Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: NetGalley
Summary: 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. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: This book was beautiful. Laurel is dealing with so many things: she is grieving, her life is changing, and she is trying to find herself. Her school assignment has given her outlet and a coping mechanism. I loved reading Laurel’s letters.

I loved that the letters felt authentic, they weren’t formal, but they felt like a teen just speaking her mind. It felt as though each person that she wrote to was chosen for a specific reason; whatever was on her mind that day related in some way to the person she wrote the letter to. I loved how the story unfolded, we were keeping up with Laurel day to day and at the same time learning about what happened with May.

The characters felt real to me. Each had their own story with their own teen problems. There is a character for everyone. No matter how well you relate to Laurel, you can’t help but feel for her and understand her, she is a well written character. The events are true to what teens experience.

It was an emotional story, but it was lyrically written and I enjoyed it.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I really want to read this! I'm unsure about letters being written as the book. Is the entire book just letters? Is there any narrative? I tend to steer clear of books that don't include narrative, because that's usually what I read.

    Lovely review! Short and sweet (:

    Tori @ YA Book Queens

  2. The entire book was letters, but don't let that turn you away. I'm usually not a fan of different formats like that, but it worked for this book. It just felt like she was telling her story.


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