LGBT Book Review; Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
16 April, 2014
Author: Ava Dellaira Publisher: Hot Key Books Published: May 1st Pages: 327 Format: Paperback Source:: Review Copy Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US
Summary: 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. A lyrical, haunting and stunning debut from the protégé of Stephen Chbosky (THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER).
As soon as I heard about Love Letters to the Dead, I knew that it was a book that I really wanted to read. I was certain that I was going to love it. Fortunately I am here to tell you that I did! This book took a strong hold of me and simply refused to leave me alone. But I am grateful for that as this was a powerful story that I just truly loved and adored and would happily read again and again! All I can hope now is that this review will do this magnificent book justice!
Grief is hard. It is something that comes in many forms and everyone deals with it in their own way. When Laurel’s sister dies, she struggles to talk about what happened. No longer able to face her old friends, or anyone that knew May, she decides to go to a different high school from them all. As she starts to make new friends and adventures, she also starts to grow as a person, learning how best to deal with the grief that still plagues her. The plotline to this story was amazing. Every detail was thought out, all emotions felt real, and all characters had their own individual journeys. It was compelling, intense and highly emotional. It was hard not to just love where this book took you.
Laurel is a truly complex character with a lot of things bumbling about in her head. She is also relatable which made this story so much more enjoyable for me. This book has been mentioned as being similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower but what makes this book better is Laurel. She is a wonderful character that I understood and whose thoughts really explained everything perfectly. Hannah and Natalie are both fantastic characters as well who feel so realistic and amazing. I loved both of them equally for different reasons – I just want to be their friends! Skye is also worth mentioning. I think he has a really interesting part in the story but he’s also really kind, sweet, and just protective. Not to mention he also has issues but they just make him seem more human in the long run!
The writing style of this book was brilliant! The story, as hinted in the title, was set up between letters to different dead people and it just really worked. All that happened was connected in different ways to the person she wrote to and it just made that story really powerful and easy to read. This style also made it more emotional and sensational as you were really getting all of her thoughts and feelings, she wasn’t just telling anybody. I definitely really liked that about this story but I also believe a lot of what I liked about it came from the author’s voice as well and so I know that I will be keeping an eye out for more from her. I’ll especially be looking to see if they blow me away like this one did!
All in all, this was a book that I simply fell in love with. It was compelling and magical, dark and deep, exploring so many issues in sensitive ways. I adored the writing style, fell for all the characters, and simply did not want the book to end! It was a marvellous book that I will be really recommending from now on as it just had a brilliant impact on me. The whole book made me feel a whole pile of emotions and it has just really touched me. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you entertained and take you on a true journey, then you need to make sure that you have this book in your life. Utterly amazing!
** 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. **
I'm just a twenty-something year old girl who has a passion for everything related to books, films and writing. I'm a part-time librarian, sharing my love of books and films with the world. I'm from the UK and love everything about the country. If you want to know more about me, feel free to follow me on twitter, add me on Facebook or e-mail me! :-)