Love Letters to the Dead

by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that’s as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl’s journey through life’s challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “Thanks to Edelweiss and Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers for early access to this title. This was a very powerful book. I appreciated the characters, and felt very much for Laurel. Dellaira did a great job with all the characters. I really liked the epistolary format—it worked really well for this story. I only had a small problem with one scene, however, it was the main climatic scene of the book! It just seemed a bit forced and unrealistic to me. The rest of the book was quite well done. I really enjoyed this realistic fiction. I liked that it tackled some very real problems that many kids face in their own lives. It reminded me a bit of ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ and that was before I saw that Stephen Chbosky had written the blurb for the cover! I look forward to reading more from this author.”

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