Book Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaria
Publish Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from a fellow blogger.
This book is going to be a very hard book to review. First of all, you need to put away any preconceived notions you have about this book. I know I had to. Secondly, if you aren't kicked in the feels by the time you finish reading it, then you are dead inside. Okay, maybe not dead inside, but at least for me, it was a book full of feels. It's a book that I had a hard time getting into. It was slow at first and I was getting sad and disappointed by the fact that I wasn't loving it.But it grows on you and before you know it, you don't want to put it down.
Laurel has gone through her parents divorce but nothing hurt as bad as it hurt when her big sister died. She blames herself for it and she's convinced that her mom does also. Why else would her mom have moved so far away from her, leaving Laurel to split her time between her Aunt Amy & her dad.
Laurel starts off writing a letter to a dead person as part of a school assignment, but it gets bigger than that and soon she is writing many letters to many dead people. She talks about her friendships with Kristen, Tristan, Hannah & Natalie. She talks about maybe, possibly, falling in love with Sky. Most importantly she uses these letters as a way to grieve for May.
Through these letters, we grow to learn what exactly happened to May and what happened to Laurel as well. Laurel also learns that May wasn't as perfect as she thought she was and that she was flawed but did her best to hide that from Laurel, most likely, because she wanted to protect her little sister.
I ended up loving this book, but it wasn't an easy road and it wasn't until about page 150 that I really began to fall in love with this book. From that point on, I spent most of the book in tears, even sobbing by the time I had finished the book. Dellaria broke me in the feels but in one of the most honest, and beautiful ways possible. I would love, love to give this book a full 5 stars but knowing how long it took me to even get into the book, I have to give it 4 stars. I would absolutely highly recommend it to anyone.