Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost

by Brigid Kemmerer

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Overview

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681190082
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 172,665
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell, and the YALSA-nominated Elementals series and the paranormal mystery, Thicker Than Water. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, with several stops in between. Brigid is now settled near Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and children.

www.brigidkemmerer.com

@BrigidKemmerer

Customer Reviews

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Letters to the Lost 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the opportunity to read and review Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer! Two teens that have each lost someone they love begin an ongoing anonymous conversation by adding to a letter left and then found next to a cemetery headstone. The conversation moves to email for convenience and these two strangers help each other grieve. Declan has lost his sister and his father is in prison and no longer part of their family. His mother has married Alan, who isn’t the nicest to Declan. Juliet has lost her journalist mother in a hit and run car accident and she lives with her father. Declan has an amazing best friend, Rev, that’s dealing with his own traumatic past and Juliet’s best friend, Rowan, is supportive and caring. The email relationship remains anonymous and grows deeper and more meaningful as their grief is dealt with together. Letters to the Lost melted my heart with the complicated storyline and endearing, real characters. I love everything about this story, from the caring, helpful teachers to the awkward friends to the dysfunctional family members. All of these components create a beautiful realistic fiction novel worth 5 stars! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much!! Deserves way more then 5 stars!
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Brigid Kemmerer has crafted the perfect story; it explores grief, love, and family beautifully, and captured me from the very first pages. See more reviews at my blog! http://areadingredsox.blogspot.com
RAAS More than 1 year ago
Let’s start off by talking about the cover. Beautiful, isn’t it? A captivating cover really adds to the emotion of any book. It took me a few days to finally be able to write this review. I had to really process what was going on. This was truly not a plot driven book, instead a character driven read which was captivating and emotional to read. You read stories every other day and it’s a perfect moment where you are entertained…just like watching a movie or your favorite TV series. But then every once in a while, you pick up a book and it truly grabs you. Reels you in, tumbles your emotions, swings you around on one of those swing roller-coaster rides and then eventually spits you out leaving you expose…naked like fish bones… At the end of the day, 90% of novels are simple fiction and on the market to entertain. However, there will always be someone who can relate no matter how unusual or weird. In this case I can relate completely with Juliet and Declan. I’ve experienced both their worlds in my own life.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I had never read anything by Brigid Kemmerer before, but I heard all of her work is action packed and really good. Since I had never read anything by her, I was a bit skeptical. But then the reviews for this started pouring in and everyone said it was so good! It was time for me to find out for myself. Juliet has lost her mother in a tragic accident. To cope, she leaves letters at her mother's grave. Declan is ordered by the court to do some community service, which he chooses to do at the cemetery. Soon the paths of the two cross, without them ever knowing that they did, First things first, I LOVED the characters. I felt such a connection with them throughout the entire story. I was so invested that I found mysellf talking out loud to Declan and Rev, or giving advice to Juliet. I was really into their story and I was sucked into it every time I opened the book. I really felt like both points of view added so much to the story as well. It would have been so hard trying to explain either of their sides with only one person telling the story. With the alternate points of view we got to really meet both of them and that adds to the enjoyment of the story. However, I was not a fan of how the events unfolded. It seemed like it was a tad bit long, but then at the end, it kind of felt rushed. Like it felt too long to her, but instead of taking out some of the scenes or just not caring, she skimped on the end. I just felt like after all that they had been through, they deserved more, you know? I am also really, REALLY glad we get to know Rev's story. He seems like such a brilliant teen and I really need to know his story. I'm terrified of his back story, but then again I really want to know it. I can't wait until we get it next! Last but not least, I LOVED her writing style. I checked this book out from work, and I normally don't waste my flags on library books, but this one was too good not to. I wanted to write down almost every quote, so I just decided to use the flags. Her writing was so good it had me in tears on one page and then rooting for them in another. This book was definitely a surprise. I loved her writing style and the characters, but the ending felt a little rushed to me. I can see myself going to find and read all of her backlist before the end of the summer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JH_Trumble More than 1 year ago
Brigid Kemmerer’s compelling LETTERS TO THE LOST is a thoughtful, insightful, and heart-rending exploration of pain, guilt, and false perceptions. The narrative unfolds at a steady pace, with just enough twists and perfectly placed reveals to keep the tension at a high and often gut-wrenching level. It had me reading well into the night. A must read for teens! Adults will enjoy the novel too. And safe for middle schoolers—a bonus! Buy this book. LETTERS TO THE LOST will keep you thinking long after you finish the last page.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I was really excited to read this book. I'd heard such great things about it and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. So when I was offered the book for review, I jumped on it. And I am so happy I did! This is my first book by this author, though I own others! I wasn't sure what to expect. Honestly, I didn't even know the premise of the book. Just that I wanted to read it because all my friends said it was great! And so I jumped in, blind leap of faith, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. A book with no pretentiousness, no story based only on the attraction of the two main teen characters, a book that touched on deep emotional ties dealing with family, a book with true depth. Without giving too much away I will say Juliet Young has lost her mother and has found a way to keep her connection with her alive by writing her letters. Until one day, someone writes back to her. Thus starts her relationship with The Dark, who she can relate to on so many levels. The Dark, aka Declan Murphy, also finds it cathartic to write to Juliet. He becomes a different person on paper than he shows in public. Or at least a different person than he is perceived to be in public. And this is what keeps him a mystery to Juliet, even though she feels he's connected to someone else she has slowly been getting to know. What I loved most about this book was how honest and raw both Juliet and Declan were on paper. It speaks to how we are able to sometimes express ourselves so well when we are hidden behind something (paper, a screen, a text message). I love how raw the exchanges between the characters are in these letters. And yet, you see a different side to each of them when they are face to face. This book has sweet moments, and funny moments, and then heart wrenchingly sad moments. The baggage that each character carries with them tugs at your heartstrings. I was especially drawn to Declan. My heart hurt for him throughout so much of this book because he was just so misunderstood. I wanted to envelope him in a hug more times than not to tell him everything was going to be ok. That it was ok to be this teenage boy who was full of emotion and anger; that it was ok to let it all out. By far, my favorite side character in this book is Rev. He's a bit mysterious, which lends to his intrigue. Plus he is one of the truest friends I have ever seen in a YA novel such as this. I love how he is not afraid to express his love for Declan. No holds barred they are like brothers and Rev would have no problem putting himself in the line of fire for Declan if it ever came to that. I was truly excited when I heard he will be getting his own story. Overall the story is sweet and a bit heart wrenching with definite humor thrown throughout. The characters are well thought out and relatable. The writing flows well and the pacing is perfect. Anyone looking for a contemporary YA without all the sticky romantic mess you're used to seeing should give this one a try. That's not to say there isn't some romance, oh, you'll see that, but it's in no way central to the story. Which I think is the highlight to what makes this book so phenomenal.
KtLBLy More than 1 year ago
*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review* Declan Murphy has a guilty conscious because of his past. His dad’s in prison, his mom’s remarried to a guy who’s a jerk to him, and he’s the reason his baby sister is dead. Declan has to do community service for running into a building after drinking a bottle of whiskey. He has to mow lawns at a cemetery where he finds a letter leaning on a headstone. Normally he is supposed to throw things like that away but he reads the letter instead and decides to write back. Juliet Young is sad and lonely because her mom has been dead for a few months, and everyone’s tiptoeing around her waiting for her to work out her grievances and do the things she used to love to do. Juliet’s mother was a photographer who would take action shots where wars were being held. She was coming home from an assignment when the cab she was in was struck in a hit and run. Juliet feels guilty because she asked her mom to come home early and apparently she was, to surprise her. She used to write letters to her mom all the time when she was away on assignments, so to help her cope, she writes letters and leaves them on her mother’s gravestone. After finding that someone not only read her letter, but also wrote back, she’s furious at first, but curiosity gets the better of her and she starts to write letters to the mystery writer also. At first they don’t know who they are writing too. The anonymousness of it is just what they both need. Declan can’t talk to his mom because she’s way too involved with her new husband, and Juliet can’t talk to her dad because he’s grieving too and it’s just easier for them to tiptoe around each other. They can voice their issues in a way they never could before and deal with their grief and help each other out sometimes just by reading what was written. I loved this book. I couldn’t stop reading it because it was so gripping, and had so many twists and turns. You feel so much for these characters. You want them to figure out who the other is, but at the same time you don’t because they come from two separate worlds and you’re not sure how they would react if they figured it out. The way they talk back and forth helps each other so much that it’s exactly what they needed at that time. It had me so emotionally invested and I cared so deeply about both of them that it would affect my mood. This story blew my mind so many times and I cannot recommend it enough. ***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fansite: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.ng***
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Juliet's mother traveled a lot because of her job. Juliet used to exchange letters with her and after the awful accident that killed her mother she keeps writing them and takes them to the cemetery. When one day someone replies to her letter Juliet is upset at first, but the writer seems to understand her. That's why Juliet writes back. She has no idea who the person behind the letters is, but they don't stop exchanging them. The last thing Juliet expects is that she's writing to someone she knows well. Declan is doing community service at the cemetery. He lost control one night and he's paying dearly for it. Something is broken inside of him, but writing to Juliet helps him heal. They don't know who they're trusting with their secrets. What will happen when they find out? Declan and Juliet go to the same school and Declan doesn't have a good reputation. Will Juliet give him a chance to explain himself and discover what he's really like or will she write him off based on gossip? Letters to the Lost is an impressive love story. Declan and Juliet have both lost someone they love. They're mourning and are dealing with plenty of guilt. My heart ached for both of them. They're really young and have to shoulder so much responsibility already. When they start writing they've finally found someone they can open up to. They understand each other and could use the support and friendship. As they know each other well it's bound to come out who's behind their aliases and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to their relationship afterwards. I read the book in one sitting because I was curious and too moved to stop at the same time. Brigid Kemmerer writes about loss in a raw and empathic way. Letters to the Lost is a fast-paced story with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. It's an emotional book about parents who are constantly falling short. This is a sad topic, but because of the beautiful friendship Declan and Juliet are forming there's also light. Letters to the Lost is a great multilayered book. The story is compelling, meaningful and thought-provoking.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Brigid Kemmerer is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!! Letters to the Lost is the best book I've read by her yet, and I have a feeling it will be in my top picks for 2017! My favorite thing about this story would have to be that these characters, though broken and struggling, had family and friends beside them. They weren't completely alone, trying to find their way while walking in circles. These characters had their struggles, that's for sure... but to see the support they each had behind them was amazing. I also adored the relationship between Cemetery Girl and The Dark. They found in each other an anonymous way to open up about their deepest fears, regrets, and concerns going forward. These two counted on each other, even though they were hidden behind a screen. Hearing how different they were, yet so similar at the same time, had me truly falling for these two and wanting only the best for them. Both Juliet and Declan were developed in such a way as I felt as though I had known them their entire lives. Declan was bitter after an encounter with the law that left him being judged by everyone, including his family. Juliet was struggling to deal appropriately with the loss of her mother, leaving her hobby (photography) in the dust, and struggling to redeem her relationship with her father since her mother's death. These two were lost, and with the help of each other and their friends and family, they were able to start working through their difficulties and find a light at the end of the tunnel. Such a raw, emotional, heartfelt and swoony story!!! I have to admit that I did get quite emotional a time or two. This story was heartbreaking at times. But it was also uplifting, encouraging, and outright adorable at certain points. (And we can't forget the swoony scenes! Loved them!) This book had everything I love, plus so much more! Definitely add this one to your TBR. It's magically amazing. (Thanks to Bloomsbury for the review copy!)
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
This is going to be one of my most precious reads this year, full of emotions and grief, but also so much hope. Hope that it’s not one day or one incident defining your life. There is always some way to make things better, to find a way back to setting your life on the right path. And it shows how important it is to talk about what’s going on inside of a person. Reading this book brought on so many feelings and thoughts that I had to stop reading a few times, just t take a breath and dry away some tears. The story felt so real and I got really involved in everything happening that it took me a moment to realize that I reached the end of the book. I wanted to know more, wanted to stay with Juliet and Declin for longer. Wanted to see Declin get more confidence and start believing in a new future. Wanted to hear Juliet say that she is just as good as her mom. If a book can draw you in, doesn’t let you go and makes you think about your own life, than it’s a book worth reading. “Letters to the Lost” is this kind of book and it hopefully gets read by many, many readers. Five stars, two thumbs up and a READ IT! from me. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I was really excited for this book, but never got around to it. Even with a few friends telling me it was amazing. And maaaaaan, it totally is. I loved Juliet and Declan. They both have so much grief that it's palpable. Their friendship is so precariously balanced and it's absolutely delicious reading it all unfold. There were sweet moments and heartbreak and a few really really really great scenes I didn't see coming. I could have done with a million times more kissing and maybe an epilogue, but I loved the hopeful feeling. I'm pretty sure this will be one of my top books of the year. **Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for providing the arc free of charge**
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens Publication Date: April 4, 2017 Rating: 5 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope. Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past. When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. What I Liked: I've read all six of Kemmerer's previous novels (and some of the novellas too), and for the most part, I enjoyed all of what I read. Kemmerer has a way of writing broken teens who are trying to find their way. But I think Kemmerer is at her best, with this book. This, to me, is her best work. This book split me open and made my heart hurt - in the best of ways. I wouldn't say that I get emotional over books, but this one made me feel some feels. This is Juliet Young's and Declan Murphy's stories, which becomes one story. Juliet's mother died in a hit-and-run car crash, and she has been grieving ever since. Juliet used to write letters to her mom since her mother was often overseas, as a photographer in war zones and such. And so Juliet continues to write letters to her mom, but leaves them at the grave site. Declan Murphy has community service, which involves mowing and lawn of the cemetery. He finds one of the letters at a grave site, reads it, and writes back. An exchange of letters occurs, and then it becomes emails. Juliet and Declan have no idea that they are reaching out to each other and helping each other through their grief and pain. But in real life, Juliet misjudges Declan, and Declan misjudges Juliet. Both are not the other's biggest fans; but when one finds out that the other is the letter writer, will it matter? I sat down with this book with the intention of reading only half of the book, and saving the other half for the next day. I started reading really late into the night (after 9 PM) and had no intention of finishing. But hours went by, my family went to bed, and I didn't even notice. I was so engrossed in this book, and I couldn't stop reading, and the next thing I know, I've finished it. It was that wonderful, and heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Usually when there is a YA book with dual, first-person POVs, I adore one of them, and feel so-so about the other (I don't have this problem with adult books, which is a relief). With this book, I liked both characters a lot. I think I liked Declan more, and I really connected him more (for some reason - it's not like I have a stepparent or a father in prison or a shred of the problems he has). Declan is so misjudged, and by everyone. Everyone labels him as a thug and a criminal, and when someone says something bad about him, no one comes to his defense. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
Heart-breaking. Hopeful. Unputdownable. Love, love, LOVED THIS! Declan and Juliet will break your heart and stitch it back together again. And I need Rev's story like yesterday. Perfect for fans of Emery Lord, Sarah Dessan, and Huntley Fitzpatrick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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