Love Letters to the Dead
by Ava Dellaira
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.
Laurel is in a new school to try and get away from everyone knowing who she is and what happened to her sister. She gets her first assignment in English class to write a letter to someone who has died. She writes to Kurt Cobain because he died young like her sister May did. While she doesn't turn it in that assignment started her writing to all kinds of dead people about what is going on in her life and the more she writes the more she reveals about what happened to her and her sister. The letters become a way of her finally getting out what she has been hiding from.
I had heard great things about this book and was glad I finally got the time to read it. Laurel is a young girl who is in many ways running from who she is. She lost her sister and now just wants to move on. She goes to a new school and begins to make new friends. She doesn't share anything from her past with them. With her new friends she begins to d many things from drinking form the first time, to falling in love with a guy, to sharing their secrets. All the time she is writing letters do dead people in her journal talking about her life. She slowly begins to talk about what happened to her sister and her in the letters. She doesn't want anyone to read them. Her sister's death has tore her family apart and Laurel has to learn to talk to them as well. The letters help her do so. I liked this book as it is very clever in how it is written. You do get to see Laurel in her every day life but the journal entries are a great touch as you see why she has picked each person and why they are special to her. Kurt Cobain is just the start of some amazing people she writes to. I felt sorry for her in many ways as most of the time she seemed to be trying to fit in with the others and hiding form what is really bothering her. I didn't expect what had happened to her and it was a twist that really surprised me. This is a wonderful book I would recommend to many.
4 out of 5 Stars