I love that she shares her life with them, and that we get to see how she’s dealing with everything.
As much as I loved the letters, I also felt like they were something I just stumbled across. I feel like it put some distance between me and Laurel, and I didn’t connect with her as much as I would have liked. I also didn’t really care about May, and I really wish I cared more about May. I think teenage-me would have LOVED this book, but as 28-year-old? Not so much. I was definitely expecting to be more emotional throughout the entire book, and not just at the end.
I will say that there is something about Laurel finally accepting what happened, and I really wish I felt that way during the entire book.
I did love seeing the friends that Laurel made, and seeing how much her friendships with them changed over the book. I also loved seeing her relationship with her dad and her Aunt Amy, and I really wanted to see more of her relationships with her dad and her aunt.
I didn’t really like her relationship with her mom, and while it seems like there are some issues there, they didn’t seem to be explored as much as they could have been. And part of me wants to have seen it, but at the same time, there are so many other things that Laurel is dealing with that it’s probably best it wasn’t really there.
Let’s Rate It:
I really liked seeing Laurel finally accept what happened with her sister May, and I love all of the letters, but at the same time, I felt a little distance from what was going on because of the letters. Love Letters To The Dead gets 4 stars.