Monday, 2 June 2014

Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead
By Ava Dellaira
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 327
ISBN: 0374346674


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)
I was actually a bit disappointed with this book! I had heard such good things and there was so much hype around it that I went into this book with very high expectations. I liked this book, but it was really just okay, nothing I would rave about.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. I found it flowed nicely and had a good amount of detail. I liked how Laurel's back story became more and more unhidden as the book progressed and we were able to learn more about why she felt and acted the way she did. I also loved how the story was written out as letters to famous people who have passed, I liked how she not only incorporated her story into the letters but also talked about the lives of those individuals. I even learned some things about the people she wrote to, which I thought was really interesting.

Unfortunately, this is another one of those books where the characters just killed it for me. I wasn't a big fan of Laurel, or at least not of what she let herself become. I will never understand the high school students that are written who drink all the time, even during school days, who smoke and skip classes, I never seem to enjoy those characters because all I can think is what a waste that is. I found her friends added some interesting dynamic to the story, however once again, they were just okay characters. I did like Sky, I thought he had some sense. I understood his love and I liked how he dealt with Laurel and all her emotions. He was the only character that stood out to me as being truly interesting. 

There was too much negativity in this book for me, that being said, I can see why so many people loved it. This book dealt with a lot of deep and serious issues (depression, possible suicide, rape, abuse, sexual harassment, family struggles) so I would suggest you prepare yourself for these topics before reading. I think its important to discuss these issues because so many people go through these exact situations.

Overall, this was a good book, but its not at the top of my list! I would still recommend you give it a try if your curious about it!

Every time Sky tried to talk to Laurel....
3/5 Albi Cats

Check out my video review!



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