C.G. Drews's Reviews > Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, contemporary, read-2017, young-adult, read-2018, reread, audio-books
Read 2 times. Last read July 21, 2018 to July 31, 2018.

REREAD #2: July 2018

Brb, just sobbing. I can't even say how powerful, how meaningful, and how emotional this book is. It seriously has STOLEN my heart and if I can ever write contemporaries half as good as this afjkdlsad I will die happy. And can I just say the audiobook is fantastic?? The voice actors put so much passion into it....the whole thing was just incredible.

☆ Declan breaking down in tears just asking and asking to be loved
☆ every time they talked about snap-judgements, and how that's one photograph of a person's life and how dare you judge them all on one photograph
☆ Juliet pulling herself up for her problematic behaviour
☆ Juliet grieving so realistically and heartbreakingly
☆ All the adults that didn't give up on these kids. ALL of them. The teachers, Juliet's dad, Rev's parents...
☆ REV REVVVVVV I am about to start his book now ajfdlksad
☆ Literally one of my favourite contemporaries of all time I just can't even

READ #1: May 2017
Oh this was a pocketful of heartbreaking and heartwarming surprises. I really loved the author's other book Thicker Than Water, but I didn't expect to fall sooooo wholly in love with Letters To the Lost. PEOPLES, THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL. It's sad and it's sweet and the characters were so dimensional and complex and real. It was also DARN INCONVENIENT because I didn't want to put it down. The pages just flew past, with me feeling all the things which seems like a health hazard to my emotions.


It features letters and FRIENDSHIP! Obviously. But more importantly is the anonymous friendships...and while these two knew that they went to the same school/were same age (after a few back and forths), their relationship was still kind of like what one has with an internet friend. And I LOVED THAT. They got to know the deep and venerable sides of each other. They weren't hindered by pre-conceived prejudice or judgement. It was so simple and pure and sweet. Until obviously it gets ALL MESSY and aghhhh. My bleeding heart. Also the book is not TOLD in letters. There's just a letter at the front of each chapter.
• But seriously, the FRIENDSHIP. Even while Declan and Juliet are anonymously becoming friends, they also both have epic BFFs that I just want to kidnap and adopt immediately. Declan's best friend, Rev, comes from an abused home and is now adopted but he has a bucket load of PTSD...and he's also the sweetest kindest boy who is THERE for Declan. And Juliet has this epic friend of Rowan who doesn't let her have panic attacks alone and will forcibly pull her out of depressive episodes with Mexican food and hugs. Just the emphasis on GOOD and healthy friendships in here alone makes the book so perfect.
• It's quite sad though, with both Declan and Juliet suffering from a lot of grief. Juliet's grief at losing her mother makes her quite nasty on occasion, but in a "righteous" way which I found SO annoying. But then there was character development!! GLORIOUS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. And Declan is aggressive and puts on all the "bad delinquent boy" vibes with his criminal record and his terrible attitude at school. But inside they're both breaking apart with grief, blame, and anxiety. I can't even express how well it was written and how I loved them both. They're intensely flawed characters, and they grow so so much throughout the book.
• Also I loved how it didn't feature romance! The cliche route would be to make them fall in love over letters, right? WELL KIND OF, BUT ALSO NOT QUITE. First they became friends. First they focus on themselves. Dealing with things. Confronting themselves. THEN THEY ADMIT THEY AHVE A CRUSH AND AJFDKSLAD IT'S SO CUTE. I ABSOLUTELY SHIP IT.
• Also the messages about "no one is everything they seem" are intensely important. Look we all show the world what we want to. And we get judged for it. And just the quips and call outs of this were so on point...I can't even. I'm so impressed. Like when Juliet is really unnecessarily cruel to Declan (whom she doesn't know is her anonymous writing buddy) at school, she later gets called out for it with the thought of: just because someone is "known" to be a delinquent, does that mean they deserve your cruelty?? You never never never know the whole story so DON'T treat people like you do.
ALSO I LOVE DECLAN. Angry sad broken fragile child. <3 His home life sucks, he doesn't feel loved or feel he deserves to be loved. His dad's in prison and his sister is dead and he blames himself. AND LITERALLY EVERYONE HATES HIM WITHOUT EVEN BOTHERING TO KNOW HIM. (Except Rev whom I adore.) No no, it's ok, I'm not having an emotion here.
• And there's quite a lot of car stuff! And by the way I just said "car stuff" you know I haven't got a CLUE about the difference between a carburetor and carp fish. But yet!! I appreciated it! It features lots of breaking down cars and Declan fixing cars because he's #fab.
• Also it features photography! I love photography!! I may only use automatic on my dslr, shhhh, but I still loved reading about it.
• ALSO THE WRITING IS JUST EXQUISITE. Did I mention I was glued to the page?!??? And how real and complex all the characters were? It's an intense sign of good writing when you want to read spin-offs about the secondary characters (I WANT A REV BOOOK) and when you also don't want it to end because you're in love with Declan and Juliet. The pacing was A+ and the emotion was just so beautifully crafted the whole time. EMOOOOOTION. Feel all the things.

ALL IN ALL: Basically I'm just going to gush my liver out here proclaiming how good this book is. It totally took me by surprise, but I adore it. Heartfelt and tragic and bittersweet and also hopeful. Ugh words. I have none. Just go read it.
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Reading Progress

January 3, 2017 – Shelved
January 3, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 5, 2017 – Started Reading
May 5, 2017 –
page 233
59.29% "This book makes me want to cry in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY. omg."
May 6, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-star
May 6, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
May 6, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
May 6, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 6, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 21, 2018 – Started Reading
July 23, 2018 –
page 50
12.72% "Me: this book ripped out my heart the first time
Heart: glad THAT's over at least!!
Me: yes
Me: we should reread
Heart: why"
July 28, 2018 –
page 160
July 30, 2018 –
page 303
77.1% "An adult: [treats Declan with just basic human decency]
Declan: w-what?? what...?? what i don't understand--
Me: [sobbing]"
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
July 31, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 7, 2018 – Shelved as: reread
October 17, 2018 – Shelved as: audio-books

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Ryland Loved this one too!

Hikaoru Reading this because of you. I'm only on page 30ish but I've cried loads already

Lisa Elis I am gonna get this! Has anyone noticed how popular the name Rowan (or other boy's names starting in R) seems to be?

Jeffrey I bought this book a few weeks ago and now I'm even more excited to read it!

Stephanie There is a Rev book coming. 2018 I think.

C.G. Drews @Jen: Yayy I'm so glad!! It was such a delightful surprise. <3

@Hikaoru: I'm glad you like it! GOOD BOOKS ARE PAINFUL.

@lisa: Omg yes yes I have noticed. There are Rowan's absolutely everywhere, particularly in fantasy. This is the first girl Rowan I've read though!

C.G. Drews @Jeffery: YAS. GET ONTO THIS ASAP! ;D

@Stephanie: omgggg where did you hear that?! Is there a link to the announcement or anything? (So I can look forward to it wildly haha.) I need it badly. <3

Stephanie @Cait Cutting and pasting from my phone so I really hope this link works, but here you go.


C.G. Drews @Stephanie: OMG THANK YOU. I'm ridiculously happy!!

Stephanie @Cait You're welcome. I was pretty excited when I saw it too. This book was amazing. Great review, by the way.

Wanderlust_Wanz Great review! This book is amazing!!<3

EmilyViolet Read this on your review; awesome book! Thanks!
I was so proud there were adults who were helpful and nice and supportive and not just assholes because why not? Made the book feel more real, with so many people rallying around these two struggling teens

message 13: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @EmilyViolet: So true! I love it when books have helpful/supportive adults!

message 14: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie  Hanna I really want to read this now!

susie just read this and i lovED IT SO MUCHHH

kindling.pages Ahsjsksnsisnd I feel like now I need this book and I blAME YOU FOR THAT

message 17: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @KindlingPages: MY WORK HERE IS DONE.

kindling.pages @Stephanie: THERE IS A BOOK ABOUT THE FRIEND? I can’t anymore
@Cait: fair enough

Divya Mridhula Omg!! yes i looove letters to the lost!!

message 20: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews It is SO GOOD and this was the best thing to reread.

Hailey Hudson YES YES YES. This book KILLED me and then none of my bookish friends had even heard of it and I was like??? It was just so, so, so good ugh. And YES, we need a Rev book.

Hailey Hudson OMG. I just realized there actually IS a Rev book now. I'm so pumped.

message 23: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews THERE IS A REV BOOK NOW!! I also loved it (of course!)

Hailey Hudson I read the Rev book in one sitting last night and cried so much!

message 25: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews It was also so excellent!

message 26: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Bronson I agree! I loved this book. It took me by surprise

message 27: by Elisabeth (new) - added it

Elisabeth Nissen I literally started crying reading about the characters, I would do anything for them, and I haven’t even read the book yet, I LOVE YOUR REVIEWS!!!

message 28: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews Elisabeth wrote: "I literally started crying..."

Awwww!!! 😍

message 29: by Ohista (new)

Ohista Hasanova Hi guys could you send me this book in pdf format

Alisha Brook I recently read this, and Rev’s sequel, and they are just amazing! They both bring ALL THE FEELS!! Rev’s book is much darker, so be warned. I need to go buy all of Brigid Kemmerer’s books right now, because her writing is just wonderful.

message 31: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica Can you let me know if this book is in first person or third person? I can't find a sample. Thank you

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