Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

11:59 AM

Title: Love Letters to the Dead

Author: Ava Dellaira
Release date: April 1st 2014
Pages: 336
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
My rating: 3.5/ 5
Source: Bought


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.


Love Letters to the Dead was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was intrigued not only because of the story, but because of the way in which it was written.

It all starts off because Laurel, the main character, begins to write letters as part of an English assignment. Instead of writing to a deceased family member or friend, Laurel decides to address her letters to deceased celebrities. This really captured my attention since I was familiar with many of the ones mentioned. In fact, I actually admired a lot of the people to which she wrote the letters to and it reminded me of how many great losses the world has   had. Through these letters Laurel must find the way to cope and ultimately come to to terms with unfortunate events that happened in her past that led to the loss of her beloved sister May. While I did enjoy the writing and how the author decided to tell the story, I couldn't really connect with the main character. I sympathized with her but unfortunately, I could not empathize. I guess this wasn't that huge of an ordeal, but my not liking her voice was. I found Laurel to be a bit annoying at times. And yes, her situation was gravely sad and bitter, but she was so stuck in her naivety that I couldn't help but feel the smallest bit of indifference sometimes.

There is a romantic aspect in this book, which involves a male love interest named Sky. Sky is your typical dark and mysterious boy. Laurel, who keeps to herself and tries to stay out of everyone's way, would never imagine Sky ever having any feelings for her. And yet it happens. But it's a bit more complicated than that. I personally, really enjoyed Sky as a character (although I think this "dark and mysterious" thing could have been taken down a notch or two), what I didn't particularly like was how easily Laurel got attached to him. I think she was too blighted by that happenings of her past and what happened to her sister that she just could not let go of the anything that held a remote relation to May.

Now, the writing was actually  pretty fantastic. There were a lot of metaphors and thing s like that that really took made you see the sadness from a very moving and poignant view. And I really enjoyed that because it really made the story very emotive. Despite the few obvious issues I had with the book, I couldn't stop thinking about it for days because the truth is that when you take out those little flaws, you are left with a deeply haunting story.


  1. I've been wanting to read this book for so long, but I've never gotten the chance to read it. The cover is really amazing which is why I first wanted to read it, but the whole idea of writing letters to dead celebrities sounds really cool. The fact that you couldn't connect to the make character puts me off a bit. I guess I'll just have to wait until I read it, hopefully I like it. Great review! :)

    ~Cari @

  2. Thanks, Carina! I agree, the cover is GORGEOUS! Honestly, the whole concept is very much intriguing and it shaped the story really well. I personally could not connect to the main character, but then again, that's just me. You should definitely give it a try because it's a good book overall. I hope you end up loving it!

  3. Been wanting to read the book since last year, I just couldn't find a copy at a local bookstore. Glad to find out you like the way it was written, I couldn't wait to read it myself. Great review, by the way! (And I love your theme very much haha)

    Nessa @ Nessa's World

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