Customer Reviews for

Love Letters to the Dead

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful YA novel! In the interest of full disclosure, I recei

Wonderful YA novel!

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher for review purposes.

5 Stars!

I just loved this book. Even though I was a teenager half my life ago, this book is one of the reasons I still choose to...
Wonderful YA novel!

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher for review purposes.

5 Stars!

I just loved this book. Even though I was a teenager half my life ago, this book is one of the reasons I still choose to read YA novels. There are no silly sparkly vampires seen here. There is really nothing sparkly seen here at all. This book is real. This book makes the reader feel.

Laurel is just entering a high school at a new school. She is given an assignment in her English class of writing a letter to a person who is dead. While Laurel never turns in her assignment, she spends that year writing letters to famous dead people as a way of journaling her very troubled life. Through the letters, the reader learns everything that troubles Laurel but we learn them piece by piece. The biggest piece is the loss of her older sister and the subsequent effect on her family. Many pieces of the story do not come until the end of the book when Laurel is ready to deal with them. We watch her deal with pain and grief in stages as she is ready.

The letters are address to people that I know well since I am older than the intended audience. I do wonder if the average teen reader will know who Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, River Phoenix and Janis Joplin are and whether than will have any effect on their enjoyment of the book. This book will probably be best for an older teen as drinking, drugs, and sex (plus other sensitive topics) are part of the story.

We do see Laurel grow and deal with everything that has happened in her life. I have hope for her future. This is a story of a girl having the strength to overcome what life has thrown at her.

posted by Caroles_Random_Life on April 1, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

What might have been?

Could have been a good book until an honest review. Gave away to much info. Now I don' t need to read it. Teachs me a lesson,not to read long review.

posted by 273898 on April 2, 2014

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful YA novel! In the interest of full disclosure, I recei

    Wonderful YA novel!

    In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher for review purposes.

    5 Stars!

    I just loved this book. Even though I was a teenager half my life ago, this book is one of the reasons I still choose to read YA novels. There are no silly sparkly vampires seen here. There is really nothing sparkly seen here at all. This book is real. This book makes the reader feel.

    Laurel is just entering a high school at a new school. She is given an assignment in her English class of writing a letter to a person who is dead. While Laurel never turns in her assignment, she spends that year writing letters to famous dead people as a way of journaling her very troubled life. Through the letters, the reader learns everything that troubles Laurel but we learn them piece by piece. The biggest piece is the loss of her older sister and the subsequent effect on her family. Many pieces of the story do not come until the end of the book when Laurel is ready to deal with them. We watch her deal with pain and grief in stages as she is ready.

    The letters are address to people that I know well since I am older than the intended audience. I do wonder if the average teen reader will know who Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, River Phoenix and Janis Joplin are and whether than will have any effect on their enjoyment of the book. This book will probably be best for an older teen as drinking, drugs, and sex (plus other sensitive topics) are part of the story.

    We do see Laurel grow and deal with everything that has happened in her life. I have hope for her future. This is a story of a girl having the strength to overcome what life has thrown at her.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    What might have been?

    Could have been a good book until an honest review. Gave away to much info. Now I don' t need to read it. Teachs me a lesson,not to read long review.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2014

    Laurel is in a new school to try and get away from everyone know

    Laurel is in a new school to try and get away from everyone knowing who she is and what happened to her sister. She gets her first assignment in English class to write a letter to someone who has died. She writes to Kurt Cobain because he died young like her sister May did. While she doesn't turn it in that assignment started her writing to all kinds of dead people about what is going on in her life and the more she writes the more she reveals about what happened to her and her sister. The letters become a way of her finally getting out what she has been hiding from.




    I had heard great things about this book and was glad I finally got the time to read it. Laurel is a young girl who is in many ways running from who she is. She lost her sister and now just wants to move on. She goes to a new school and begins to make new friends. She doesn't share anything from her past with them. With her new friends she begins to d many things from drinking form the first time, to falling in love with a guy, to sharing their secrets. All the time she is writing letters do dead people in her journal talking about her life. She slowly begins to talk about what happened to her sister and her in the letters. She doesn't want anyone to read them. Her sister's death has tore her family apart and Laurel has to learn to talk to them as well. The letters help her do so. I liked this book as it is very clever in how it is written. You do get to see Laurel in her every day life but the journal entries are a great touch as you see why she has picked each person and why they are special to her. Kurt Cobain is just the start of some amazing people she writes to. I felt sorry for her in many ways as most of the time she seemed to be trying to fit in with the others and hiding form what is really bothering her. I didn't expect what had happened to her and it was a twist that really surprised me. This is a wonderful book I would recommend to many.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    I was super excited to read this book. The cover is gorgeous and

    I was super excited to read this book. The cover is gorgeous and the blurb sounds really interesting. At first, it was everything I had been hoping for. Laurel is writing letters to dead celebrities as she tries to figure out her life. She is trying to cope with the fact that her mom ran away and her sister died. She's at a new school and makes some new friends. The writing is gorgeous and full of emotion. I love the way Laurel describes things, like the way she feels connected to the music of dead singers, or the performances of dead actors.

    About half way through, I started to lose interest. The beginning was so awesome, but then the same things kept getting rehashed over and over. The writing was still beautiful, and I really enjoyed Laurel's relationship with the dead people she keeps writing to. But the story had somehow lost it's spark for me. I didn't feel like I connected with the characters all that much. They were all pretty quirky, which isn't a bad thing, but it just wasn't MY thing.

    I'm not a teenager, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I can't be certain that I would have connected with the book even if I were a teenager. I'm chalking this one up to personal taste, because it really is a beautifully written book.

    Content: This one has a LOT of content. Underage drinking, sex between underage teens and older guys, drugs, smoking, passionate make out sessions with and without clothes, and quite a bit of language. Far too many F-words for my tastes.

    The Cover: I adore this cover! It is so gorgeous and it portrays the feel of this book really well. The cover was definitely a huge plus for me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest re

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Love Letters to the Dead is one of the most important books I’ve read in my entire life. It’s important because the message it conveys, is of the utmost important. The story tells us about Laurel, the main character, who moved schools after her sister, May, passed away. After May’s death, Laurel’s entire life has crumbled apart. She tries to become like May, tries to make her sister come to life again by becoming her. She tries to understand her sister and the mistakes she made, the choices she picked, and why. But the more Laurel begins to behave like May, the more she loses herself.

    Her English teacher gives her an assignment – to write a letter to a dead person. Laurel starts writing to Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and more. She picked those artists because her sisters loved them, or because they had something in common with her sister. As Laurel writes more and more letters, in which she talks about her new life, her new friends, how she copes with her sister’s passing, about her Mom who lives halfway across the state now, and about her Dad who tries so hard to cope, I started to feel a real connection to her, and my heart broke for Laurel. But despite it all, she keeps on going strong, and tries to deal with the past the only way she knows how.

    The book is beautifully written. It brought me to tears more than once. The characters are amazing, and even May, although deceased, feels like a real character. The book feels very real, as if Laurel and her friends – who each have their own share of troubles – could just walk into the room and start chatting.

    A great, inspiring read. Keep the tissues ready.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Looks cool

    This book looks good but unfortunately i cant afford it :(

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    I just finished this book literally 15 minutes ago. I read the w

    I just finished this book literally 15 minutes ago. I read the whole book in a day, i really liked this book. I was on the edge of my seat after every single page because there was never a page that was a drag on. It shows what she has been through and her obstacles that she faces after the death of her sister. I definitely recommend this book. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2015

      I had this book for review before it was released, but then I

      I had this book for review before it was released, but then I heard it was written entirely in letters I kind of shyed away form it, I'm not a huge fan of poetry and that's exactly what this sounded like, But then the reviews for it started pouring in and I was so intrigued that I decided to still give it a chance. So, it stayed on my TBR until I was ready for it.
    "Why are some things harder to lose than others? [...] Because of love, of course. The more you love something, the harder it is to lose."
    pg. 13
         Oddly enough, while reading this, the letter style and the poetry feel didn't bother me. It actually made the story a little more lyrical and it flowed so nicely. Dellaira has a great writing style that I actually kind of envied. She was able to use those letters to tell Laurel and May's story as well as keep incorporate some of whoever she wrote that specific letter to. It was so intricate and well put together and I was very impressed.
    "When we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved."
    pg. 151
         What I didn't like was the plot. The beginning was good because I was anticipating something bad happening. (So many people had told me to get my tissues ready,) I just knew I was in for a doozie. But as it got to the middle, it just drug on. I really felt like what was happening actually had nothing to do with May and Laurel. Although it taught her a small lesson in the end, I really felt like a large chunk of that could have been left out. The ending is where it got good again which is unfortunate because by then it was too late. Finally everything began to come together, but by then I had already guessed what had happened. So of course when it did, I wasn't surprised and I didn't cry. It was weird because I normally do cry at books like this, but after a predicted plot twist, the tears just never came.
    "...maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to just be a character going whichever way the story says. It's knowing that you could be the author instead."
    pg. 301
         All in all, this wasn't what I was expecting after everyone's rave reviews about it. Yeah the writing was very impressive, but the plot and the middle of the story just dragged on too much for me. Although this wasn't the right fit for me, I hope it falls into the hands of someone who can utilize it and cherish it.

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  • Posted February 2, 2015

    Unique!

    A wonderful idea that not only teaches, but encourages and brings thinking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2015

    Its was ok..

    The book is basically written in letter form.. which is different from the normal reads but overall it was just ok.. I don't think it's a waste of time to read however it would not be on my top picks of books to recommend someone else to read..

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  • Posted January 11, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    See full review at The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Love Lette

    See full review at The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com

    Love Letters to the Dead is the story of Laurel, learning to deal after her sister's death and getting mixed in all sorts of teenagery shenanigans. I've had my eye on this book for a while, and finally decided to bring it home from the library. The premise sounded like it could be hit or miss...but it ended up landing somewhere in the middle. If you're looking for a realistic young adult fiction, you will probably love it or you'll hate it.

    The book itself is written in a compilation of Laurel's letters. What I liked was traveling through the process of Laurel's grief and the realistic family dysfunction to go with it. I liked the tragedy, the messy romance, the dramatic friendships, and the almost hopeful tone near the end. The events that moved the plot were entertaining, and I found myself sympathizing with Laurel. I liked how the author left the reader to ask questions throughout the book: How did Sky know May? How did May die? Was it suicide or an accident? What happened to Laurel that made her feel so guilty? All of these elements allowed me to enjoy a great deal of this book.

    However, there were a lot of things I thought were really weak. Like the fact that Laurel was in High School, yet she talked like she was 10...but then would suddenly be talking about every single detail of everything around her; the smells, texture, lighting, feeling, memories, etc. etc. etc. It was inconsistent and way too fluffy. I ended up skipping over some of the paragraphs dripping with detail because I just didn't really care. The picture was being overpainted.

    I'm not sure if it's because my copy of the book may have had some misprints, but I felt like she repeated the same Judy Garland letter at least 3 times. Also, if she turned all those letters into her teacher she probably would have gotten herself and her classmates in a lot of trouble. And her teacher would have seen what she wrote about her, too. So giving ALL of the letters to her is a fairly huge inconsistency that kind of shattered the enchantment of the book.

    Sadly, this book fell short of my expectations. The conflicting impression it has left makes it difficult to rate, so I've decided to keep it right in the middle. I liked it, I'm glad I read it, but it could definitely be better. I would recommend reading the book and deciding for yourself whether you like it or not. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2015

    Copied way too many ideas from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

    Copied way too many ideas from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 
    Also, the main character would just have these random moments where the author sprinkled in some cliche of an idea that you could tell the author fancied herself original for thinking in an attempt to make the character less boring and lacking in a personality. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2014

    I LOVE KURT COBAIN!!!!!

    Kurt Cobain is bae

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2014

    I really loved this book!

    I really loved this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2014

    Wonderful novel. A must read for anyone struggling in life or de

    Wonderful novel. A must read for anyone struggling in life or dealing with angst. Fans of John Green and E. Lockhart will love this book!

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  • Posted November 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I love everything about this book. Ava literally broke my heart.

    I love everything about this book. Ava literally broke my heart. Initially I was a bit weary from reading mixed reviews about it on goodreads but the concept and the way it was written in the form of letters just drew me in.

    I loved the raw honesty in this book. Ava knows how to draw you in and connect you to the very heart if the matter. My heart squeezed at the tender moments & ached at the sad ones. Its quite a heavy read and Ava covers some serious teen issues which are very real in today's society.

    Characters & Story line: 5/5

    Sometimes I find it a bit tough to connect to YA books but Ava did a wonderful job. The characters are colourful and are dealing with very real issues that teens are dealing with in our society.

    Laurel - I really just love the name Laurel. She is a shy misfit who is dealing with separated parents and the death of her sister. She misses May terribly and is about to start High School. May was Laurel's everything. Laurel's journey is so real and you cannot help but be touched by it.

    Laurel & Sky - I really enjoy the sweet slow burn chemistry between them. It is a typical high school romance and is filled with all the things teenagers have to deal with.

    Sky - I just loved him. Sky is not cocky or arrogant but sweet with some mystery.

    Natalie & Hannah - These are the friends Laurel makes at High School. Natalie is friendly & nice to Laurel. Hannah is an interesting character but I didn't like her too much.

    May - May is such a big part of the book. She is Laurel's sister who dies tragically before the book starts. She sounds like a wonderful fun, person and is missed terribly by her entire family. You get to know quite a bit about her through Laurel's memories and letter/journal entries. Laurel has a tough time when she realises her sister was not as perfect as she wants her to be.

    Plot, Pace, Writing style: 5/5
    I love the unique concept of writing letters to different people as a way of telling Laurel's story. I really connected to Ava's writing style. Its not a slow book but not a fast one either. I enjoyed the modernness of the book (people, songs).

    Cover talk: 5/5 Love it! It's just beautiful. The title sounds

    Final Thoughts: This is an amazing book. It touches on so many tender issues and is a bit if a heavy sad read but totally worth it. LLTTD ends on a beautiful note. I will definitely read more of Ava's work and look forward to seeing great things from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2014

    I just don't know what to say about this book. I felt let down.

    I just don't know what to say about this book. I felt let down. This is a book for a teenager. If you would like to read a diary, this is a book for you. flipped from page 51 to 191 just so that I could find out what happened. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Sounds creepy

    Dont know if i should read.......?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    I've seen this book in a store and had to pick it up mainly beca

    I've seen this book in a store and had to pick it up mainly because of the beautiful cover but the storyline seemed to be great, too.
    I was wrong, not even halfway through the book I couldn't read on anymore, I'm not a person that needs big words but the writing style is too simple,
    too much of what people would say they feel than what they really feel. I couldn't identify at all with the girl and everything was happening too quick while we didn't learn
    anything about her secret for a long time.
    I think the idea of the book, writing to dead people, is really interesting but it didn't make up for the lack of feelings that were conveyed. I felt like what I read was more "my face got red when he glanced at me" than a description of how she really felt inside. Sadly this seemed to be the main writing style and therefore I lost interest pretty soon. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Beautiful

    This book to me is honestly relateable in so many ways
    I seriously could not put it down, i felt connected to Laurel and fell in love with Sky, they kept me on my toes the entire time. Throughout this book I admit, I cried, idk it just hit me in a way I can't describe , truley one of the best books i have read in awhile.

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