Saturday, January 31, 2015

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Hardcover, 323 pages
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR)
Stand-alone
Source: Purchased/ Netgalley
For fans of: Contemporaries, Diversity, Realistic Fiction, YA, Poetry


     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.
 

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I had this book for review before it was released, but then I heard it was written entirely in letters I kind of shyed away form it, I'm not a huge fan of poetry and that's exactly what this sounded like, But then the reviews for it started pouring in and I was so intrigued that I decided to still give it a chance. So, it stayed on my TBR until I was ready for it.
"Why are some things harder to lose than others? [...] Because of love, of course. The more you love something, the harder it is to lose."
pg. 13
     Oddly enough, while reading this, the letter style and the poetry feel didn't bother me. It actually made the story a little more lyrical and it flowed so nicely. Dellaira has a great writing style that I actually kind of envied. She was able to use those letters to tell Laurel and May's story as well as keep incorporate some of whoever she wrote that specific letter to. It was so intricate and well put together and I was very impressed.
"When we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved."
pg. 151
     What I didn't like was the plot. The beginning was good because I was anticipating something bad happening. (So many people had told me to get my tissues ready,) I just knew I was in for a doozie. But as it got to the middle, it just drug on. I really felt like what was happening actually had nothing to do with May and Laurel. Although it taught her a small lesson in the end, I really felt like a large chunk of that could have been left out. The ending is where it got good again which is unfortunate because by then it was too late. Finally everything began to come together, but by then I had already guessed what had happened. So of course when it did, I wasn't surprised and I didn't cry. It was weird because I normally do cry at books like this, but after a predicted plot twist, the tears just never came.
"...maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to just be a character going whichever way the story says. It's knowing that you could be the author instead."
pg. 301
     All in all, this wasn't what I was expecting after everyone's rave reviews about it. Yeah the writing was very impressive, but the plot and the middle of the story just dragged on too much for me. Although this wasn't the right fit for me, I hope it falls into the hands of someone who can utilize it and cherish it.

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I'm going to read this. I hate books that drag, and I also don't like the prospect of poetry and letters. Great review!
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

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    1. I understand. Even though I love bigger issue contemps, this wasn't the book for me.

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