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Dear Laura

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  70 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Gemma Amor
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  70 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. Not only
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary | "Empathy" - Look it up.
Note: Gemma reviews movies twice a month on Sci-Fi & Scary. However, I did not receive this book from her for review consideration and I will not be letting her contributor status influence the following review. Source for Dear Laura is Kindle Unlimited.

I was reluctant to read Dear Laura because, quite frankly, books involving human evil aren't really my jam. However, Gemma Amor is a great self-promoter and promoter of other people's work, so I decided to give it a read.

Dear Laura is a
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.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow...
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book in one sitting. Gemma captivated me with this story of a young girl that witnessed her friend get into a van and was never seen again. She started getting letters on her birthday from the abductor. He wanted something personal of hers in exchange for more information of her friend.

It was heart wrenching. Being 13 is hard enough. But watching your friend get kidnapped and then get targeted by the creep that did it? This poor girl.

I LOVED THE ENDING. I actually read the last
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 the book was just waiting
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!
Aaron Nash
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Dark, nasty and made me cringe more than once, especially the tooth scene. Only deducting a star because I felt like the reveal was gonna build to a massive twist, but unfortunately it was slightly underwhelming. I was still thoroughly satisfied though because of how real it felt. Definitely worth your 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!
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 absolutely
Brennan LaFaro
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a ride this book took me on. We follow the titular character, through past and present, on a journey to find out what happened to her childhood boyfriend. He was abducted in front of her thirty years before, and never seen or heard from again. Laura, however, hangs on to a dim hope that she might find him, and at the very least be able to provide an answer to his family as to why this happened.
The hope is dangled in front of her by X, the kidnapper, who leaves her letters every year on her
Kevin L
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, Gemma Ammor just went on my list of “pre-order anything new by this author” list.

This novella is immediate and powerful horrific in the best possible way. There are beautiful beautiful turns of phrase throughout and I tore through it in a frenzy. So, so, good!
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 the school
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dear Laura is a novella about cruelty and obsession, about love and the desire to please. Laura convinces herself that pleasing the mysterious X will result in her discovering what happened to Bobby, and perhaps Bobby himself, and although a unique story, her character and actions are so believable and relatable, even when the reader feels she needs to take another path, it becomes hard to argue against the one she travels. And, eventually, the threat isn’t just against her, but her family, and ...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 in one
Don Gillette
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes--5 stars. Easily. And one of my recommendations for the Bram Stoker Award in long fiction for 2019.
Absolute dynamite, completely engrossing, spectacularly paced, amazing characters, and oh, that story. Story, story, story...
Okay, here's the deal on this novella: I just spent a good 15 minutes trying to come up with something I didn't like about the book--just to see if I could--and I can't. I can find things I don't like about free chocolate ice cream, but when it comes to this book, there's
Missy (myweereads)
"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 by Gemma Amor is the graphic story about Laura, on every birthday she receives a letter from a stranger. This person tells her he knows where her missing friend Bobby is however he will only reveal details to her if she gives him something personal back. This goes on for years and reaches a point of great danger. After years of humiliation, Laura decided
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
Augie Peterson
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spoopy
I read this novella in one sitting with a singular bathroom break. The tension created through alternating chapters and the constant looming fear and suspense you feel as you read not only puts you in Laura's shoes, but allows you to feel the palpitations within her chest with every step she takes closer to her goal.

This book was more than good, it was powerful, immersive, and compelling. I loved all of it.

I watch a lot of horror movies and have seen the "stalker terrorizes their victim" trope
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 the book
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-horror-tbr
Once again I found another wonderful short story to devour in one reading. This novella by Gemma Amor is horrifyingly disturbing, in a good entertaining way.

The story starts off innocent enough with young teens Laura & Bobby, longtime neighbors, best friends turned boyfriend/girlfriend (for a very short period of time). I loved the awkwardness that the author portrayed as these two tried to figure out how to act now that they took their relationship up a notch with one peck on the lips.

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.
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 ...more
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.
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Penpal, you MUST read Dear Laura!
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At the moment the world of horror and dark fiction is truly spoilt with the outstanding range of novella length fiction on the market. If you’re looking for a riveting read to devour in two hours flat, without any toilet breaks, then look no further than Gemma Amor’s Dear Laura. Once you start this baby, you will struggle to drag your eyes from the page in a raw story which beautifully blends thriller, mystery novel and horror. Although Dear Laura is perfectly formed at a lean 110 pages, the ...more
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
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Laura could be seen as another entry into the somewhat over-stuffed psychological thriller niche, but only until you read past the first few pages. 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.
To label this as only a psychological thriller would be a disservice to this dark and brooding tale. A meditation
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 around 30 years.
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
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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
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