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Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Monday, January 13, 2014
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 Summary

When Laurel must write a love letter to a dead person, she chooses Kurt Cobain.  Readers will love her choice of people to write to and find many of them familiar.  May, Laurel's sister, passed away right before this novel took place.  To me, if felt like Laurel was either writing to or asking for advice from these people because of May.  With these letters, Laurel finds the courage to write down her true feelings about what happened and some of the bad things May did.  It will likely break the reader's heart when he/she finds out about how and why May died; this book feels realistic.

Laurel's character felt like an old friend by the time I finished this book.  I felt like I really knew her well.  She was very honest in her thoughts in the letters and opens up more as the book wears on.  The details and well-written structure of her letters made this book easy to finish in one day.  The letters were not disjointed or hard to follow.  I loved that the ending of the book did not feel like an ending, but a continuation.  Overall, this book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. bn100 said...:

    Interesting premise

  1. Berenice said...:

    I love the sound of this book. And the cover is so pretty. Fantastic review, thank you! =)

  1. I have seen so many different reviews with such varying positions on this book I honestly don't know what to think. I think it is definitely one that you just have to try for yourself and draw your own opinions about. ONE thing I know for sure? The cover is stunning!