Nara's Reviews > Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
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Aug 28, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, for-review, owned-physical, coming-of-age

So, maybe this is silly, but it kind of bugged me that the letters weren't really love letters. Talk about a misleading title... The letters were really more like diary entries, except that Laurel wrote "Dear Kurt Cobain" or "Dear Amy Winehouse" rather than "Dear Diary". Also, is it sad that I knew hardly any of the people the letters were directed at? My knowledge of pop culture is pretty abysmal, not gonna lie.

Anyway, moving on to other aspects of the book, I must admit that pace is quite slow. Especially in the beginning, where Laurel is coming to terms with living without May and her mother, and starting at a new school. However, I feel like this languid pace actually suits the tone of the book, and the coming of age story that is being told. Change is slow, and that's well reflected in the development of Laurel's character.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, as you would expect in a book titled Love Letters to the Dead. There are definitely some darker undertones, which are hinted at slightly at first, but really begin to emerge around halfway through the book. At this point, the pace does remain pretty slow, but the book becomes a lot more engaging as you begin to speculate what exactly happened on the night of May's death.

When we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved.

The writing is just stunning. I think at least 3 of the stars I've given this book are for the writing. Some scenes were almost physically painful to read about, they were so poignant and beautifully written. Honestly, if you're looking for a contemporary with prose to die for, then this book is perfect.

There were definitely some aspects of Sky's (the love interest's) past which felt a bit iffy (I won't go into them because spoilers), but on the whole, the romance was quite well developed. It was perhaps a bit fast at the start, but that wasn't such a big issue overall. At times, I can't deny that it was frustrating, because of both Sky and Laurel's actions, but it's later justified well enough that you can forgive them for it in the end.

A poignant coming of age story about a girl who is insecure and broken, but truly relateable nonetheless, Love Letters to the Dead is a contemporary that will stay with you for a long time.

Ratings
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

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Maybe this is silly, but it kind of bugged me that the letters weren't really love letters. Talk about a misleading title... The letters were really more like diary entries, except that Laurel wrote "Dear Kurt Cobain" or "Dear Amy Winehouse" rather than "Dear Diary". Not love letters at all.

Started off pretty slowly, but then about halfway through, things took a turn for the dark at which point the pace remained pretty consistent, but the book did get more engaging.

One thing though, that bugged me a bit (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

August 28, 2013 – Shelved
August 28, 2013 – Shelved as: not-yet-released
April 14, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
July 17, 2014 – Started Reading
July 20, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 20, 2014 – Finished Reading
November 3, 2014 – Shelved as: for-review
November 3, 2014 – Shelved as: owned-physical
April 25, 2015 – Shelved as: coming-of-age

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