So its time for the review and discussion of Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Here is a summary of the book:
Laurel is given an assignment in Freshman English to write a letter to a dead person. While she doesn’t turn in the assignment, for the rest of the year she continues to write to dead celebrities about her life. Her sister died, she’s starting at a new school district, meeting new friends, navigating potential pitfalls, and meeting boys. As the year goes on Laurel meets a group of friends and a boy that makes a major impact on her, but she keeps everything about May’s life and death to herself. As things progress she learns that she must deal with what truly happened before and after May died. She must learn to forgive May, herself, and her mother.
After reading that Stephen Chbosky enjoyed this book I knew I had to give it a go. Fun fact, Ava actually worked for Mr. Chbosky for awhile & gave him some of her writing and he urged her to write a novel. So as you can tell he was a big influence over this book.
I thought the book started off a little slow but I could tell it was just building up to the thick of the story. It is very much young adult fiction given the issues that come up in the story, but at the same time I felt it had a lot of lessons that people of any age can learn.
Laurel is somewhat an outsider, she makes new friends and quickly sets about creating a character that she can play to fit in with them. I thought the character Laurel was playing around her friends was who she thought her sister would have been. As the story unfolds she outgrows the character and finds herself.
I really enjoyed how this story was told all in letters and the fact that we learned about the celebrities she was writing to. We learned their back stories and who they were before they were famous and pretty much their downfall.
Here are some quotes and lessons from the book:
“I think it’s like when you lose something so close to you, it’s like losing yourself. That’s why at the end, it’s hard for her to write even. She can hardly remember how. Because she barely knows what she is anymore.”
“Nirvana means freedom. Freedom from suffering. I guess some people would say that death is just that. So, congratulations on being free, I guess. The rest of us are still here, grappling with all that’s been torn up.”
“And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don’t have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It’s knowing you could be the author instead.”
“It was then that I could feel that the moths in him, with their wings so paper-thin, will never be near enough to the light. They will always want to be nearer – to be inside of it. It was then that I could feel the lost thing in him.”
“But we aren’t transparent. If we want someone to know us, we have to tell them stuff.”
“There’s more to life than being a passenger.”
Alright enough from me, tell me your thoughts about the book in the comments below! Did you love it? Hated it? Didn’t finish reading it but have a few thoughts? Please share!