Date finished: Saturday 1st July 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
First time reading?: Yes
From Goodreads: “Sometimes the best letters are the ones that go unanswered
It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person – any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain – he died young, and so did Laurel’s sister May – so maybe he’ll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people – Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart… it’s like she can’t stop. And she’d certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it’s like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time – and how her family has shattered since May died. But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can’t keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won’t be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny. A lyrical, haunting and stunning debut from the protégé of Stephen Chbosky (THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER).”
Any book that’s compared to “Perks of Being a Wallflower” grabs my attention as that’s on my list of top books ever. I can understand why this book was compared to it, but “Perks” is still the far superior novel.
This book was OK. I think the way it was written as letters was a bit strange, and the author fell into proper conversation a little too often that would occur in real letter writing. I wonder if maybe it would have been better written as just solid prose as opposed to in the form of letters.
I loved the fact that music was it’s own character in the book though. The constant references to certain songs and artists was a brilliant throwback to artists who not only have died recently, but passed away a reasonable time ago. All of her letters are written to those who either took their own lives or at least passed before their time, and it seems to be a running trend in young adult these days to have the protagonist very into what millennials would call “old music”.
I enjoyed reading this book – it was good as a debut novel. The unravelling of Laurel’s past was handled really well, with Laurel becoming more comfortable writing down her deepest thoughts and memories the more she wrote letters to the dead.
I’m definitely looking forward to more works from this author. I know the back page synopsis compares to to “Perks”, and as “Perks” is one of my favourite books I knew this wasn’t going to live up to anywhere near those standards, but there is an echo of that book all the way through “Love Letters” as you progress through the novel. I’m looking forward to more work from Ava Dellaira.
My rating: 6.5/10