Love Letters To The Dead


How did I get it?:
Received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review.


It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.


I was really looking forward to reading Love Letters To The Dead. I had seen it hyped everywhere, and many people I knew were giving it 5 stars. When I got my hands on a copy, this book jumped up my TBR pile, bypassing many books. However, I think I gave into the hype monster. I didn’t like it as much as I expected to, and now I’m questioning whether I’m wrong. There’s no denying that Ava Dellaira is a talented author, but for me there was something missing in this book.

I think the reason why I didn’t connect with it as much as I hoped was that I found it quite slow paced. It took a while to get used to the letter format. (The book is purely told in the form of letters). I just wanted to know what had happened to Laurel’s sister, and it took a long time for it to be drawn out. I guess some others might find this intriguing, but for me, I began to lose interest.

Laurel’s grief is explored so well throughout this book. She was trying to forget her past, but writing the letters slowly helped her to come to terms with everything that had happened to her. It helped her to deal with who she was. I thought that Laurel developed really beautifully throughout the book. The reader can really see the growth from the beginning to the end of the book.

Laurel is a brilliant character. The reader can really feel her loneliness. I really liked Sky (the love interest) and Laurel’s friends. Each had their own issues, but were able to deal with their issues together.

I think Love Letters To The Dead is a good read, and worth checking out. But for me, I definitely needed to be aware of that hype monster…

Would I recommend it?:

20 thoughts on “Love Letters To The Dead

    • It is a unique format, it just didn’t work for me for some reason with this particular book. It’s a shame. I still think it’s a good read though. Just not as good as I was expecting.

  1. I’ve started this one and am enjoying it but can see where you’re coming from. I hope it improves for me!

    Great review, Chrissi!

  2. I felt the same way. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t WOW for me. The plot was a bit too similar to Perks for my taste… Although I will say that Dellaira has a beautiful writing style – very lyrical!

  3. I didn’t like this book at all. I agree the writing in it was definitely good… and I would totally read another book by this author, but this one wasn’t for me. I didn’t connect with Laurel at all and felt like she was trying too hard to be like her sister and friends and boyfriend and never showed us who she really was. I also wasn’t a fan of all the older guys that were everywhere in this book. It freaked me out a little!! And the secret was very blah to me. Very YA typical (Perks of Being a Wallflower-ish).

    • I’m glad that I’m not the only one that didn’t like this book as much as others. I agree that the writing is beautiful. I would read something else by her too. I also found it hard to connect with Laurel, which is a shame.

  4. This is one of those books that I’ve wanted to read for a while but I’ve heard les than positive things about. I love that the main character is so brilliant! I love characters more than plot. I think this book will stay on my-to read list but will try to keep my expectations in check. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I just started this one yesterday. So far, so good, although I’m not sure that the set-up (the letters to the dead) is working for me. Still, I’m interesting in Laurel’s story, so I’ll keep going.

  6. I’m really looking forward to reading this but I’m trying to not get too crazy about it before I’ve even read it, because I’ve just heard so much hype about it..The hype monster can be so bad at times!

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