Wed, April 23, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead book cover

Love Letters to the Dead book cover

Love Letters to the Dead
By Ava Dellaira
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 323 pages
Source: Publisher

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. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to 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 begin to discover her own path.

— Goodreads.com description

Love Letters to the Dead is the sort of book that hits you like a punch in the gut.

You’re off-kilter from the get-go, a bit woozy as you read…but wow does it make you feel something.

It’s a poetic and haunting story that made me feel its highs and lows so very sharply as Laurel shifted between euphoria and depression. It’s a difficult and uneasy read, for sure, but if you are in the right mood to accept and appreciate that, it is not to be missed.

The story structure! How beautiful. Each chapter is set up as a new letter from Laurel to a dead person, from Kurt Cobain to Judy Garland. It’s quite brilliant and ties in so well with the story.

I loved the depth of emotion this story conveyed, its complexity and, ultimately, its characters’ strengths. Highly recommended.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: abuse, angst, ava dellaira, death, depression, family, friendship, romance
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10 Comments

  1. DJ said:

    The more I hear about this book, the more I want to read it! It sounds like such a unique and compelling read. Glad you liked it!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Do it dooo it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, April 23, 2014

  2. Beth said:

    Ohhh, this sounds amazing!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    It IS! Especially when you are feeling melancholy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, April 23, 2014

  3. chelsea said:

    This looks so beautiful! What a brilliant idea for a novel!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Very unique, right?

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, April 23, 2014

  4. Kelly said:

    Love Letters is one of my favorites. I’m a little biased since the author is from/the book is set in my hometown, but gosh I loved it. I’m glad you did, too.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    So fun! Did she do any events for the book? Would be fun if you had the chance to meet her!

    [Reply]

    Kelly Reply:

    She did come back for a reading and signing, so I was able to meet her. She’s fabulous.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, April 23, 2014

  5. Alexa S. said:

    I really liked this one! The letters added an incredibly unique touch to a moving contemporary story.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, April 23, 2014

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