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Dear Laura

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  98 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
Paperback, 119 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Independently published
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  98 reviews


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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
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
...more
Edward Lorn
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Video review: https://youtu.be/u6hG66NbGkU

Chapter 29, paragraph two...

Chapter 29, paragraph two, is some of the best writing I've come across. The rest of the book is great, but that one paragraph wrecked me. My highest possible recommendation.
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
...more
Eric
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Glenn  Parker
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Laura,

I hope this review finds you well. God, I don't even know how old you'd be now. I have just finished reading what happened to you inside those pages - Your friend Gemma Amor did such a wonderful job telling your story - and I was blown away. I knew instantly that I had to write you a letter, although I pray this one is better received than the many you received for all those years ( I'll use a stamp so you know its safe and no yellow envelopes, I promise!) so, here it goes. This is
...more
Mindi
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow...
ginathebibliohoe
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
...more
Emily
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
I rarely read novellas...why...I have no idea! I think it’s because I’m afraid it’ll lack a lot of things: world building, character development, a satisfying conclusion, etc...

Well, luckily, I did not not experience any of that with this novella. Even though this story is a short read it’s very powerful. I could really feel the emotions portrayed in this book. The grief. The rage. And the disgust. I felt it!!!

If more novellas are like this one: packed with a punch, short and to the point, then
...more
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was phenomenal!

This dark, twisted gem of a tale is a story about obsession; obsession in its many layers. It's ballsy and evocative. Gemma Amor is definitely an author to watch out for if you like a nuanced writing style, and horror with substance.
Scott Murray
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Matt (TeamRedmon)
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
...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
4 Stars

I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this novella. I've followed Gemma on Twitter for a long time and have meant to check out her work for such a long time because I've heard nothing but good things. They were right!

The last time Laura saw her friend, he was getting into a strange van. She's been haunted by his disappearance, but her world is rocked when she starts receiving disturbing letters from the man who claims to have taken him. He sends her a strange letter on her birthday
...more
Beverley Lee
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book comes highly recommended and boy, does it pack a punch. It's just long enough to give the right amount of detail, without losing the the threads of story, which is very important in a novella. I read this in two sittings, one late at night, and then the next morning. It's that compelling.

The focus of the story is thirteen year old Laura, whose teenage boyfriend, Bobby, disappears from her life very suddenly. And then the letters start coming...

I'm not going to go into any more
...more
Brennan LaFaro
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Marcy
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is WOW!!

DEAR LAURA is full of love, grief, anxiety, and fear.

I would advise to go in blind. Highly highly recommend!
Elle
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kevin L
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Fans of Penpal, you MUST read Dear Laura!
Don Gillette
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Well Read Beard
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
He took her life in a way far worse than dying.

Laura's best friend is abducted when she is 14 years old and the abductor starts to send her letter and ask for things. In return he will tell here where Bobby is. I am a fan of stories about sinister penpals. I am sure I won't be the only person to draw comparisons to Dathan Auerbach's Penpal.

This book is haunting, It's hard to read without manifesting feelings of being watched or needing to look over your shoulder. As the letters progress and the
...more
Missy (myweereads)
Dec 22, 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."

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
...more
Mandy McHugh
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Augie Peterson
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...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 the book
...more
Danelle  @ Our-Wolves-Den
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.

You
...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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