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 in this stunning debut from Ava Dellaira, Love Letters to the Dead.
I am giving Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira 3/5 stars.
When it comes to Love Letters to the Dead, I am quite torn on exactly how I feel. Now, I do love that the story was written in a series of letters written by our main character Laurel over the course of a school year, in which she discusses her current situation and also situations from her past. I found that using letters to tell this story was quite a interesting and unique choice, I wish there were parts that weren’t in the form of a letter. Yes, Dellaira did a good job telling the story in letters and used prose style in them, but I could of just used some prose on it own.
Now, I do have to say that I enjoyed the choice of people that Laurel chose to write her letters to. You had a wide variety of characters, but I could definitely see why she chose them and what they brought to the story despite them never talking.
Despite all that I liked, I found that the story was slow for the most part. Everything was leading up to the climax, but I felt like the same story line was being used over and over. It was resolved, something else brought it up, and it was resolved again until the big breakdown at the climax. It just got repetitive to me.