Monday, 30 June 2014

Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'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 have found this book really tricky to review. I really wanted to read and review this book and asked for it to be sent from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The cover of this book really drew me into it and I had heard so much about it. From reading the blurb it sounded really interesting, I loved the idea of reading a series of letters and enjoy that writing style. However I felt that for me Love Letters to the Dead, did not live up to my expectations.

The Story starts with Laurel being asked to write a letter to a dead person, this sparks her off on writing lots of letters to dead people. Laurel has been through a trauma with her sister May dying and uses the letters as self help.

Unfortunately for me I felt the letters were not written as well as they could have been and ended up being presented in more of a diary style of writing, rather than letters. At times I found it difficult to understand why she was writing to different dead people and took a while for me to make the connection. I feel that in a way it would have been better to have stuck to only one dead person to have written to, instead of many.

At times I was a little unsure of how old Laurel was meant to be, at times, things that were written seemed for a character a lot older such as 16, however there were other occasions when I felt her voice was of one of those from someone a lot younger, which would also link in with her age of 14.

I felt that Laurel to me was not a likable character and I had to force myself to actually take an interest in her, the book itself is relatively short, however at times I felt that it was being dragged out.

There are many emotions present in this book, all of which I feel are dealt with very well. I did find the book a rather depressing one, which I was a little disappointed with. What did make me want to continue the story was the 'secret' that Laurel was also bottling up, I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

There are some wonderful lines in the book and the description at times really draws you in. These are two of my favourite. I loved this description of when Laurel is with Sky.

'It was then I could feel that 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.'

And when Laurel is remembering times with May:

'I saw her fairly wings come out. I saw them trying to flutter to keep her up. To take her back. But I'd broken them. I saw the wings like tissue paper break off and float into the sky as she fell.'

Overall I did enjoy the story and think that there are some beautiful passages in it. However it didn't capture me in the way I had hoped. I did think it was depressing at times, not all the letters Laurel writes are sad but the emotions take you on a roller coaster of a ride. I can see why people are getting excited about this debut author as she can definitely write well. This is a thought provoking read, that may help you deal with grief, love and friendship.

I would recommend others to read this, and I thank the publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. What a great and honest review! I've purchased the book a few weeks ago and it's good that I know what I can expect now.