Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira: Review

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is about a girl starting her very first year of High School who gets an English assignment that requires her to write a letter to someone who has died. This soon turns into much more than an English assignment, and we get to hear Laurel's story through these letters that she writes to famous dead people that she looks up to. Laurel's sister, May, passed away less than a year ago, and so she writes about her often. This book is ultimately about Laurel's journey discovering who she is without her sister around.
The synopsis itself could make you think that the book sounds quite similar to the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky...and having read the book, I can say that those assumptions would be accurate. Perks is one of my favorite books, so when I heard the comparison between the two in addition to seeing Stephen Chbosky promoting the book himself on twitter (his blurb is also on the front cover of this book) it was enough to completely sell me on this one. I went into it with high expectations, and I was not disappointed.
This books was absolutely incredible, and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to read this slowly to enjoy everything about it, but because it was so good and such a page-turner I just couldn't put it down...which led to my reading it practically in one sitting.
There were a lot of things about this book that had me so enthralled with it, so I have decided to list them in bullet points to save time and to keep from gushing endlessly:
  • The writing style was so beautiful and poetic, I couldn't get enough of it.
  • The characters were so extremely well-developed, they felt like real people that I truly cared about. They were all so beautifully flawed, and I loved them for it.
  • Our main character, Laurel (I agree with what the character Hannah said in the book, "coolest name EVER") was such a distinct and relatable character, I immediately loved her. Her growth through the book was beautiful to watch, and by the end, I was so completely happy for her and all she had discovered about herself. 
  • The writing to dead celebrities aspect was so interesting and unique, and I learned so much about the people that she wrote to, like Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, etc. I loved hearing about them and why Laurel looked up to them as much as she did; it was a nice addition to this story.
There wasn't a single aspect of this book that I did not enjoy. It was raw, gritty, real, and completely breath-taking. Like I have also said about Perks, it is amazing to me the way I felt so connected and involved with all these characters through letters...that, to me, is just incredible talent.
I highly recommend this books, and I give it a full 5 heart-shaped sunglasses, in honor of May:


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