Katie G's Reviews > Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
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This is a hard book for me to review. I wanted to read it as soon as I learned about it, probably because I'm starting to develop a weird love for epistolary novels. I was curious to see how a teenager girl would relate to all the dead people she was writing to.

As far as the actual letters went, I was pleased. This wasn't like To All the Boys I've Loved Before where I thought it was going to be about all these letters but then the letters were only a tiny part of the book. No, this book was told entirely in letters, which I appreciated. We also got to learn about the people she was writing to, which was nice. I don't usually know anything about celebrities, so it was nice to learn things about them without actually having to look any of them up.

As far as the actual book goes, though, I had some issues. For starters, this book is really slow in the beginning. Actually, not just the beginning. For the entire first two-thirds of the book, I was sort of bored. I'm not sure if the book itself is really that boring or if it just wasn't what I was expecting and my expectations were too high or what, but in the beginning I found myself not caring too much. Laurel suggests early on that her sister's death is somehow her fault, and I mostly kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened. That was really the only thing that got me through the middle section of the book.

Not that it's all bad, though. It might have been slow, but there were some great supporting characters. Natalie and Hannah are two friends who make out when they're drunk and try to keep anyone from finding out. Both characters had their own problems to deal with, and I enjoyed watching them figure things out and grow. Kristen and Tristan, the cool older students (who for some reason hang out with a bunch of freshman) were also interesting and had their own issues, though theirs weren't as thoroughly explored as the others.

We also meet Laurel's parents and aunt. I kind of wanted to hate Aunt Amy because I have a problem with people who talk about sin all the time, but she actually wasn't that bad. We eventually get to see that she's just trying to take care of Laurel, and you can't really hate someone for that. Laurel's parents are obviously trying to deal with the death of their daughter, and they're not handling it particularly well, but they were realistic with their flaws.

Once we got to the last third of the book, I didn't want to stop reading. I'm not sure if the writing changed or if I just changed my attitude, but even after I found out what happened the night May died, I wanted to keep reading. Once people really started admitting they had problems and dealing with them, the novel got more interesting, and I started really appreciating all the awesome quotes in this novel (not quotes from other people but things her characters say that I want to write down and remember).

Overall, this is a decent book. If you're looking for something with a lot of action, this book isn't for you. If you don't like reading about whiny teenagers who don't really do anything for most of the book, you should read something else. If, however, you like watching characters slowly (very slowly!) grow and learn to talk to people about what's bothering them instead of keeping it all inside, you might want to give this one a chance.

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Reading Progress

January 14, 2014 – Shelved
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014-book-list
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: death
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: father-daughter
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: family
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: friendship
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: letters-email
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: lgbtq
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: lit-fic
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: mother-daughter
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: romance
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: sexual-abuse
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: siblings
July 8, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 8, 2014 – Finished Reading

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