If Stephen Chbosky told me a certain pizza place was good, I'd eat there. So when this book called this book "stunning" and "a bold new literary voice," I'm in. Told through letters written to those who've passed, this epistolary story will cut straight through you like a knife. Painful, heartbreaking, and captivating.— Jeremy
"Love Letters to the Dead" will crack your hard, cynical heart with its imperfect beauty and raw pain. Laurel blames herself for the death of her troubled older sister; for an English assignment -- "write a letter to a dead person" -- she chooses Kurt Cobain, her sister's favorite musician. Laurel continues writing, filling her notebook with letters to the dead; this epistolary armature provides structure, a sanctuary where she can unravel the past while making sense of her life. Laurel's deceased confidantes, some disfigured by regret and disappointment, all suited in various ways to "understand" her, include Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, John Keats, River Phoenix, and more. In one letter, Laurel appeals to all of these dead simultaneously: "I hope one of you hears me. Because [sic] the world seems like a tunnel of silence."— Yvonne
This isn't just Good For A Debut Author (though it is -- exceptional for one, in fact -- if she isn't a Morris Award finalist I'm going to have to take up a one-sided correspondence with the American Library Association), it's Great For Any Author. All of the hesitations you are having right now (do kids today know who Kurt Cobain was? Ugh, do I HAVE to read another suicide book?) would be valid for any other book -- I went through all of them when I was handed this galley -- but this isn't Any Other Book, it is beautiful and amazing and basically everything that you want in a young adult novel. Am I overselling it? TRICK QUESTION this book is impossible to oversell.— Cristin
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.