Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaira’s debut is not an easy book to read, but it’s worth the heartache that you feel when you go through it. A unique idea to overcome the grief of a recent loss in the family, Ava Dellaira’s book is something that will keep you hooked, chances are it may even make you grab a tissue.
It all begins in Laurel’s English class. The teacher, Mrs. Buster has asked all the students to write a letter to a dead person and Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain, who died young, just like her sister May who loved Cobain like anything. After the assignment, Laurel doesn’t turn in her letter. Instead, she starts writing letters to many other dead people. Amy Winehouse, Judy Garland, Heath Ledger and many other who were famous, but died some way or the other. Sometimes because of a heartbreak, other times because of dealing with a heartbreak.
The Love Letters to the Dead People by Laurel, as usual, go unanswered, but Laurel doesn’t stop. She starts sharing her daily life with them, her new high school, her new friends, her first love, a broken family and a truth regarding May she cannot come face to face. But the letters are not enough to take Laurel away from the ghosts of her past. She needs to face the truth, moreover, accept the truth. Through these letters, you undertake a journey with Laurel and try and figure out what went wrong with her, what made her go socially berserk.
She needs to face the reality behind the lines before these letters consume her and she cannot even come back to her normal life. And only she can save herself, nobody else. A heart wrenching read, something that will drown you in a bucket full of emotions.
A YA fiction, Love Letters to the Dead is a book that will either really test your patience or will make you go awe and mushy inside. For me, it did both. When I started reading the book, till 100 pages the book was really testing my patience. As a reader, I prefer to find the interesting point of the book soon enough, before I loose my interest. But luckily, I found the interesting point within next few chapters in Love Letters to the Dead. When Laurel mentions her fears about the truth behind May’s death, that point got me.
And from that page onward, Love Letters to the Dead switched my “Awe” and mushy mode on. I was engrossed in Laurel’s emotions, how she uses letters to describe the pain in her heart. How she uses these letters to overcome her grief and fear to accept the truth. Love Letters to the Dead also makes Laurel mend the broken family ties over her sister’s death. And towards the end, a tissue almost comes out.
Another unique thing about the story is that all the people Laurel chooses to write to, she can relate the disasters of their lives with herself. But yes, some of the readers might give up on the book at the early stage itself, thanks to too many characters and a bit splotchy story line in the beginning.
All in all, Love Letters to the Dead makes up for a warm read, something that you will like. But yes, it is not everyone’s cup of tea, so tread carefully down the pages.