Books, YA Fiction

Love Letters To The Dead, by Ava Dellaira

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

“You can be noble and brave and beautiful and still find yourself falling.”

Blurb: 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.

I almost abandoned Love Letters to the Dead because of the constant similarities to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I’m glad I didn’t because it was actually somewhat worth reading.

I found the story to be a little slow and redundant at times, but the feelings of the characters were nicely expressed at the right times. The story entirely was actually very relatable. There were many lines that I really liked and they were all very thoughtful and real.

The characters felt very flat and boring to me, especially Laurel. Although I could tell that Laurel was sad about her sister, her sadness was not expressed correctly. She just felt kind of dead to me (haha), and her decisions weren’t the best. She was too naive and didn’t think twice about the things that she did, and the worst part was that someone always has to drag her into the scene. She does nothing by herself. This kind of character works out if he/she changes throughout the book, but sadly, there was no clear character-development. I liked Hannah and Natalie’s story better than Laurel’s and it seemed like they were better developed. They both struggled with admitting to themselves their love for each other, and throughout the story they grew immensely. Sky started out as a boring and brooding love interest, but getting to know more of him made me like him better. There was a lot more to him than meets the eye.

The romance was much too forced. It felt like it was only added because this is the YA genre and there need to be some romance, and it was unnecessary. Sky and Laurel’s fling added nothing to the story and was more of a distraction from the relevant ideas.

The whole concept of writing letters to the dead is for Laurel to let out her inner feelings and let go of the pain she has, and this…. kind of worked. But not fully. LLTTD was mostly about Laurel, not the characters, so I don’t see the point of adding the dead into it, and I definitely don’t see the point in naming the book after the letters.

Although LLTTD was somewhat well-written, it just wasn’t for me entirely. I suggest you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower instead, but give this a try also, you actually might end up liking it.

You can find this review on my Goodreads here.

-Haven 

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