Thursday, April 23, 2015

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Source: Library
Pages: 336
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: April 1st 2014
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Buy

SummaryIt 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.

Review: Love Letters to the Dead is a book that will send you on an epic and emotional journey. I experienced pretty much every possible emotion known to man kind while reading this. It's completely amazing.

The concept of an entire book written in letters took me back to when I used to read the Dear Dumb Diary series. Except here, the main character, Laurel, isn't writing to her dumb diary, but to famous people... who are dead. It's something that I haven't really encountered before, and delving further into the book, I just got increasingly attached to the book as a whole, with its many wonderful charactersboth dead and aliveand the life Laurel lives as she works on discovering herself. 

Usually, I don't enjoy books filled with drama, but this was one of those rare exceptions. Because let me tell you, it may not seem like it, but this is one drama-filled book. There are so many twists and turns that could've been annoying and unpleasant, but Ava Dellaira really made the normal dramatics of a teenager's life into something more. She wove all the drama into something that was more, something that was better. She created something breathtakingly beautiful.

I absolutely loved the characters. Everybody played a part in the story. The people you'd think are minor and insignificant characters? Not so much. It'd turn out that those were the people that played the pivotal role in the story. Talk about shockers. But I have to say that Laurel was by far my favorite. Her raw emotion was unlike anything else. Her voice and genuineness spilled out of the pages and into my heart and soul. I felt everything with her and discovered everything with her and lived everything with her. I'm telling you, it's an emotional ride. And I'm just going to say this as a warning; there was definitely some tear action going on while I was reading. 

This is (probably, most likely, kind of definitely) breaking the rules, since Laurel only writes to the dead, but I imagine she'd make an exception so that she could say something like this:

Dear Ava Dellaira,

Thanks for paving a path for me. Thanks for allowing me to find myself along the way. And thank you for using your genius ways to create me. 

You rock.



Because if I were Laurel, that's exactly what I'd want to tell my creator and her beautiful way with words. And since I'm obviously not a fictional character and can only speak for myself, I've got to say that Love Letters to the Dead is a complete masterpiece. Poignant to the end, Laurel takes you on a trip of a lifetime through her letters to the dead. I'll be reading this again for sure. 

Pure perfection

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