Love Letters to the Dead is a YA realistic fiction book about coping with guilt and loss. Laurel's older sister, May, fell off a bridge and died, leaving behind a broken family and a traumatized little sister who blames herself. Her English teacher gave an assignment to write a letter to a dead person, and before Laurel knows it, she has a notebook full of them, illustrating her childhood and the close bond between her and May. Through these letters and her new friendships, she discovers that only by accepting what happened can she truly forgive herself and move forward.
This is a profoundly moving tribute to grief, written with sensitivity and care. The story was heartbreaking, as well as beautiful at the same time. I applaud the author for including so many controversial topics, from suicide, abuse, and alcoholism to LGBTQ romance. Every character was deeply flawed and learning to heal from a variety of tragic experiences. Love Letters to the Dead is a journey of acceptance and forgiveness.
I love the format of this book as letters. It was easier for her to write to someone who will never read it, because she could be free to be honest to herself without judgement from others. Love Letters to the Dead is about loving and forgiving yourself, and letting go of the past.This is an extremely emotional, intense read that will leave you with tears in your eyes. Laurel largely developed as a person and I loved seeing her transform into self-love and respect.
I highly recommend this book!
Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating: 5 Stars