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Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira | Book Review

Love Letters to the Dead - 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. 


I'm still not sure how I feel about this book so I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

The title alone made it seem like this book is astounding and impressive but the story is not as good as I expected. I like the idea and its concept-- writing letters to dead famous people. But there's something in it that is so vague and I don't know if it's the characters or the story itself. There are parts that I really liked, yes, but there are moments that seemed exciting at first and then turned out to be boring and quite trying too hard to develop a good story. 


I couldn't connect with Laurel in the first half of the book. I wanted to sympathize her because, of course, it's hard to move forward when you've lost someone you love. Feelings of loss and the pain is not easy to deal with. Sadly, I couldn't. I just... 
She's kind of frustrating. She's trying too hard to be as brave as May-- wearing her clothes, listening to songs May liked etc... I even thought she's obsessed with her sister that she's almost copying her to but she she still ends up being frail and helpless. And then things started to be interesting eventually as Laurel became more open. Things made sense and somehow I understood her. 


Although this review is apparently negative, I would still recommend this one especially to the readers who enjoy epistolary novels.