Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira
Source: Courtesy of Hot Key Books
It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through.
Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart ...it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.
But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.
When I was sent over the press release for Love Letters From The Dead to see if l would interested in reading it, I jumped at it. The blurb was intriguing, the cover dark and fitting, I was really looking forward to getting stuck in. Unfortunately I was disappointed by it. I didn't hate it, I just liked it. I got bored very easily and quite early on, and I felt the author lost her way a bit and found it hard not to be just writing a chapter, or diary entry, so put in random facts about the person the letter was addressed too. At first these facts worked well with what was being said in the letters by Laurel, they matched her mood so it was significant. Later on they sort of just got thrown in and made no sense to me. Don't get me wrong though this book is beautiful and I saw that I did, I also understood the concept and emotion it held. I thought Laurel was written brilliantly and loved the balance her character was given with the whole will she? won't she? crack, drama and the heartbreak, grief and love that was within her. It's just a shame I didn't love this book that I just liked it.
I recommend this to anyone wanting a new coming of age tale of drama and poetry , love and heartbreak, life and death.