Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira Synopsis:
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. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally 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 truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

This book was beautiful, bringing me to close to tears often. It revolves around a girl called Laurel as she learns to deal not only with the death of her beloved sister May but all the other problems that evolve from/around it.

At the start she was very much lost in the way that she didn’t know herself and who she wanted to be because it tied so much to who she was with her sister. It takes a lot for her to come to grips with this and she does go through various stages but the end was beautifully done, and even though her story hasn’t ended and I think the lessons she teaches in this book will last long after the last page, it was a satisfactory ending.

The book definitely deals with a lot issues like abuse, grief, divorce etc so it was often very deep but not in a way that I became too overwhelmed. We read books to lose ourselves in the story, even when it’s tragic which this book definitely was. I will however try to warn you, that while people who have gone through these sorts of things may be able to relate and I hope it would help them to see how other people deal with it; on the whole it was quite negative. There were highs but many more lows than some people are comfortable with.

There was of course a romance that was also beautifully done simply because it was believable. There were a couple times I’ll admit where I got mad at the love interest Sky for making the wrong decisions, but I understood where he was coming from when he made them based off how he had to deal with everything thrown at him and I think this is the important thing.

I also just want to touch on the idea of the letters. It was completely original concept to me because I haven’t heard or read anything like it before, and I loved the way it worked to tell the story. It meant you could learn a lot more about Laurel as well as the celebrities she wrote to who I recognised but didn’t know like she did. Dellaira had a very poetic writing style which came across well and just like the letters fit the book’s story perfectly.

In the end I would definitely recommend this book to people who like a more serious and profound ya read, so long as you’re prepared for sad feelings that come with it.
Favourite Quotes:
“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.” 

“You think you know someone, but that person always changes, and you keep changing, too. I understood it suddenly, how that’s what being alive means. Our own invisible plates shifting inside of our bodies, beginning to align into the people we are going to become.” 

“And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It's knowing you could be the author instead.” 

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