Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the DeadTitle: Love Letters To The Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 
Publishing Date: April 1st 2014
Pages: 323
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC 


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.

I was so uber excited to get this book. Everything about it called to me. I was interested first for the cover, its so pretty, then the title, clever, and finally the act that it is written in letters. Sounds awesome... oh and of course the synopsis grabbed me. The book was good. I loved it. It was intense, emotional, and captivating. 

Laurel lost her sister May about 6 months ago. School is starting, and it will be her first day of a new high school. She goes to school, makes no friends, she is a misfit, she eats lunch alone. She has an english assignment, write a letter to someone who is dead.  Laurel decides to write to Kurt Cobain, he was her sisters favorite. The letters don't stop with that one. Laurel keeps going and writes about her decision to wear May's clothes, meeting new friends, crushing on a guy, everything that is happening to her. Laurel also decides to write about her past, her sisters death, family issues, secrets, she airs it all out in these letters. As she writes, she lives, she learns, she loves, she heals. 

Awesome read! This was a very tough read emotionally but well worth the heartache and tears. The main character, Laurel, went through a bunch of crap. From the very beginnning it was easy to feel her hurt, see her struggles, and are for her deeply. Everything that Laurel went through, it was amazing she was as sane as she was. She was a survivor and since her sister's death, she's had difficulty finding reasons to survive. She was living with tons of guilt over her sisters death but won't tell anyone what really happened that night. Slowly throughout the letters, the truth comes out and all I wanted to do was hug Laurel. She had so many deep emotions, hard emotions, emotions that can change a life drastically and she was doing her best to make it through everyday living with a broken family and a broken heart. 

Laurel wants to let someone in, just not all the way, or she doesn't know how. She had a fresh beginning at a new school and when she meets a group of misfits,everything changes. This book was full of wonderful supportive characters who all had stories and issues of their own. I had few issues with Hannah and her story at first but in the end she made more sense to me. I liked Kristen, she was a very intelligent and wise friend to Laurel. I also fell in love with Sky. He wasn't perfect by far but he was a great love interest for the story. He was screwed up a bit too, had some big issues going on at home, but he as a good guy, a great heart, and a pretty good head on his shoulders. I liked him a bunch. 

I really do believe the cast of misfit characters made the book, add it to the the story and of course a pinch of romance and its a great read. The romance was sweet and of course came with true healing powers. It wasn't the main focus of the story but it was a big part of Laurel's journey and I was truly wonderful! 

The story read was very quick, but packed full of goodness. Once I started I couldn't stop. I loved it all and hope to see  more from the author in the future. 

Addicting. Powerful. Beautiful. 

Ava Dellaira is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She believes this book began when she bought her second album ever—Nirvana’s In Utero—which she listened to on repeat while filling the pages of her journal. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California, where she works in the film industry and is writing her second novel.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Natalie and Hannah in this book... Laurel, not so much :( I wanted to like her really bad, but just couldn't. I might be the only one though... it seems like everyone but me loves this book!! I would read more by this author though because I thought the writing was pretty good and the idea was there for sure!! Great review!


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