Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead
by Ava Dellaira

Summary: It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart... it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.

But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.
I'm not sure what to say about this book really. It was really good, but I really have very little to say about it... I supposed it's because it's one of those books that feels like...like, if you try to explain why you liked it, the things you say will just sound so generic or negative when you don't mean them to be?

But yes. I guess I'll try.

I really enjoyed it. My favourite part was the writing. Seriously, there were so many quotes I marked in the book because the writing was lovely. I think the writing was the main reason I enjoyed it as much as I did.

The story... it's not a particularly long book, but it's one of those ones where you keep waiting for this thing to happen, and then when it does it feels like you're ready to be done with the story but it just keeps going.

It's hard to explain. I guess it's because there were moments in the book that got under my skin and made me angry or made me upset, but because of the kind of dragged out feeling, by the time I'd got to the end the book had lost some of its emotional impact. Like being on a rollercoaster that just keeps going in a slow, straight line for a while after you've already gone through all of the loops and the inclines and declines and you're just ready for it to be over and that impatience is what is most fresh in your mind when it finally stops.

And that sounds more negative than I mean for it to be, because I did really like the book, but I think that explains why I didn't end it feeling like I loved it...it's like I almost loved it and I definitely love parts of it (also, it had the misfortune of being the book I finished after reading We Were Liars).

The book was like a bunch of other books I love thrown into a blender (Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Sky is Everywhere, Saving June, etc. Perks of Being a Wallflower most of all, because there are a lot of similarities) mixed together with Ava Dellaira's own style and the end result was really good and heartbreaking and I really want to read more books by her.

I've seen people who hated the book and people who loved the book, I'm definitely leaning more towards the latter. I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5 (mostly because of how much I liked the writing, otherwise it'd be more 3-3.5).


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