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Dear Laura

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Every year, on her birthday, Laura gets a letter from a stranger. That stranger claims to know the whereabouts of her missing friend Bobby, but there’s a catch: he’ll only tell her what he knows in exchange for something...personal.So begins Laura’s sordid relationship with her new penpal, built on a foundation of quid pro quo. Her quest for closure will push her to bizarr ...more
Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Gemma Amor
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  42 reviews


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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And this is where I stand up on a soapbox and preach about indie/self-published horror fiction.
I don't know how I came to know about Gemma, I believe she submitted her collection, CRUEL WORKS OF NATURE to me for a review and I was very attracted to the grisly cover so I said, "YES PLEASE" and I also asked if she would send her book to our Night Worms crew of reviewers as well. She obliged.
That collection is AMAZING. I am forever singing its praises. Gemma Amor is so insanely talented
...more
Eric
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
As soon as Gemma Amor announced the release of this novella, I instantly headed over to Amazon to purchase it. I am utterly hooked on her stunning and effortless stories. They are grim but deeply human, and quite reminiscent of Tim Lebbon’s early work. Between Amor, VH Leslie, Gwendolyn Kiste, Nadia Bulkin, Lucy Snyder, and so many more, the past few years have seen almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to women writing horror.
Mindi
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow...
Emily
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5⭐ rounded up

"Because once a secret has grown old, and burrowed itself like a tick under the skin, it is harder to dig out than she could fathom."

Dear Laura is the second book I've read by Gemma Amor, and her stories are always intriguing. Dear Laura has a fairly grim plotline, and it focuses on themes like guilt, grief, sadness, loneliness, and mental health. This is not a light read.

I was interested in seeing how everything would turn out, but I feel like a lot of th
...more
Scott Murray
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin!? This was a much more harrowing story than I was prepared for beginning the book. But it was a beautiful, graphic and tragic tale that will stay with me a long time!
Evan Bond
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up today and tried to finish it in one sitting because I didn't want to stop reading. I settled for 2. The story grips you right from the very start. Laura is in an unfortunate and horrifying situation, plagued with guilt and abuse for most of her life. This was an excellent book by Gemma Amor and I can't wait to read more!
Linsey Knerl
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First, this book is so well-written. I really like Amor's writing style. Clean and crisp, with just enough descriptors to feel.... special. It moved me through the book at a fast-pace, and I felt better for having read this.

The alternating storyline is well-conceived. Past flips with present, and you start to really understand how we came to this place. You have empathy for the character, and with a ticking time clock marking down what could be a terrible end, you'll finish this book
...more
Aiden Merchant
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quid pro quo, you suffer, I suffer...

Rather suddenly, Gemma Amor - author of 2018's Cruel Works of Nature - has released a short novella circling our addiction to answers. On a personal level, this alone speaks to me deeply, as I am also the kind of person to obsess on the "why" of things. As such, Dear Laura immediately had me hooked, sitting upright or twisting in place (squirming for release, if you will), as I eagerly followed the story along. It's suspenseful, disturbing, and ab
...more
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Laura sees her best friend, Bobby, get kidnapped, her world is turned upside down. Then she gets a unstamped letter from a stranger, that calls himself X, saying he knows where Bobby is. Laura gets a new letter every year, on her birthday. The letters offer clues to Bobby's location in exchange for something of Laura's. This begins their relationship of quid pro quo and Laura's quest for closure.

I read this in one sitting after some starts and stops related to the beginning of t
...more
Mandy McHugh
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up Dear Laura after seeing some of my favorite reviewers ring its praises on Twitter, and WOW, it didn't disappoint.

Tight prose, beautiful imagery, and a gripping story, Laura's 100-page journey through the past and present is haunting. Amor did an excellent job creating a vivid, urgent objective that encapsulated fear on several levels--psychological, emotional, visceral.

I literally couldn't put it down until it was done, and at 100 pages, I finished it in a single sitting.

One of th
...more
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
Laura needs to find her best friend who has been missing for years. But to find him, she has to follow the clues given to her by the man that took him. Has the man been giving her all the clues over the years as prank? Or was Laura the one he’s really been obsessed with? Was taking her friend just a way to get to her? How far will she go to find her friend?

This book was amazing. It was recommended to me by my friend, Sadie. Sadie told me to read it as soon as I got it. And I received
...more
Hailey Piper
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every bite-sized chapter is like the letters of the book's mysterious X, eroding at the reader's comfort as we watch Laura's sanctity and security be eaten away. I'm still lost for words that won't spoil it. I SO BADLY want to talk about the conclusion, but you just have to read and reach it yourself. Deftly sliding between past and present, Dear Laura is a harrowing journey of manipulation and fragility.
Laurel
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, wow. This beautiful little book lived up to every ounce of glowing hype I'd heard about it. Lovely, piercing prose, a well drawn protagonist we bleed with from page one. Amor keeps the tension and action going from page one, and it's easy to see why so many readers report not being able to put it down until they'd finished the journey with Laura. In actual fact, I tried to put it down because I get so few occasions to work on my writing, but today I finally gave in and let myself read, and I ...more
Lexi
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Because once a secret has grown old, and burrowed itself like a tick under the skin, it is harder to dig out than she could fathom."

This novella hooks you right in from the get-go. You'll want to know what's going to happen next to Laura, whose best friend went missing, and you'll want to follow Laura throughout her encounters with this stranger who keeps sending her letters to keep her wrapped up in her bubble of guilt and her ever-seeking desire for closure, and it all just goes darker from there.<
...more
John Lynch
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just recently, Ive noticed a lot of talk about a novella called Dear Laura, by Gemma Amor. Being unfamiliar with the author's work, I was unsure of what to expect. What I found, was that Dear Laura was every bit as good as I’ve been led to believe. What I also discovered, is that Dear Laura is one of those books that, while it’s definitely horror, it’s not what you’d expect horror to be.

Dear Laura is the story of Laura, a woman who has been stalked and terrorized by a madman for arou
...more
Heather
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story does get mildly bloody, and Laura’s despair is writ large on the page, which isn’t always easy to read (but hey, that’s horror). She’s understandably damaged, and this shows up in her personality in fascinating ways. Amor manages to find ways to make it believable that Laura doesn’t go to the authorities as time goes on, which was my biggest worry about this story. There are some questions we never get answers to, which is realistic, but difficult as a reader of course. It’s at least ...more
Lesley Hillman
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
***SPOILERS***


I was recommended this book by a fellow book blogger on Twitter, and my God it's a good one. It very fast paced, vile and disturbing with some sensitive content, yet treated with a great amount of dignity and tactfulness making it powerful and evocative rather than stomach turning.
Laura's best friend and childhood sweetheart Bobby disappeared one morning with a 'man in a van' and was never never seen or heard from again. The kidnapper.. a truly horrendous individ
...more
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Penpal, you MUST read Dear Laura!
Laertes
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, dense, very dark read.
Joseph Sullivan
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
DEAR LAURA is a really fantastic short novel, plenty of mystery and certainly unsettling. Gemma Amor is a rising star in dark fiction and her quality of prose is undeniable. It seems like she's quickly mastered the short story form. I look forward to reading her future novels.
Danielle
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This short story held me captivated from the very beginning. I could feel Laura's suffering right through the page. I don't know why her parents didn't get her psychological help from the very beginning. It was obvious something was really wrong, and a professional may have been able to help Laura. However, not much is told about the parental situation, other than that they were not really around. I did like that there were no extraneous parts. Everything was from Laura's point of view, so there ...more
Mina
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Haunting and Raw

First time reading Gemma Amor and I loved her writing, all the thought and weight she puts into each idea and then a sentence.

Her haunting writing matches this story, which will have you shift and frown from unease as you read on.

You’ll feel every awkward moment, every tense decisions Laura makes. You’ll feel all the pain and shortness of breath and every inadequacy and panic induced terror.
Eric
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun story with a few issues for me - the primary one being that if a mystery bad guy is leaving cryptic notes with clues at regular time intervals, instead of trying to decipher what the clues mean, it would probably be more productive to set up a lookout and follow him. It didn't make sense to me that the main character was in so much pain and willing to go through the kinds of deprivations she goes through to get to the truth, yet she never even tries to catch the guy who is physica ...more
Michele Winter
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I've been having a difficult time lately finding a book I enjoy enough to finish. Unfortunately, Dear Laura is so good that I finished it too quickly. It sucks you in from the beginning and the suspense builds steadily throughout. A few typos aside, I can't think of any criticisms. Can't wait to read Amor's other writings.
Hannah Victoria
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dear Laura is about a girl who gets a mysterious letter from a stranger on her birthday each year 💌 The stranger claims to know the whereabouts of Laura’s missing friend Bobby, and asks only for something from Laura each year in return for the information she so desperately wants 🔎.

This a super fast paced story following Laura and the stranger bargaining with each other through a series of birthdays 🎂 With each year that passes we see Laura’s desperation and guilt increase, whilst th
...more
Wayne W
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wild ride

This book takes you from a kidnapping that happen when this girl was 13 all the way to 30 years later to find out what happen. It's a wild ride reading these letters Laura gets from this pervert. A very satisfying ending.
Jen (Book Den)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This was a fun novella to read. I think this is my first time to read Gemma Amor so I was glad to be picking up something by her. Her writing was compelling, and I flew through Dear Laura in one sitting.

The main reason my rating isn't higher is because I didn't understand the motives behind any of the characters. Also, the stakes were extremely low for the events that were taking place.

Dear Laura was a good evening escape. I look forward to future releases from Amor.
Scott
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very engaging

The story was really engaging! It very quickly gets to the point of its premise which keeps you reading and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The villain was fairly unsettling and the protagonist was super tragic. I would have loved to listen to the story as an audio play!

[semi-spoiler ahead]
My only gripe is there was one plot point in the book where the villain disappears for awhile that didn’t make sense to me
Martyn
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and engaging horror.

Laura’s friend goes missing when they are teenagers and is then tormented for years by the perpetrator and her thirst to find out what happens. As with everything in life, you find the tiniest glimmer of hope that you may find out what happened and even have a happy ending.

What follows is years of psychological torture and keeps you gripped until the last page.

I burned through this in one sitting and can’t wait for her next story, White Pines
Linda
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Murder, manipulation, madness - all seasoned with fear, gore, and a finale to beat July 4. Time to walk back to our cars.
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I'm a horror fiction author, podcaster, artist and voice actor from Bristol, in the U.K.

I write for the wildly popular NoSleep Podcast and various other horror fiction audio dramas. I'm also writing, producing and acting in two shows, 'Calling Darkness', and 'Whisper Ridge', out in 2019. My first anthology of short stories, 'Cruel Works of Nature', was released in 2018, and my next book is the no
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