Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I had seen this novel a lot of times when it came out but I do not know why with this cover, I was convinced that it was a paranormal novel. Serious mistake! One day a friend gave me the novel and I tidied it while waiting to read it. It’s finally what I did and I admit that I’m not disappointed. I loved this novel, it was intense.

As the title seems to suggest, the author offers us letters, letters that Laurel writes to known and deceased people, telling us their stories as well as her own. Through her writings it is quickly understood that the girl lost her sister not long ago and that she must manage the consequences of this tragedy. Changing school and trying to manage her absent mother and her a little off father, she will try to make friends, to live, even if she does not really know how to do it.

It was an intense novel that mixes fiction and reality. I quickly became involved with Laurel and we understand that it is difficult for her to move forward, to exist. She feels guilty for the death of her sister, whom she always took as an example. We know that something happened but it is only towards the end of the novel that we discover the truth, and I was sad for the girl. When you see the horrors she suffered and she had to endure alone, it’s pretty bad. I felt a lump forming in my throat throughout the story and tears flowed in the end.

It’s not an easy story, but I found that the author did a pretty amazing job!

13 thoughts on “Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

  1. I remember seeing this when it came out. It sounds like an impactful and emotional read. I think writing this letters must have been a great way to cope with grief.

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