Happy Saturday, bibliophiles! I hope you’re all enjoying a lovely weekend discovering new worlds and new characters! I’ve been working on a few exciting projects that I plan to tell you about soon, but for now, I wanted to bring you my latest book review! Love Letters to the Dead is the debut novel from Ava Dellaira. I had noticed this book on a few of my B&N runs, but I finally decided to grab a copy on a binge haul. This was an interesting take on trying to deal with loss. I admit, I was drawn to the stunning cover, but the story was intriguing as well.
Laurel has just lost her older sister, May, for reasons unknown to us, and relocated to another school. The unexpected passing of her much adored sibling left her family in tatters, and she’s just trying to cope and find her way again. When her English teacher gives the students a project to write a letter to a dead person to turn in at the end of the class period, Laurel discovers an outlet for her thoughts.
Amelia Earhart, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Elizabeth Bishop, Heath Ledger, Alan Young, and a few others appear as recipients for Laurel’s story. Through her letters, she is not only able to connect with the deceased and put her soul down on paper, but she’s also able to come to terms with the night her sister left, and feelings she wasn’t ready to handle.
While this is sold as a YA read, and readers get all the happenings of high school drama, we also understand how everyone deals differently with death. We meet friends of Laurel’s and witness her day-to-day as she moves on, but we get the bigger story and her innermost thoughts, which, for me, was the focus of the story.
I adored this story. I’ve dealt with a tremendous amount of loss in my own life (unfortunately), so I was able to relate to Laurel quite a bit. The writing was stunning and read a little like poetry, so even though I was reading about death, there was something naturally beautiful woven into the pages as well.
Anyone who has not only had to cope with loss, but unexpected loss, should go pick up this book. It also looks like Ava is working on the screenplay for the movie adaptation, so we’ll be seeing more of Laurel in the future!