Love Letters to the Dead
by Ava Dellaira
Publisher - Hot Key Books
Release Date - May 1st 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart... it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.
But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.
“I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be.”Although, many of us find inspirations in other artists and famous stars, I'm less inclined to feel that way unlike some of my friends. Though, Laurel uses her sister's death to explain to those up in the stars about her own life and how the loss of her sister, May, effects her. I felt that May's death carried a emotional and conscious part of Laurel's almost as if, she was no longer her real self but a shell of grief and guilt that she has never really been able to admit and relieve herself of.
The first letter of the novel starts with, Kurt Cobain... admittedly I've only really knew who Kurt and the band Nirvana was from a friend, which I know is probably an insult on the music industry.
"Dear Kurt Cobain.....I wish you could tell me where you are and why you left. You were my sister May's favourite musician..."Kurt was certainly a reoccurring guest in Laurel's like she felt more connected with him than any of the other people she would write to. Once she starts to feel connected on a deeper level with Kurt, she decided to communicate with others that would highlight a piece of her life and her soul. She is able to relate some traumatic or beautiful moment between her and her sister to those who were seen fro their talent but not necessarily who they are as people. Personally I felt, that Amelia Earhart and Amy Whinehouse had the most influence with their historic and recent status within the media.
Within her letters, Laurel reveals more about herself than she does about her sister. She is mad at her sister for leaving her, for her mum leaving her and her dad being no more than just her father. She survives through the love of another, Sky, but is too closed to commit to the relationship. She has truth issues, first she has to trust herself in order to survive the loss, grief, guilt and sadness.
Jim, I want people to know me, but if anyone could look inside me, if they saw that everything I feel is not what it's supposed to be, I don'y know what would happen."Dellaira creates a beautifully written and emotional realistic story of young girl surviving her life through the lives of inspirational people. It made me realise that at the end of the day we are all human and person to be recognised for who we are. If you want a read completely different and unique from other literature of this genre, then I would recommend it!
Rating - 4