Love Letters To The Dead

Sunday, January 25, 2015

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.  (Source: Goodreads)
Rating:  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★

You know you're reading a good book if you can’t put it down. That’s what happened when I got hold of Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead. It was such a beautiful novel with all kinds of emotions in it, so beautiful that I decided to write my thoughts about it.

It’s my first time to write a review about a book or rather write my thoughts about a book, and I didn't realize until now that it’s not as simple as I thought it would be. I have to say, this is one of the best I've read so far.  When I first saw the book in good reads, I immediately clicked “want to read” because who won’t? The cover is as if shouting at you saying “READ ME! READ ME! READ ME!” So the 35th Manila International Book Fair came and as soon as I got to catch a glimpse of the book, I immediately grabbed it without having second thoughts.

The book was more like a diary for me. All her thoughts, no one know about are written on it.  Her journey starts when she entered high school. Because of the traumatic incident, Laurel became sort-of an introvert. She ate lunch all by herself sitting by the fence, staring at leaves falling from trees, people passing by up until she became friends with some people you’ll eventually know more about in the book. The assignment turned year project made her realize ‘things’ about life and death. She writes to Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison and many others. Her thoughts consume her to the point that she decided to write it down. I realized that these letters served as her lifeline since she can’t voice what she wants to say and so she needs an outlet.
The book tackles about family, friends and romance. There’s also a LGBT aspect in this book but still, it stands on its own just fine. As you go on reading Laurel’s letters, you’ll eventually learn more about her. You’ll swim in a thousand of different emotions. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be highlighting like mad, and like what I’ve felt, you’ll be sad when you turn the last page, saying goodbye to the characters.

The characters in the book felt like real people. I didn’t have a hard time to imagine they’re real, living and breathing somewhere. I felt like I was part of her journey. I felt like I knew her and purposively left these letters for me to read so I could learn a thing or two.

It’s an amazingly written novel about self-discovery. I think it is one of the most important books I’ve ever read because of the message it conveys. There are laughs, tears, heartbreaks but not to the point that you’ll hate the author, just the right amount of everything. Ava Dellaira is a genius. This got to be the perfect book for today’s generation. It would open your eyes to reality and make you learn to appreciate the little things in life. I had some of my realizations after reading it and I’m sure you will too.
 “Sky laughed and nuzzled his face into my neck. I put my hand out and stroked his head. He seemed like a little boy just then, in a way that he never had before. Maybe because I felt stronger now, strong enough to hold him. We didn’t kiss or anything else. We just lay together like that, breathing. I felt something between us shifting, like the hidden plates on earth. You think you know someone, but that person always changes, and you keep changing, too. I understood suddenly, how that’s what being alive means. Our own invisible plates shifting inside of our bodies, beginning to align into the people we are going to become. 
If you want to cry without getting your heart broken, if you’re in doubt of yourself, if you’re like Laurel who doesn't have the courage to voice her thoughts out, I highly recommend you read this beautiful novel. Head over to to know more about Ava Dellaira's Love Letters to the Dead.

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