Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - Paperback, 323 pages - Published May 1st 2014 by Hot Key Books

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – Paperback, 323 pages – Published May 1st 2014 by Hot Key Books

I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book, so I honestly had no idea what to expect.

Laurel loved her sister. She wanted to be like her, she wanted to do everything with her. But she let her go, and now she’ll never see her beloved May again.

I was pleasantly surprised by how many subjects and issues Love Letters to the Dead addresses. As well as the obvious matter of the loss of a loved one, this book includes relationships and break-ups, homosexuality, abusive families, broken families, and a whole lot more.

Written as (you guessed it) letters to the deceased, we learn about Laurel’s life, current and past. She tells us of her problems with Sky, the things that happened before her sister died, her favourite memories of May, her mixed feelings for the mother who left her, and her struggle to fit in and be like May.

The way the story of Laurel and May’s past slowly comes out is through memories and confessions. You’re given little tasters of something, which leaves you waiting to find out more. One thing I wasn’t so sure about was how Laurel accused Kurt Cobain of being selfish for committing suicide. This is a very controversial and touchy topic, but her accusation really didn’t sit well with me. I suppose I’m taking it too seriously, but I know how much something like that can hurt someone. Suicide is not selfish.

The writing style is relatively simple, and definitely reminds me of a teenage-girl’s diary. It’s especially un-letter-like when Laurel tells each person about themselves… I mean, I get that the book needs to have references included for the readers, but you wouldn’t write a letter to someone about their own childhood.

At first, I really wasn’t sure about this book. I was really looking forward to it, and the idea of a book made up of letters is really great. It was only around a 3 for me for a while, but I think it managed to work it’s way up to 4 stars in the end.




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