Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira

18140047Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Pages: 323
Genre: Romance, Coming of Age
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2014

Rating: 2/5 stars

Synopsis: 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. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally 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 truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that’s as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl’s journey through life’s challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.


The story is told through letters written by Laurel to dead people. It was like reading her diary. I thought that the story was interesting at first, but it got boring. Laurel kept mentioning her dead sister and gave no clues about what happened to her. Her letters just weren’t interesting. The synopsis makes it sound like the story is wise and valuable but you can get ‘wise and valuable’ from another book.

I was surprised to find that Laurel’s friends at her new school smoked and drank alcohol. They’re freshmen in high school! They’re bad influences on Laurel. I got the message that if you’re pretty then you’ll be savage and hang out with guys doing who knows what (May, Hannah).


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