Love Letter's to the Dead Book Review :)

01 June 2014

 Release Date: April 1st 2014

Book: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Genre: YA
Source: Barnes and Noble

The Basics: 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. (from goodreads)

Rating: 4/5

My Musings:
    When I went to the LA book festival this past April I went to go see Stephen Chbosky in a panel. Chbosky was interviewing Ava over this new book. After Ava read the description and a few pages from the book I was hooked. I had to know how this story began and ended.  As the panel went on I couldn’t think of a reason to not buy this book. And so I did.
    The story is sad and dark, and it’s told though letters. I love this aspect of the book, I feel like it was a perfect way to tell Laurel’s story. She writes to Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, River Phoenix, John Keats (one of my favorite poets), and countless others. She relates to each one of the people she writes to. Whether it’s though shared pain, family problems, or even love and it’s through these letters that she begins to grow as a person and move forward and away from her grief. Each letter helps her understand her sister, May, better as well as the decisions she made, but most importantly she’s able to learn to see herself without May.
     I also loved the side story lines with her friends Hannah and Natalie. I loved how the author made Hannah and Natalie a couple. I really like this aspect of the story .The only thing I have to say about them is that it was heartbreaking to read but beautiful to see grow.
     I think Laurel put her sister up on a shiny pedestal where nothing and no one could touch her. I can relate because in a lot of ways that’s how I see my own older siblings. I just felt like she never let herself see her sister the way she was away from Laurel. May liked to party and she liked boys that were bad for her and she was terribly lost.  Laurel throughout the book refuses to acknowledge May as nothing short of perfect. While I understood Laurel’s P.O.V. I wished she could have accepted May’s faults sooner in the book.
     The writing style was short and concise with a magical metaphor here and there.  Laurel’s narrative was simple and straight forward. There was no reading between the lines or looking for multiple meaning because every word Laurel said was exactly what she meant.  Some people might find this to be annoying or boring, but I actually liked it because it was written the way a 15 year old girl would write things not some fancy author who knows how to use big words. The simple language helps Laurel be more real because she talks like one.
Ok now for the romance. *waggles eyebrows*. Alrighty then. I love Sky I do. I think he’s sweet, kind, and the type of boyfriend I would LOVE to have.  The only problem I had with the romance was the way it developed. At first it seemed like it would take the whole books for them to get together, but then things sped up and fell together sort of cheesiliy. But then again it’s high school, so some cheese is permitted. 
     I really enjoyed reading this book. I shed a few tears, laughed along with Laurel and fell in love with each of the characters. This book is definitely worth reading and fangirling over.  I promise you it’s a beautiful story 
Favorite Quotes: 

“I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be.” 

“And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It's knowing you could be the author instead.” 

“You can be noble and brave and beautiful and still find yourself falling.”

“If beauty is truth, and truth is beauty, they are defined by each other, so how do we know the meaning of either?” 

“You taught them that people love you for what they want to see in you, not for what you are.” 
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