Thursday, 12 June 2014

{Review} Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

20703051Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 1st, 2014
Finished Date: June 3rd, 2014
Publishers: Hot Key Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 327
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)

The Review: Emotional, painful but surprisingly enjoyable, Love Letters to the Dead is a beautifully written story that deals with grief, hope and first love. 

The story follows Laurel, a teenage girl who struggling to move on after the death of her older sister. After given a school assignment to write a letter to a dead person, Laurel suddenly finds a way to express all of her feelings – by writing to several dead people. However, Laurel doesn’t turn in her assignment and continues to write to these dead people throughout the year. In the letters, Laurel pours her heart and soul into the pages, sharing her deep and darkest secrets, but soon Laurel will have to face the reality of losing her sister, the question is, will she lose herself in the process? 

Love Letters to the Dead was so much more than I was expecting. I went into this book with completely no expectations and I was honestly blown away by it. I think what stood out the most for me, was how the story was written – in letter format. I haven’t read a book like this before so it came across very unique. I’ve heard The Perks of a Wallflower is similar however, I’m glad Love Letters to the Dead was the first book that I read this way because it’s definitely left an impression. 

Laurel’s journey is, if I’m honest, very sad. It’s emotional and really tugs on your heart. The emotions that poured out of me while reading her story were unbelievable, because I was feeling so many different things all at once: sad, confused, happy, hopeful and so many more. My heart just broke for poor Laurel. She is dealing with so much and not just the loss of her sister but, there are some other secrets that Laurel is hiding – ones that I didn’t expect and it added a bit of darkness to the story that made it that much more emotional and heart-breaking. 

The one good part of the story is the support Laurel has from her friends. They’re the ones who help her get through each day, and even more so is Laurel’s love interest Sky. She could connect to him like no other. Their relationship was enjoyable to read it about as it blossomed and it really became something strong by the end, but it was no without it’s trials and errors. 

In all, Love Letters to the Dead is a gut-wrenching roller coaster but one that must be read this summer. It’s not on you want to miss! 

Favourite Quote: “I know I wrote letters to people with no address on this earth, I know that you are dead. But I hear you. I hear all of you. We were here. Our lives matter.” 

Thank you to Hot Key Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

13 comments:

Cee Ess said...

What a beautiful and heart wrenching storyline! I think writing in general is one of the best ways to cope with tragedy, as this novel seems to capture. Maybe I'll add this to be "tbr" list. Thanks for the review!

C @ ahavenforreaders.blogspot.com

Jess Watkins said...

I really want to read this. Love the cover :)

DonnasReviews said...

Thanks Jess! It was a great read, a little darker than most YA books, but still worth a read! X

DonnasReviews said...

Thanks for stopping by C!

Alexa Pages of Forbidden Love said...

Sounds like the type of book that I have to be in a sad mood in order to read. I do love the idea of the book though and want to read it when I'm in the right mood.



Thanks for the great review! I'm glad you really enjoyed this one.

Christina_Kit said...

This sounds heartbreaking but beautifully written.


Totally new format too :)


Lovely review :)

Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages said...

I've been really interested in this book, and I'm so glad I found your review! I had actually picked it up in the bookstore this weekend, but decided against getting it at the last minute. Regretting that decision now. I'm definitely going back to get a copy! Thanks for such a wonderful review!

Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

OK kayy said...

I had red lights flickering in my head when you said letter format, but you reassured me. I might just check out this book.

Alice Priday said...

ive been hearing alot of good things about this book, your review just made me want to buy it :)

Michelle@ Book Briefs said...

I'm so glad to hear that you thought this book was beautifully written and that it blew you away.

I am normally hesitant to read sad books because I don't like to be sad, and I tend to be an overly emotional reader. haha but the exception that I make is when the books are overly moving and beautifully done. It sounds like this one is.

Great Review!

Michelle @ Book Briefs

DonnasReviews said...

Thanks Michelle! I'm usually with you...I don't really like sad books, however, if there is HEA then I can deal with it! I hope you pick it up x

DonnasReviews said...

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you do manage to get a copy - it's a wonderful read! x

Sarah Clark said...

Omg, this sounds so intriguing! I might just have to buy it lol