In Love Letters to the Dead Laurel is given an assignment in her English class to write a letter to a dead person. Who knows why the assignment is given, but Laurel doesn’t turn it in anyway. She ends of writing several dead people and keeping a notebook of all the letters she writes. Laurel is still battling over the death of her sister, May, who she was very close and looked up to. She writes letters to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, River Phoenix, and others discussing high school, her friends, falling in love, and the death of her sister. She uses these letters as a way to deal with her parents separation, bouncing back and forth between her father’s house and her aunt’s house, making new friends, her past, and the lost of her sister.
May, the dead sister, seems like she was one heck of a character herself, and I would love to see Ava Dellaira write a prequel following May as the main character.
After finally admitting to herself (via the letters) what actually happened on the night her sister died, Laurel is finally able to forge her own path and move on with her life and appreciate her “lovely and amazing and deeply flawed” sister.
While some my not appreciate the writing style, I did. I found it authentic and believable. Laurel’s character was engaging, although I will say it again, I would love a prequel with May as the main character. Sometimes the family drama got in the way of the better parts: Laurel and her friends, the relationship with Sky, and the mystery of what happened with her sister. Laurel’s mom, who left the family and moved to California following the death of May could have very well been left out of the story for me. I know why she wasn’t.
Characters: 5 Setting: 3 Plot: 4 Conflict/Purpose: 5 Resolution/Outcome: 5
I rate Love Letters to the Dead 4/5 stars.