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If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers

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A heartwarming memoir of love and faith from Hannah Brencher, founder of The World Needs More Love Letters, who has dedicated her life to showing total strangers that they are not alone in the world.

Fresh out of college, Hannah Brencher moved to New York, expecting her life to look like a scene from Sex and the City. Instead, she found a city full of people who knew where they were going and what they were doing and didn't have time for a girl still trying to figure it all out. Lonely and depressed, she noticed a woman who looked like she felt the same way on the subway. Hannah did something strange--she wrote the woman a letter. She folded it, scribbled If you find this letter, it's for you on the front and left it behind.

When she realized that it made her feel better, she started writing and leaving love notes all over the city--in doctor's offices, in coat pockets, in library books, in bathroom stalls. Feeling crushed within a culture that only felt like connecting on a screen, she poured her heart out to complete strangers. She found solace in the idea that her words might brighten someone's day.

Hannah's project took on a life of its own when she made an offer on her blog: She would handwrite a note and mail it to anyone who wanted one. Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests from people all over the world. Nearly 400 handwritten letters later, she started the website, The World Needs More Love Letters, which quickly grew.

There is something about receiving a handwritten note that is so powerful in today's digital era. If You Find This Letter chronicles Hannah's attempts to bring more love into the world,and shows how she rediscovered her faith through the movement she started.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published January 6, 2015

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Hannah Brencher

11 books400 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 328 reviews
Profile Image for Logan LeDuc.
175 reviews78 followers
April 18, 2015
I'm almost ashamed it took me nearly a month to finish this book. I learned early in the reading process that this book needs time to digest and savor. It's not to be rushed. Enjoy a chapter an evening and let that simmer on low in the back of your head for a while. Stir. Continue.

I fell in love with The World Needs More Love Letters movement in 2012. I was a senior in high school and I wrote to Hannah saying I wanted to be a part of it. But she was this goddess running this piece of magic that was changing the world and I was incapable of doing anything to help outside of my busy high school life. And yet, through her busy schedule, she found time to reply to me - a girl with a dream to change the world (or, help someone change the world) and a girl with terrible time management. But I attempted to do it anyway and started leaving love letters. I now leave letters in books, to bookworms who potentially need a pick me up mostly, as well as the occasional sticky note and envelope tucked into the confines of my work place. I'm indebted to Hannah for giving me the opportunity to make my own little mark within her big one.

When I found out she was writing a book, my heart soared. I preordered it on Amazon 2 months before it came out and fell in love with her words all over again within the first 4 sentences of cracking the spine. I hope she knows the impact she's made on a now 21 - year-old girl, providing me a role model with a healthy addiction to love and words as I do.

I suppose I should get to the book review now, but I think I already did. Hannah and her project gave me something to aspire to be. Someone to idolize and want to be more like. Her book only reinforced that idea, reading that she started out rough and slowly her edges began to smooth out. I relate to this more than she will ever know and I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with her story for more than 3 years.

I'll end with this:
If you don't know what you're doing anymore, read this book. Find hope in her words, realize that anyone and everyone needs to learn to swim sometimes and your life is bigger than this. You'll think it's a few sizes too big at first and if awkwardly hangs off you like a dress, but darling, you can learn to become a decent tailor and make it look like it was made for you. and Hannah can help with that.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,347 followers
August 17, 2016
A good book with a huge caveat: The marketing for If You Find This Letter is highly misleading. The book purports to be about the author's quest to find her purpose in life by writing love letters to strangers, but it's first and foremost a personal memoir about the author floundering in her faith and trying to find God. Only a small portion of the book is dedicated to the letters, which are arguably the most intriguing element of the novel.

Though the writing is sometimes juvenile, there are moments when the author's words are poignant.

On life: Stranger or not, we all need the same kind of reminders sometimes: You're worthy. You're golden. You've got this.

On death: This summer I learned how death unbuilds a house. Brick by brick. Shingle by shingle. Death shows up like a worker who rises to beat the sun and spends his days undoing a person you learned to love with your whole body. He unchisels and unscrews until nothing is left but the skinny frame and eye sockets of someone you used to know.

On relationships: But maybe that is why some people walk into your life -- to tip you over and pour you out. Maybe some people storm into your life just to tell you you're not supposed to be there. That you can't take them or anyone with you wherever you're going next. Maybe not every person we encounter is a love story. Maybe some are wake-up calls.

On friendship: I think that might be the golden core of real friendship: When you make each other better. When the two of you are whole -- completely whole -- but you each make brilliant add-ons to what the other brings into this life.

On religion: I just find religion to be a sticky topic, and you often find yourself circling around people who only want to win an argument. As if finding a name for what fills you at the end of day is the sort of thing you can win.

It's the little hidden gems -- the life lessons so eloquently stated -- that make this book a worthwhile journey.
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
May 5, 2015

This book is just not for me. I'm sure the author is a nice girl, but the purple prose was just way too distracting for me. I felt like the book was way longer than it needed to be just because of the lengthy

Like many others, I expected this book to feature more of the letters that made her famous enough to get a memoir published in the first place, and admittedly the lack of letters was a disappointment for me. The book has a great idea behind it, but the writing just didn't work.

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cynthia (Bingeing On Books).
1,655 reviews120 followers
February 4, 2016
"My mother would say: be small or be beautiful. Beautiful is loud footsteps and knowing the weight of those footsteps."

I first stumbled upon Hannah Brencher's website a few years ago. I thought it was a beautiful concept, the thought of writing love letters to strangers. I was so excited to be approved for the ARC from NetGalley. Now memoirs are kind of hit or miss with me. As fascinated as I am by the person, sometimes I can still find them a bit dry and long winded. I have never read a memoir that made me cry. I have never read a memoir that I wanted to read again the second I was finished. Until this one.

The book starts with Hannah graduating from college. She is terrified of growing up and terrified that she will never make a difference in the world. She also struggles with depression, something that is hard for her to come to terms with because of her many blessings. I could relate to this feeling on so many levels. I know what it's like to feel like you are drowning, despite the fact that you have everything in your life going right at that very moment. Hannah is young and insecure and afraid. Who can't relate to that?

When the letter writing starts, she is simply trying to tell other people the words she cannot tell herself. She wants to tell people, strangers, they are loved and they matter. As she says in the book, this project didn't become a cure all for her depression. She still struggled, but the letters gave her purpose. She didn't just talk about the letters. She also talked about her search for religion and a relationship with God. She was desperate for something higher than herself to believe in. I do want to say that I am atheist and I wasn't expecting this to be as religion heavy as it was. Normally, I would probably skim those parts. But I found every passage of her search for God so incredibly moving. Even though I don't believe, I still understand why she would want to so desperately.

Hannah also talks about the progression of the love letter journey. It goes from being random letters to strangers to a blog where she invites people to make love letter requests for themselves. When she talks about all the requests people were sending in to request a love letter, I think I was as moved as Hannah was. It is impossible to comprehend just how much sadness and heartbreak there is in the world. I can only imagine how overwhelmed Hannah was to start these letters. It is amazing that so many people were so sad and a couple of words from Hannah helped them keep going. Now she has a website, The World Needs More Love Letters. On this website, you can request a love letter on behalf of someone else. Every month, she publishes the stories of several people that were sent in and requests everyone who can to send a love letter to Hannah. At the end of the month, Hannah then takes all of those letters and sends them to the person in one package. She calls it a "love letter bundle."

The stories in this book were very emotional, but I don't want you to think that the tears I cried were sad ones. Even in the sad stories, I was hopeful that all these people would know how much people were thinking of them. What did make me sad was that in this digital age, people may never be able to appreciate the simple beauty of a handwritten letter. The only downside to this book was that I finished it in less than twenty four hours. I wanted to soak up and savor every single word that Hannah wrote. I am so grateful to her for sharing this journey. It also inspired me to go on her website. I want to share words of kindness and strength to people who need them, even if I don't know these people and even if I never meet them. If I ever got a love letter from Hannah, I think it would be my most prized possession. Her writing is exquisite and lyrical and somehow she always finds the right words to make someone feel like they matter. I encourage you to submit a letter to one of the individuals on the website as well.
Profile Image for ashley elliott.
Author 2 books83 followers
July 26, 2016
“Some people are dotted lines and other people are destinations. Some people get you somewhere and some people are just a place to be, all in themselves. But you cannot force those dotted lines into destinations.”

This book. THIS. BOOK.

Definitely my favorite book of this year, definitely one of my favorite non-fiction books, and definitely one of my favorite books ever.

My friend gave this book to me on my twenty-first birthday, complete with notes and drawings by her on the inside. I flipped through it, knew I'd love it, put it on my TBR stack of books beside my bed, and slowly forgot about it. Then, six months later, I finally picked it up again. Eight pages in, I started crying. Oh man, I thought. This is gonna be good.

It took me a day shy of two months to finish this thing, mostly because I would always cry while reading it. (If you look through my progress, that's literally all I say about it. I even smudged my makeup while reading a huge chunk yesterday before church.)

Basically, I loved it. I loved Hannah's honesty, I loved the beauty of her words, and I loved how real it was. I needed this book at this exact point in my life - and I think all young adults who are trying to find their way in the world and figure out what they're going to do with the precious life they've been given need it. If I had a million dollars, I'd get a Venti Java Chip Frappucino and sixteen cases of this book, and drink the frappucino while delivering copies to all of my friends. It was seriously that good.

If you're a creative person, you need this book. If you're a young adult, you need this book. If you've got young adult kids, you need this book. Seriously, just go out and get a copy right now. Let Hannah's words inspire you to do great things - and then go out and do them.

Random quotes just because:

“And I learned from her that it is one thing to be the girl on fire, but it is entirely another thing to be the girl who manages to set the world on fire with all the quiet and beautiful things she does.”

“Good-byes hurt. And they happen too much. The only thing I know for certain about this whole good-bye thing? You have to say it sometimes. You have to get real brave, and bite your bottom lip, and let people go sometimes. Fully, fully. Whether you feel ready or not, you're still going to grow up and use that word a lot more than you ever expected to.”

“There is something remarkable about just the thought of someone sitting down for you. Taking out a piece of paper for you. Focusing their mind on the words they write for you. And through sloppy cursive and a cramped hand, they manage to tell you all the things that have ever mattered, in between the lines: 'I care. I’m here. I see you. You’re more than just words on a screen to me.'”

“I learned vulnerability is a bit like those Russian nesting dolls, the ones that get smaller and smaller in size when you twist the top off and pull another one out. In the end, you’re left with the tiniest dull, that one nugget. No more layers to take off. Nothing left but a surprise, the surprise of finding out the littlest doll is the most solid of them all. It doesn’t hide inside of itself.”

“I wanted to believe that there could be a bigger love, one that was so much bigger than we ever allowed it to be that could walk right up to us and say, 'You know what? Screw your stupid limitations. I am bigger than you. I am stronger than you. And I have known you and what you deserve since long before you ever started passing your heart out to anyone who would pay attention to you; never mind if they would break you. You are more precious than you will ever give yourself credit for.'”

“I'm mostly certain that 2010 was the peak of millennial-bashing, but don't quote me on that. I think we all just naturally wonder if the media is this merciless with every generation that steps up to adulthood. We were the entitled ones. Self-absorbed. Impatient. Flighty. At the same time, seeing my inbox clogged with the email handles of Ivy League schools, I couldn't help but think we weren't all that bad. From the looks of the stories, we were trying. We were young and doing the best we could with what we'd been given. We'd been told to get an education. We were told to take the loans. We'd graduated into a crashing economy. We were raised on the rhetoric that we could go out there and get everything we wanted. Except a lot of us didn't know what we wanted at all. Standing in a slush pile of stories written to me by girls and guys my age, I wasn't ashamed to be a millennial. I was actually quite proud.” (So am I, Hannah. So am I.)

“God is a lot of things to a lot of people but I don’t think he is a cheap party host with limited grace to give out.”
(The second I read this quote, I put down the book, picked up my phone, and wrote down the entire page in a note. Here's the whole quote.)
“This was grace. And I say that with hesitancy because grace has always been a tricky word for me. Growing up in church, it always seemed like people had such messed-up portion control when it came to grace. Who got more? Who got less of it? To some, grace was everywhere. To others, it came in spurts, like quick drips from an eye dropped. I even had a friend once tell me than an elder of the church announced to her, "There is less grace for you because of your sins." She repeated the idea out loud, "There is less grace for me," like she actually believed it. Like slowly, in time, it would become a melody to her and it would trickle into the things she did and the relationships she kept, and the things she thought she was capable of. God is a lot of things to a lot of people, but I don't think He is a cheap party host with limited grace to give out. I think He'd laugh uncontrollably - with a very robust godly laughter - at that one. Like, "Oh no, sorry, I managed to stitch legs upon the spider but I have to give you a smaller portion of grace. You've messed up too many times, and though I am like a schoolboy infatuated with your heart, I've capped off My grace quota! Be sure to apply next year!" I didn't think it worked that way. This was grace. ... Just closing your eyes. Not heaving. Not pushing. Not striving to be anything else in that moment. Grace is letting something else - something so much bigger than you - carry you home. It's having and wanting nowhere else to be but in a moment that wants you and takes you just as you are.”

Read it, guys.
Profile Image for Katy.
147 reviews6 followers
April 2, 2015
So, this is one I probably should have carefully read the blurb for. At the end of last year I was really on a woman's’ memoir kick - Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, etc. So when the publisher sent me this one to review, I was pretty excited to carry that ‘kick’ on in to 2015. But this book was just so obnoxious that I struggled to read the last quarter of the book. Hannah seems like a truly kind girl and her memoir (sort of) recounts how she came to start the website moreloveletters.com. Mostly, though, Hannah complains about struggling to find herself. Her path to finding her true self is not really extraordinary. It’s not even really inspiring. I could tell in a lot of places that she was trying very hard to sound inspirational in an effort to try to make her story more inspirational than it actually was. After every chapter I found myself asking, “yeah, you and every other 20-something ever?” Had it focused more on the blog and and lot less on her life during the blog, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Hannah’s writing though is very, very repetitive and very “millennial.”
Profile Image for Bruce Gargoyle.
874 reviews143 followers
February 23, 2015
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:

Girl searching for purpose and connection offers to hand write love letters to strangers and muses about life and God and general existential stuff.

I was really hoping that this book would be something akin to a cross between yarn-bombing in letter format and the worldwide art and connection project begun by one man, known as PostSecret. Unfortunately, it read more like the developmentally typical learnings of a reasonably sheltered young woman in her twenties. Not what I was hoping for, by any means.

The actual letter project, in which Hannah puts out the invitation for anyone who wants a handwritten love letter from her to apply via her website, really takes a back seat in this memoir to a whole bunch of other happenings in Hannah’s life. I suspect that the idea was to show that she herself was reaching out to strangers in this way because of her own sense of disconnection, but a lot of the stuff that she talks about seemed to me to be pretty typical of anyone between the ages of about 18 and 30 who is trying to carve out an adult identity and some existential equilibrium. I really wanted to read more about the letter project, and let that speak for itself, than find out about her involvement in a volunteer service project, and a whole bunch of Faith related personal reflection.

Now, don’t let my negativity bring you down. Obviously, others have really enjoyed and taken something from this book. I would suggest reading it if it sounds interesting and make up your own mind. But I suspect that not all blog projects need to be made into a book. At least, not a book in a memoir format. For my (non-existent) money, I would have liked to have seen a lot more focus on the project and the benefits contained therein for not just the author, but some of the recipients of letters, and a bit less on the life-reflections of someone who seems to be a reasonably typical example of this particular age group.
Profile Image for Tina.
444 reviews456 followers
April 4, 2015
I think it's just about showing up. I think it's about choosing people when people are just hard to choose. I think it's about saying things we know we will regret if we don't say them sooner. Fighting hard for the people who make us feel like they've swept all the oxygen out of the room. I think it's about remembering to commit to the small things. And remembering that love still wins. No matter how much we try to say that something else matters more than it, love still wins.
Profile Image for Rachel.
413 reviews4 followers
October 15, 2015
There are a lot of good reviews on this book. I don't understand. I thought this was utter drivel.

I got the book as a gift and for that reason I have TRIED to get through it. I made it just past halfway through and I have nothing good to say about the book.

The author is probably a wonderful person. I'm assuming that the writing speaks to other young people who are feeling untethered and directionless, but there isn't anything that I find useful or even less than painful to read. The author suggested she was depressed, I assume she means clinically depressed. Perhaps she was supposed to write about her feelings and part of her healing. I wrote about stupid stuff that worried me when I was a young adult, but I certainly wouldn't want to force anyone else to read that whiny personal waffling.

So, if you, too, are recently out of college, underemployed and searching for meaning in your life. Maybe this would be a book you'd like. If you are over 30 and have a life, you, too, might find this painful reading.

There are good books out there to read, don't waste your valuable time on this one.
Profile Image for Douglas Humphries.
Author 2 books1 follower
April 27, 2015
There aren't really words. Maybe I'll think of some good ones, once I've had time to process. This book is powerful, in the way books should be. It is deep and blue like the ocean, and there are so many good lines I could pick from it that I might as well quote the whole thing. This is a human heart, wrapped in paper and dyed the deepest red. There is so much beauty here it moves you beyond tears.
There is something to be said for simple love. The small, sometimes almost innocuous. This book is all about that. About the things we are sure are meaningless but really are the very things that will save the word.
Hannah Brencher has written what is surely a modern classic. The kind of book I'll come back to over and over and pull so much the same and new out of it. Thank you, hb. That's all that seems right to say. Thank you.
Profile Image for sophia.
155 reviews46 followers
June 25, 2016
couldn't get through this one. it started off great but then she got super in over her head. i'm sure the author is a nice girl, but the way she described her life seemed so entitled. she didn't do a lot except rave about how poetic and artsy she is while also completely bashing this generation. like honey?? you're literally 25, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

"i am 25 years old but i harbor a soul that is old & thick"

after 272 pages, we get it. you think you're quirky and cute and "so different" than every other 25 year old college graduate. next.
Profile Image for Nassimoka.
119 reviews53 followers
December 25, 2017
So beautiful. This book can change your life and break your heart at once. And it can make you want to "swim" in this life, be afraid and ok with that when you are not sure in yourself and keep moving on. Because somewhere there you will find the purpose.
Profile Image for Kayla Hollatz.
Author 2 books33 followers
December 8, 2020
I picked up this book after it being highly recommended by many creatives in my online community. While it was less about the letters like I originally thought and more about Hannah's struggle with finding herself and her faith, I found it very relatable and comforting as I nodded along to many of her descriptions.

I thoroughly enjoyed the last section of the book and the only thing I wish there was more of was more background into the growth of More Love Letters, but hopefully that will be Hannah's next book. Thanks Hannah for sharing your powerful story with us.
Profile Image for Abbie.
65 reviews19 followers
June 28, 2015
THIS BOOK IS GOLD! Anybody in their 20s or anyone who is having a crisis about what to do with the next phase of life will enjoy this heartwarming and well-written memoire. Hannah's words just leap off the page in the form of punch-you-in-the-gut truths, spicily-crafted metaphors, and strong relatable moments. I have dogeared so many pages it's crazy. :)
Profile Image for ashley elliott.
Author 2 books83 followers
December 24, 2016
(see my other review; just reviewing a second edition bc i read it twice in 2016)
Profile Image for Donna.
3,972 reviews53 followers
June 23, 2022
This is Nonfiction/Memoir. I listened to the audio and I loved how this one started. I enjoyed her way with words from page one. With some of this I found myself rewinding to hear a certain phrase or sentence again. This was about the author's journey in trying to find purpose in life...something meaningful, warm and in a way, world changing or maybe life changing.

I liked her journey and the way she talked about how everyone needs love...especially the broken and lonely. Sometimes when meeting those needs, we often fill our own. So, all in all, 4 stars.
Profile Image for Jill.
273 reviews9 followers
March 9, 2015
I love the idea of receiving a random letter from someone which can truly change your perspective, or brighten up a gloomy day. I have been lucky enough to have received mail like that in the past, and know just how much of a difference it can make. So I was really excited to see this book, which tells the story of young lady who has moved away from home, and is having a really hard time. She is desperately lonely and feeling low. One day she comes up with the idea of writing a letter which she leaves for a stranger she sees on the subway.

Realising how good this feels Hannah begins to write more letters which she leaves scattered around the city. Before long she puts a post about it on her blog which leads to her being inundated with hundreds of requests for a love letter for themselves or someone else. The story follows this journey, and the eventful launch of the website The World Needs More Love Letters.

I absolutely love the concept and the kindness and dedication of Hannah to set up, and continue with these letters. The first section of the book was really, to me, getting to know Hannah's story. It is clear that she hates being away from home and is finding life very sad and lonely. She has left college and set off for a year of voluntary work. Her story is very sweet, and it comes across very clearly that she is a very upstanding and caring person.

But somehow, as the book progressed I found it hard to connect any real emotion to the story. I think this may in part be down to me misunderstanding what the book was about. I thought I was going to read all about the letters and the impact they had on people. But in actual fact the book is more a story of Hannah's year. It seemed to me to be more focused on her and what was happening in her life than the letters themselves. There is a beautifully moving friendship between her and a friend how is battling cancer. There was a genuine warmth and I found him inspiring to always fight on.

However I felt that for me the letters were more of a sub plot and I don't feel I ever connected with their power and the widespread impact of others receiving their letter, or sending their own letters. This was the part I most wanted to read about so as I limped towards the end I did feel disappointed.

There are some lovely tales of friendship, relationships with Hannah's Mum, her friends, and the great voluntary work she did. Unfortunately it didn't quite do what it said on the tin and left me wanting something more. That said, I have seen some fabulous reviews and it is clear that this is a very moving and captivating book that has inspired many early readers.

Thanks to the publishers who kindly provided a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ashley Stachura.
33 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2015
This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I have been a fan of Hannah's blog for about two years and was ecstatic when I heard that she was writing her first novel. She doesn't disappoint! This book had me laughing one minute, crying the next and at the end of it, reflecting on my own life and what I want my legacy to be. If you decide to read one book this year, let this be it. Let her words fill you, you won't regret it.
Profile Image for Kristen Doyle.
203 reviews158 followers
June 16, 2015
As reviewed on www.dineanddish.net

Connecting with others, especially strangers, is one of my favorite things. I have this theory that if we would all just open ourselves up to others, a small conversation or connection with a stranger can change our lives in unexpected ways. (That’s probably why you never want to sit next to me on an airplane… I’m the person who tries to “connect” with you
Profile Image for Karis.
135 reviews52 followers
August 10, 2017
If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher is one of the most honest and nitty-gritty memoirs that I’ve ever delved into before. The author doesn’t hold back in pouring out her emotions, nor does she stop to wrap them up in a neat package. The openness of her witting style left me feeling as though I had just finished an all-out, completely honest conversation; fears and heartaches included. There were lots of tears, and at least one box of tissues was used up, but in the end what I heard, as haltingly and broken as it might have been told, was the voice of a friend pouring out her heart and struggles to another friend.

Hannah Brencher, newly graduated from college, was out to discover what it meant to really live, how to make a difference in the world. She started by working a “service year,” part of a program where someone will forgo earning a salary in order to serve the community in some rough places. Working in the Bronx, New York as a liaison for a human rights organization to the UN, she set out to change the world, finding out how very little her hands really were in a big world. She discovered how lonely it was to travel the subways, surrounded by people and yet feel all alone. She wrote later:

“…for the whole time I lived in New York City I wanted to strike up conversations. I wanted to shatter the word stranger with a sledgehammer. That’s the thing the people who rode the subways with me all those times will never know; I found ways to carry them long after we parted. I thought about them as they were sitting there. I wrote them into letters.”

Hannah’s mother had often left little letters or notes of encouragement and left them places where she knew that Hannah would find them. Hannah had many of those letters decorating the otherwise bare walls of her bleak apartment bedroom whose only striking characteristic was its mismatching red curtains.

One day as Hannah was in between stops on the subway and noticing those around her- many that were less fortunate in life than she was, she thought of those letters that her mom had written her. Words, she thought. I can give her a love letter. Pulling out her notebook, she began furiously scribbling down a letter for the stranger. The women slipped away in the crowd before Hannah could finish the letter, but that woman was only the first that she would “write out.” Eventually, her notebook was full of letters, every one of them signed saying:

Sending light and love,
A girl just trying to find her way

She had found within that brand new signature, a new freedom. She realized that she had bought into the lie that said she had to have everything figured out. Well, that was changing; she had found hope.

Soon all of New York City began to be littered with her “love letters,” as Hannah began to leave them for people to discover. Eventually, she opened up and shared about her letters in a blog post of hers. She ended that blog post with these words: “If you need a letter, if you need a reason to stand by the mailbox, I will meet you there.” She had no idea, then, of the number of broken people who would contact her and make good on her promise that she had so off-handedly made

That’s Hannah’s story, or rather the beginning of a collage of stories of person after person whose life was touched by Hannah’s or touched hers. She was overwhelmed by the number of requests and described it as feeling as if she had been invited into the homes of hundreds of strangers. Those emails requesting her letters were invitations for her to literally tour someone’s heart, to be shown every last room, even the ugly ones.

Those letters were the reason she later founded a website ( MoreLoveLetters.com) that was the start of a now international movement. I’m not pointing to Hannah Brencher as a role model, per say. There were several points within this book that I don’t necessarily agree with. (For instance, her search for God or some other form of ultimate truth is a main theme throughout the book. Sadly, at the end, she seems to come to the conclusion that whatever you choose to believe in will be enough for you, that God is who you make Him to be in your life and that whoever He is to you, that’s how He’ll reveal Himself to you.) Despite, those things, I can appreciate this book, If You Find this Letter , for many things: its effective and open writing style, its challenge to really “see” people and make a difference, and how accurately and beautifully emotions are captured and used to describe the nitty-gritty parts of who you are.

I would recommend this memoir to anyone whose dream of changing the world has been crushed, a person who wants to see how words can change lives, and really to anyone interested by this unique telling of a life radically change by the power of her letters.

Author 2 books3 followers
April 19, 2018
I have followed Hannah's blog and life journey since she was living out these words. It's been quite the adventure and when I read this book, I instantly felt like I was a part of it all. Her words have walked me through a whole lot of life and growing up - this book was no exception. It's one I've cried over, underlined, dog-eared, and written notes to myself in. It's a book I've shared with many friends and a copy just to loan out to people.

This book is about coming of age, figuring yourself out in the transition after college, and really just learning how to be a grown-up. I recommend it to all twenty-somethings who have big dreams and are trying to figure out all the deep inner workings of themselves. No matter if your post grad experience in like Hannah, heading off to New York City, or more like mine, moving home to help with family; you'll find your heart understood in these words.

Hannah has a strong gift for voice and vulnerability, making you feel like you're sitting across from her over coffee while she tells you her story and what she has learned along the way.

I cannot recommend this book enough! Buy it for yourself and then buy another copy for a friend.
Profile Image for AmandaEmma.
336 reviews46 followers
May 6, 2015
I received an eARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This review was originally published on my blog; Little Miss Reader

I absolutely loved this one! I was a bit hesitant at first since it's nonfiction and a memoir and that's definitely out of my comfort zone but when I began reading I just knew I'd love it!

I thought it would be more about the letters, which was the part that intrigued me, but it's more about Hannah's journey - obviously. I didn't expect that I could relate to Hannah as much as I can, I felt much of it could be said about my own life. Hannah didn't really know what to do after college - I'm 18 and in a few months I've taken my exams and I don't really know where I'll end up. I love that, for once, I didn't feel so alone. I'm not the only one who has fears about the future and this book was just what I needed to realize that. It simply took away my fears and I'm much more relaxed when I think about the future now - anything can happen and you don't have to know exactly what you want.
Depression is another thing me and Hannah have, or had, in common. It's not really something I talk about but I have to mention it when it comes to this book. Hannah is an inspiration! I love her optimism and even when she was diagnosed with depression she kept going. It's awful to have but it didn't bring her down and I won't let it bring me down either!
I love how openly Hannah talks about her life, the ups and downs - not everything is good. One thing Hannah said will probably stick with me the rest of my life;
"Life is just hard sometimes. And people deserve more credit for even getting out of bed sometimes."

I smiled everytime Hannah talked about her mother; I love their relationship! It's loving, kind and they actually talk to each other. I also love how the idea with love letters was inspired by her mother's love for letters. It is a relationship like that I want with my daughter
(s) when the time comes.

This book is packed full of lessons for life! I kept highlighting all the parts I love and quotes that's inspiring and I have never ever highlighted this much in my life!
One of my favorite quotes is probably:

"This was the moment when I discovered I knew close to nothing about what would happen next at any given moment, and surprisingly, that was okay."

It's not like this book is depressing at all, I guess you can call it inspirational or uplifting. That's what it was for me at least. If you're looking for a book to make you happy or just something to read this is probably not for you, but if you're unsure about life; what you're doing and where you're going I definitely recommend it. It has made me cherish life a bit more since I feel like she understood; she understood that not everyday is good and you just have to go through life one day at a time.

Since I've already told my mom to go ahead and buy this for my birthday I have to give it 5 stars. I feel like I have to have my own physical copy so I can read certain passages when I feel down and want something to help me through it.
Profile Image for Chelsea Pacheco.
8 reviews2 followers
April 8, 2018
In a way, I feel like this book changed my perspective on life. I read it while going through grad school and it was such a breath of fresh air. The main character’s faith and strength were so encouraging and it was one of the few books that I made notes in while reading. Amazing read for anyone needing a little dose of passion to keep them going!
Profile Image for Kyrianna.
122 reviews1 follower
April 25, 2023
"Love Is All You Need"

First, let me say that, I didn't know anything about this book going into it. My mother was reading it and I got bored one morning and just decided to pick it up. I feel like I was meant to find this story.

Basically, this is a true story about deciding one day to write a letter to someone in the hopes of letting them know that they were not alone. Even though she felt more alone than ever. And how through life's up's and down's something magical came from it! It's also a story of how life is not something that we have all the answers to and that it actually normal.

Now, I don't really ever pick up non-fiction because I can't seem to ever find inspiration or a connection to anyone out there. But Hannah girl, you and I were cut from the same cloth. Every analogy she used I knew and could relate to. Every thought she had I've had too. Reading a book where almost every line is me was an emotional roller coaster ride. I laughed I cried I got all sorts of feels.

I feel like I have so much to say about this book and yet words fail me. But if you are reading this review to decide whether this book is worth the read the answer is YES!!!! What do you have to lose? This story is you. This story is for anyone who has ever felt alone or has struggled. It's a story that restores your soul. Your eyes open and you realize things about life you may have forgotten while reading all the "exciting" news on Facebook. I won't lie Facebook is a riot but take a few hours and read this instead of that new meme. Take the time to read something that gives you hope and happiness instead of reading that mean comment about that celebrity who you just can't stand.

I will be recommending this to everyone. So as you happen to be reading this now...Go and pick it up!

I will be posting a YouTube Book Review as well!
Profile Image for Meaghan.
7 reviews
April 7, 2018
Breathtaking and captivating. Brencher will restore any faith in humanity that you may have lost. Your heart will be warmed and stirred to make an impact after reading, guaranteed.
Profile Image for Rebekah Snyder.
Author 1 book9 followers
June 9, 2015
I discovered Hannah Brencher back in 2012 when Wordpress linked me to a post containing "a single-stranded melody for the One who deserved a symphony." My life has not been the same since.

Seriously, Hannah's blog may be one of the best things that ever happened to me. The blog gets a five star review; the book only gets a four star, because I'm pretty sure most of the reason it appealed to me was because I was so excited to hear some of the back story to those words that have been singing to my soul for the last three years. I got to see a little more of Hannah's heart; not the pretty and poetic words birthed from the experiences, but the experiences themselves.

Hannah is a friend to me. That may sound strange as I have never, ever met her (though I would love to at some point in time). It may sound ridiculous because there are hundreds and probably even thousands of people who find their way into her inbox, but she knows me. She knows my heart, she knows my name, she knows I identify myself as Beyond Waiting across the pages of the internet. And she always, always, always finds time to respond. She has pinned her whole life to merely being the one who responds. That's the beauty of this book. Every last bit of it is real. Hannah is who she says she is. She shows up for strangers, time and time again.

But if the book isn't your thing, I guarantee it's because you're reading out of order. The book is for those of us who have already fallen in love on hannahbrencher.com.
Profile Image for Hannah • So Obsessed With.
1,379 reviews348 followers
July 13, 2015
I think 4.5 stars.

You know, I've debated a bit on this rating. IF YOU FIND THIS LETTER was nothing that I expected. I thought it would focus more on Hannah's website and her letter-writing campaign... and to an extent, it did. But it's really just Hannah sharing her story. She writes about her depression, feeling purposeless after college, and wanting to make a difference in the world. It's a memoir of the things that moved her, changed her, broke her, and pushed her on. At times, it felt a little indulgent to me.

There's a part of me that feels like this book might be closer to a 3.5 if I focused more on some of its flaws. And yet. It made me FEEL. It made me highlight whole paragraphs. It made me think about my life, my passions and my calling. I loved Hannah's writing style. She's a dreamer - a grown-up Anne Shirley in a lot of ways. The analytical part of me could probably find critical things to say about the book. But the emotional part of me doesn't care. I'll be buying myself a copy of IF YOU FIND THIS LETTER.

See my full review on So Obsessed With!
Profile Image for Leanora .
134 reviews
September 6, 2015
This book spoke to me, particularly the last section of this book... As a reminder we are not alone. I'll be honest, I feel like Miss Brencher was speaking directly to me at times, with quotes I wanted to plaster to my walls because she explains grief in a way I haven't been able to in the last 19 months. This memoir is about so much: finding yourself, leaps of faith, family, friendship, the written word, and above all Love.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
1,262 reviews23 followers
April 4, 2015
What an amazing book! It's so well written and emotional. I'm sure everyone can relate to her story somehow, no matter which generation they belong to. I'm also in my twenties and I have all the same feelings. I keep a large box of letters from my friends in my closet and that helps me a lot. I never thought about writing letters to strangers before, but now I see the beauty in this. Thank you for this book!
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