Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the DeadI tried to read this book, and I didn’t love it. And then I had to give it back to a friend, so I kind of put it off.

What I had read, though, was haunting me and making me think about Laurel, May and their unlikely story. So, I downloaded the audio book. Whether it was the narrator or just the different medium, I was suddenly enthralled.

Love Letters to the Dead is a story that is made all the more amazing by the way it is told. Following her sister’s death, Laurel moves to a new school and is given a seemingly innocent assignment: write a letter to a dead person. Any dead person.

Instead of her sister, Laurel chooses to write to Kurt Cobain, a favorite musician of her sister’s. As the story progresses, Laurel continues writing, to more and more celebrities that died early or too young, and she continues to tell both their stories, and the story that leads to May’s death and her new life.

Author Ava Dellaira creates a world full of heartache, pain, first love, death, renewal and honesty all in just one of the letters that Laurel pens to reveal herself. There are literally a dozen quotes I would pull from this book as an example, but here are two of my favorites:

“So maybe when we say things, when we can write the words, when we can express how it feels, we aren’t so helpless.”

“I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won’t be as good as everyone imagines we could be.”

With words like this, the story unfolds. I listened, loving Dellaira’s world and her characters. It’s not a story for the faint of heart, but a story that will stay with you long after you close the pages or stop the recording.

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