Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Today I have a bit of a different post. I have a review of my favourite book of 2017. Yes, I just said that. And to go along with it I have a little guest post from the author; Brigid Kemmerer too!
3 words to describe…
By Brigid Kemmerer
Letters to the Lost: Emotional, Hopeful, Romantic
Declan: Dark, Loyal, Frustrated
Juliet: Grief-stricken, Lost, Thoughtful
Yourself: Kind, Motherly, Caffeinated
Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
If you’ve been following this blog a while that you might know that Brigid Kemmerer is one of my most favourite authors that I have discovered since I started blogging. I fell in love with her first series, Elementals and found that every single book just got so much better than the next. So when I found out that she was publishing another book and that it had gained rights in the UK, I could not wait to get my hands on it. And fortunately, Letters to the Lost has lived up to all of the expectations I put upon it. It was, quite literally, worth the wait and is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I would not say that it was Brigid’s best book but I think my heart is just too much in love with the Merrick brothers to let that happen.
There is one thing that Brigid Kemmerer does in her writing that always makes me envious of her talent because she always manages to make you fall hard for her characters. No matter who they are or what evil they do, she gets inside of their head so succinctly that you cannot help but understand and empathize with the characters, to the point that you just want to hug them and tell them that everything will be okay, even if it won’t be. This is something she has once again managed in Letters to the Lost. All of her books are essentially character focused, which are my favourite kind of books. This book is even more so. Essentially it is the story of two people and how their lives change once they start to intertwine. It is a book where two characters grow because of each other and it is absolutely wonderful to read.
Honestly, I am not entirely sure how she does it but somehow Brigid always makes me fall in love with the worst of her characters – probably because her characters are not actually bad but simply misunderstood. She lets their voices come alive and allows you to become well and truly attached. This is why Declan is my favourite character in Letters to the Lost. While both characters go on a journey that strengthens their character, I feel that Declan went on the biggest journey. He had a bad reputation, he acted like he didn’t care and he did not get along with his Step Father. He was stubborn, full of fury and seemed to believe the world hated him. But underneath all of that he was also caring, protective, gentle and incredibly clever. I felt that he went on the biggest transformation but also, he just managed to let all of his anger and fears melt, allowed the people in his life a chance to see him as he truly was and not how the world portrayed him.
I always try my hardest not to get too gushy in reviews as I know that sometimes it can feel a little biased and hard to make someone else want to pick up a book if all you’re screaming at them is “READ THIS BOOK, READ IT NOW.” But honestly, that is exactly how I feel about this book. It was an emotional roller-coaster (spoiler: as all Brigid’s books are), it touched my heart (spoiler: as all Brigid’s books do) and it made me think just a little differently about people and how they don’t always show who they truly are on the outside; how sometimes you have to probe a little further to find out what people are really like. But mostly I loved this book so much because it is an addictive, heart-wrenching and heart-warming book that I will happily re-read time and time again. So if you haven’t read this book, I urge you to do so. (Or well… any of Brigid’s books…)
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **