I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Macmillan on 2013-12-17
Genres: Death & Dying, Siblings, Young Adult
Download the first five chapters of LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira.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 did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. This luminous debut novel has garnered exhuberant pre-publication praise from Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Gayle Forman, and Lauren Myracle, and foreign rights have sold to six countries.
A few months ago I found Love Letters to the Dead on Netgalley and I was intrigued – I was in 6th grade when Kurt Cobain died, and I remember the emotions that I went through as a young girl so well. (My first “real” celebrity death of someone I followed!) So I was anxious to see how this one would pan out – the idea of writing letters as a therapeutic outlet is also one I love.
I loved this story. I love the narration, being told through letters. There is something so private, so vulnerable about that viewpoint that I just can’t help but love. And Laurels pain is so real, so heartbreaking, I can’t help but relate to her on such a deep level.
Reading this book brought up so many emotions that I hadn’t felt in a long time. The feeling of losing my friend in 7th grade (he was killed in an accident with a gun – pre school shooting days) and a million other teenaged horrors made my heart just break for Laurel. This book was definitely sad, complete with ugly tears. But I couldn’t help but love it, and found it therapeutic myself.
If you’re anything like me and enjoy those sad reads? Then Love Letters to the Dead is definitely for you!