Posted in Young Adult Lit

Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira

18140047Love Letters to the Dead
Ava Dellaira
2014 Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN – 9780374346676
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – High School
3.7 Stars

It is the first day of high school, and Laurel has been given an assignment for her English class, she has to write a letter to a dead person. She initially chooses Kurt Cobain, but then picks several others to write to including Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and more. Once she starts it seems like she has a lot to say that she can’t tell anyone else. Her letters include a myriad of topic such as dealing with high school, her sister’s death, making friends, and falling in love to list a few.

I liked the honesty of this book. The very idea that you can be honest when you write to someone that will never read your letter seems kind of sad, but it is no different than a diary in my mind. I liked the ways that Laurel related to and admired some of the figures she wrote to. This type of writing allowed her to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in herself through the lives of those who passed before her. Many reviews of this book expressed that Laurel is too cool and pretentious. In some parts of the book she is, but in others she is incredibly vulnerable and admittedly unknowing. Generally I don’t like diary type books, I feel like the entries are short and lead to the book being very choppy. While this book started that way, the letters grew throughout, making the flow much more readable. Overall, I enjoyed the book, it reminded me a  lot of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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