Tuesday, May 10, 2016

{Review by Courtney} Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


Page Count: 323 Published on: 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Genre(s): YA, Coming-of-Age, Romance, Realistic, Contemporary, Death, Family Source: Print: Paperback Age Rating: P-13; R TRIGGER WARNING, Sexual Abuse, Family Violence, Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon
My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads 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.
Hey guys!
It is Courtney and I am and I'm back with a review of Love letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria

I've been in a really bad reading slump the last month or so. I have also walked passed Love Letters to the dead for months on the shelf and never decided to pick it up. Everything changed about a week ago. Recently one of our beloved school recourse Deputy Carl Koontz was killed while executing a warrant. His death has impacted our hole community and it changed a lot of things around our small town. I was close to him and spent many hours with him talking about things in my life that were bugging me. Things that I couldn't tell most. When i walked into Barnes and Noble one Friday night I walked up to Love Letters and for some reason I knew I needed to take it home. I'm so glad I took it home too. This book is now on my top 10 list of all time books. This book inspired me to write my own love letters to Deputy Koontz and it has given me a part of my life back. I know giving part of my life back sounds weird but it is true. I no longer dwell on what I can't tell Deputy Koontz and now I just write to him every night before bed. Life is starting to feel normal again- something I never thought I'd be able to say.
To start off I do want to warn you that this books is HEAVY. There is sexual abuse, family abuse, suicide, and drugs and alcohol involved with this book. This book will weigh heavy on your heart. I knew none of this going into this book and it caught me off guard. So here's a friendly warning of what I'm about to talk about.
Sky: Laurels love interest who also happened to know May. Sky and Laurel go through some very rocky relationship issues. The romance between them may not be the main focus but it adds to the book. Sky is very mysterious and no one really knows much about him and I think this is what drives Laurel close to him. She wants open up. He teaches Laurel how to do this. He is always there to rescue her too when she needs it.
Natalie and Hannah: Natalie and Hannah are Laurels to best friends who end up being a couple in the end. Hannah doesn't want to accept her feelings so she sleeps around with men. Her brother is a big reason she won't come out. He is abusive towards her and eventually she moves out from her grandparents house. In the end they get their happily ever after.
Laurel: our main character and my favorite character. She is asked to write a letter to a dead person for an English assignment and it turns into her coping mechanism. She was with her sister May the night she died. She blames herself for her sisters death. This is weighing on her. It's eating her up inside.In the beginning we don't really know much about Laurel and in the end her story hits us like a ton of bricks. Her character has helped me grow as a person and there will always be a special place in my heart for her.
May: Laurels sister who recently die. Laurel has always looked up to her sister. May was always told that she was the reason who parents stayed together. So when her parents divorced she felt responsible. We never really get a true answer as to how she died, did she jump? Or did the wind blow her off the bridge. I think it's left up for the reader to decide. I personally think she jumped. She had always been told she was brought her parents together and they are separated. She always wanted to protect her sister and she just found out her boys friends best friend was sexually abusing her. She was drunk, she walked on the handrail over the bridge. It was windy. It is left up to us to decide if she jumped or if the wind and her drunkenness lead to her death.
Laurels mom: Her mother leaves her and runs to California to follow her dreams. She essentially abandoned her child a very hard time in their lives. I understand we all grieve differently but I don't understand how you can walk away from your own kid. Because of all this Laurel has a lot of contempt for her mom and to be honest I can't blame her. In the end they work it out. They reconnect and they tell each other how they feel.
Laurels Dad: from the beginning of the book we can tell that her dad is depressed and an absent parent. He is struggling to deal with his others daughters death. The only time we really see him happy is when Laurel brings other people into the house.
Aunt Amy: Laurels moms sister. Laurel spends her time living with her aunt and dad. Aunt Amy is a strong believer in God and she is in love with a man Laurel calls "Jesus" Man. This man in the end turns out to be after Aunt Amy's money.
Likes and Dislikes:
Dislikes: There were no chapters. This made me want to keep reading and I never knew when to stop.
Liked: Even if you had no clue who Kurt Cobain was (if you don't you're missing out on something) or any of the others she writes to you could still follow the story. She incorporates her story in with theirs and she gives the readers a back story of these famous people. You will soon realize she writes to each person for different reasons
There is a playlist in the back of the book (or at least my copy) and I highly suggest listening to it while reading this. It will not disappoint.
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There is a place on her website where you can write your own letter to a dead person and read others.
Before I go I want to address the whole "this book is coping The Perks of being a Wallflower" I've seen a few times. While there are similarities in these two books they are COMPLETELY two different books. I can see why some people think they are alike because they do deal with some of the same subjects they are told very different ways. If you hated PERKS I'd pick this book up. If you loved PERKS I'd pick this book up.

Other Reviews by Courtney:

Thank you guys for reading this review
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Until we meet again,
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I hope you all enjoyed this review! I plan on reviewing this book too, because I read it right after Courtney, so keep an eye out for that too!
Happy Reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

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