Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead 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 DiedBut 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 A Lyrical, Haunting And Stunning Debut From The Prot G Of Stephen Chbosky THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

I was born in Los Angeles One of my first memories is of looking out the window of the black Cadillac that my family drove across the wide open desert when we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is where I grew up, and where my sister and I spent countless summer afternoons making fairy potions, battling evil witches, and playing other imaginary games that probably contributed to my proclivit

❮Reading❯ ➶ Love Letters to the Dead Author Ava Dellaira –
  • Paperback
  • 323 pages
  • Love Letters to the Dead
  • Ava Dellaira
  • English
  • 12 July 2019

10 thoughts on “Love Letters to the Dead

  1. says:

    Dear Famous Person,You are so cool My name is Laurel and I go to High School but I am still going to talk to you in the passive, immature voice of a 10 year old and then occasionally break out into beautiful metaphors about the sparkles in Sky s eyes and how just one glance from him makes fireflies dance in my stomach or something equally nauseating beautiful There is something fragile like moths inside of him, something fluttering Something trying desperately to crowd toward a light May was a real moon who everyone flocked to But even if I am only Sky s street lamp, I don t mind That s right Sky is great And Sky is awesome And fuck everything else because, looky there, it s Sky Yours,Laurelp.s This book is actually all about the deep grief I feel after my sister s death I know that may be surprising when all I actually do is pull the petals off flowers and wonder if Sky loves me.____________________________________________You know, this book is actually almost exactly like the diaries I wrote when I was about 10 11 years old I didn t write to famous people, I wrote the entries to a made up name so it was like I was talking to someone who was there just for me Because, well, Anne Frank did it and I thought it was totally cool Honestly, it s a mystery why I wasn t one of the popular kids in school.I would write in fragmented sentences that walked the unfortunate reader through my day, until I would suddenly get a burst of inspiration and philosophize about life in that all knowing way which only young teens who know absolutely nothing about life can manage Here s the thing, though There s a real good reason why most people don t publish their diaries because who wants to hear about your boring ass high school day or how freaking hot that dude called Sky is If this book was attempting to be a realistic portrait of an annoying teen without a personality mission accomplished.Frankly here comes the controversial statement this has to be the most emotionally manipulative book since The Fault in Our Stars Laurel s sister has died so she deals with all her thoughts and feelings by writing letters to different dead people inc Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Judy Garland Guess who the last dead person letter is to Go on, guess.And Laurel s personality is nowhere to be seen Her letters are written in short, disjointed sentences with no sense of emotion coming through at any point No sadness for her sister No actual chemistry between her and Sky It s just words, and not great words at that She, like me, pauses in the middle of the childish narrative to wax poetic about something probably to do with Sky She is constantly defined by other people what she thinks of Sky, her friends and the famous people Who is this girl that everyone seems to fall in love with Not a clue.________________________________________________Dear wasted time,I apologise for not reading something less trite, immature and manipulative.Yours,EmilyBlog Leafmarks Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr

  2. says:

    Dear Kurt Cobain,Mrs Buster gave us our first assignment in English today, to write a letter to a dead person. For me, this book was pointless, puerile, and pretentious, with a character who is the passive, dull YA contemporary equivalent of Bella Swan or Luce Price It s hard to be myself, because I don t know exactly who I am But now that I ve started high school, I need to figure it out really fast. The main character was simultaneously too naive and juvenile, while never letting me forget that behind this character, there is an adult writing this book On my first dayI used my favorite outfit from middle school instead, which is jean overalls with a long sleeve tee shirt and hoop earrings. I could not bring myself to care about the extremely dull character, who has no character and no personality of her own, who comes off as a girl who s only too willing to be pulled along by peer pressure The next thing I realized is that you aren t supposed to bring your lunch You are supposed to buy pizza and Nutter Butters, or else you aren t supposed to even eat lunch. This book goes nowhere It is a diary of a high school girl, Laurel, who s lost her sister, May Laurel s despair over May s death is tremendously subtle, and so suppressed that I can hardly tell she s grieving at all I guess I am not doing this assignment the way I am supposed to Maybe I ll try again later.Yours,Laurel No shit.The point is that there was no point to this book If I wanted to read about a main character that I can t relate to, whose grief isn t even present, who falls in love too easily, who lets herself be completely bent by peer pressure, who can t really relate to her familyWHY DO I NEED TO PAY MONEY FOR IT If I wanted to read the diary of a really immature young woman, I can just go onto Tumblr or DeviantArt or Livejournal does anyone use Livejournal any and browse through any amount of adolescent frippery for free And I can stop when I want to The Premise This book is written in a series of letters to dead characters, musicians, poets, actors It reads like a slightly less silly version of a 12 year old fangirl writing letters to One Direction or Justin Bieber Dear Amy Winehouse,Your fearlessness seemed like it came from a different time When your first album was released, you still looked innocent, a pretty girl who said she thought she was ugly.You would step onstage in your little dress, sipping a drink, with your big beehive hairdo and Cleopatra eyeliner, and sing with a voice that poured out of your tiny body You were willing to expose yourself without caring what anyone thought I wish I was like that. And 95% of the book is about Laurel, not the artists To be fair, I didn t want it to be, because the information I got from these artists from these silly, juvenile letters aren t anything I wouldn t have gleaned from 5 minutes on Wikipedia or Daily Mail UK.The Actual Letters A few paragraphs on the artists themselves, and then a million pages or so it felt like of a teenaged girl rambling on about 1 Skyyyyyyyyyy Skyyyyyyyyyy 3333333 I especially like to watch this boy, whose name I figured out is Sky He always wears a leather jacket, even though summer is barely over He reminds me that the air isn t just something that s there It s something you breathe in. 2 Her family, dad, mom, crazy Bible thumping Aunt Amy3 Her lesbian friends4 Her cool older friends who are like, so awesome, and, like, so into each other, and like, so into music Dear Janis Joplin,When I got home today, I looked up about Slash, and I also looked up about your life, so that I can start my education, and so that I can be friends with Tristan and Kristen.When Kristen and I are better friends, I am going to ask her to play me some of your music.Yours,Laurel 5 Her sister I guess.The letters follow this pattern for the entire fucking book Dear ______,I think you re really cool because _______ I imagine that you must have been like _________ growing up I think your dreams must have been like the wings of an angel sparkling with unicorn horns and butterfly dreams that never got fulfilled.Today I went to lunch with my friends I thought about Sky a lot.Then I talked to my friends Then I watched them kiss Then I pretended that I didn t see them kiss I went home to talk to my really sad dad, and I reflected upon how sad he is and how much I miss him And May But I m not going to think about May I m not going to tell you anything about how she died I m going to let you have the impression that I love her even if I don t say it I m going to give you the impression that I care about her without ever implicitly mentioning her.Sky is really hot.______, you must have been so cool to know while you were alive.Yours,LaurelAN ENTIRE BOOK LIKE THIS.Laurel She reminds me a lot of Lara Jean from Jenny Han s To All the Boys I ve Loved Before, which is to say, she s innocent as fuck, she s naive as fuck, and even if she s old enough to get to 3rd and then some base with her boyfriend, and drink, and do illegal shit, she s just there for the ride Laurel is not a leader She is a follower She does things because people tell her to If this book were an YA paranormal, Laurel would be the equivalent of Bella Swan because she fucking does nothing in the book unless someone drags her into it.She is a good girl, an innocent girl who drinks and do stupid stuff like ask strangers to buy her alcohol because her cool friends tell her to And she really, really wants to be friends with them She is desperate to be loved, and I couldn t give a flying fuck about that Spare me your dull I have problems that I won t talk about mental issues I want a girl twisted and torn by grief, I don t want a passive little fluffy bunny, even if that bunny occasionally indulges in some cannabis laced carrots.Inconsistent Writing I could not get immersed in Laurel s character because she has such an inconsistent voice In some parts of her narrative Laurel sounds like a 12 year old I liked everything about it I liked waiting in line with everyone I liked that the girl in front of me had red curls on the back of her head that you could tell she curled herself And I liked the thin crinkle of the plastic when I opened the wrapper I liked how every bite made a falling apart kind of crunch. When I got the shirt, secretly I had hoped that Sky would notice me in it and see who I could be Maybe he d feel a pang of regret over losing me. It had my name on the back It was perfect He had sanded the wood down so it was smooth, but the grains don t go away I told him it was my favorite present I d ever gotten He looked proud.And then she starts spouting off philosophical crap and imageries out of freaking nowhere, and I m left wondering who am I reading, the character or the author trying to write a poetic teen who s not convincing in the least Her house is a different kind of empty It s not full of ghosts It s quiet, with shelves set up with rose china, and china dolls, and rose soaps meant to wash out sadness. There is something fragile like moths inside of him, something fluttering Something trying desperately to crowd toward a light May was a real moon who everyone flocked to But even if I am only Sky s street lamp, I don t mind. I think Hannah must be afraid like I get afraid, the way I did when I heard the river yesterday, the way I do when I don t even know what the shadow is, but I feel it breathing.Laurel s narrative voice just did not work for me I can t take a 12 going on 40 year old poet.The Romance Zero spark Zero chemistry About as convincing as the romance between Leonardo DiCaprio and whatever barely legal Victoria s Secret supermodel he s dating now.Everyone loves Laurel Out of nowhere, the most popular guy in school asks her out, and not only that, she got the attention of Sky, the loner who never talks to anyone And although he has license to stand with the cool kids, he still doesn t fully belong anywhere and hasn t relinquished his title of Mr Mystery Hence the throng of girls who are always leaning in and touching his arm But of course, my money s on you He s a cool loner, the one who never cares about anyone, until he meets Laurel It is insta love for her, and Sky falls for Laurel remarkably fast, considering Laurel never does or say anything fucking remarkable But I guess 17 year old boys are easily impressed You d be a really great writer, I said Oh yeah How do you know By the way you talk Like when you said that Kurt is so loud because he s staring the monster in the face, and how you ve got to fight back Final Comments The grief over May s death just isn t there Sure, Laurel is supposed to be really, really sad about May, considering she died, but I never felt her sadness It is a matter of telling, not showing You could argue that Laurel is suppressing her grief really well, but why the fuck would I want to read a book about that It s the equivalent of reading a romance novel where the main character absolutely refuses to fall in love against all reason I know those books exist I don t like them Some truly bad things happen to Laurel in this book, and guess what I don t care I want to care I m not a callous person, but you have to make me FEEL something for the character I could not relate to her I could not sympathize with her I did not like her I can t bring myself to hurt for her when she is damaged.Not recommended.

  3. says:

    4.5 stars Months ago, I had to put Love Letters to the Dead down because it was making me so desperately sad Almost a full year later, I read the last half of it with a lump in my throat and tears dripping down my face This is a profoundly moving meditation on grief, written with rare sensitivity and the kind of prose that nearly stops your heart with moments of quiet, anguished beauty Review on the blog recommended for fans of If I Stay.

  4. says:

    3.5 STARSOur flushing hearts, trying to climb the stars how with the wrong wind, we can fall I don t think I ve ever felt so many contrasting emotions for a book as I did for this one My first impulse was to rage quit this as early as the second Cobain letter, followed by derisively laughing at Laurel s puerile drama Then I felt some alien tug at my heart over Aunt Amy and her Jesus Man and got teary eyed over the story behind her parents broken marriage Reading this book felt a lot like having your emotions painfully scooped out of you, put back reconfigured at the end strangely familiar but also new The book has no chapters Instead it kicks off with Laurel writing a letter to Kurt Cobain for an English assignment where they are to write letters to the dead She doesn t turn in the letter and instead continues to write to well known personalities who all died young telling Amy Winehouse of her heartache over her dead sister May, to Judy Garland about her disconsolate father and her mother who deserted them She tells River Phoenix of Sky, the boy made of fluttering moths inside him writes to Janis Joplin about Aunt Amy s Jesus and her unrequited love tells Amelia Earheart of friends who are in love with each other but can t be together and friends who are together and in love but will eventually be apart.I mean, from the list alone of these letters recipients, you know this is not going to be a light read And it really delivered on that promise Some of the details in the story made me think of Saving June on quaaludes But at the same time, there were moments that felt like the rich texture of the writing, was disproportionate to what was actually happening in Laurel s life She is a high school junior with very mature problems with very poetic insights on things that don t necessarily resonate to me as a thirty something woman any I liked certain aspects of the ebb and flow of her relationship with Sky, there was discovery, there was learning, there was understanding but the reactions, the drama was too age appropriate for me i.e juvenile It takes a bit of empathic stretch to tap in the latent teenager in me to relate to some of Laurel s rationale, but I can t deny that there were moments that were too heartfelt and pure not to be impressed with You remind me of my first concert The one I told you about on New Year s You remind me of the feeling of wanting to make something I thought this book s strongest points were Laurel s recollections of May, her family s history and current dynamics There was something magical in the way Laurel pieced May together from her memories and something devastatingly painful about how she thinks about her sister s death and her family being torn apart in the aftermath She was mercilessly melancholic in her letters but you realize in the end these are just shadows being cast by the burdens she s been carrying I loved how Aunt Amy was written It s common for characters like her to be painted in the corner as the villainous religious zealot, stereotyped with militantly myopic values and two dimensional personalities But eventually, there was a stretch of Laurel s observations about her that was soft and kind and all sorts of heart wrenchingly wonderful She sent him cookies and cards, and New Mexico chili, and messages, especially the messages where she would do the voices of Mister Ed and of the Jamaican bobsledders and she would be herself Her hopeful self, like she was saying, I m here I love the way Dellaira writes, the story had the rhythm of psychedelic poetry in it It s easy to romanticize the lifestyles these personalities led when they lived and much too predictable draw evocative prose on the topic of death I like that this was as much as about growing up as staying true to yourself a pocketguide on how not to sellout to the world, neither burning out nor fading away.But I had a difficult time getting immersed in the letter to someone delivery, which sucks because that was exactly what drew me in the story in the first place It was a little strange to read Laurel write to Kurt Cobain about his own divorced parents, then making the rough connection with her own life, then relate a childhood memory with May, then tell him what happened today in school The transition isn t always smooth, which I guess lends authenticity to the whole high school kid writing in a flow of consciousness feel to it But narrative wise, it felt a bit taxing to keep the connection It was a bit of effort to understand why she s writing this letter to this person and that letter to that person I even had a hard time remembering who Laurel is writing to until she mentions it midway through asking if the dead remembers this or that when she was alive The moments this book worked best for me was when I forget that Laurel is writing a letter to these people Perhaps its because I have once thought of these personalities the way Laurel did, wondered the questions I d ask them and I have a different interpretation of Kurt Cobain from her own So in ways than one, this worked for me but not in the ways that I expected it to be 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 Also on Booklikes Had me at Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse 3

  5. says:

    Una historia con la que he conectado por pasajes, con personajes secundarios que realmente no aportan nada y en general, una trama que da tumbos Cartas de amor a los muertos me ha parecido una novela simple, llena de situaciones clich s y con una manera de ser narrada que creo que a veces era m s una lacra que una virtud Que est bien introducir a personajes como Kurt Cobain o Amy Winehouse, pero queda demasiado en el rollo alternativo que se convierte finalmente en mainstream, y por tanto, no es para nada sorprendente.La historia que se cuenta es, como comento, t pica Los personajes son meros peones, pero sin rumbo fijo aparecen, hablan y poco m s La verdad es que me ha dado pena ver c mo se utilizaban relaciones como nexo de otras situaciones, porque la relaci n de Hannah y Natalie ten a un potencial que no ha sido para nada explotado.En cuanto al tono de la novela En general me ha gustado, pero creo que era demasiado pesimista e incoherente en ocasiones Ava Dellaira ha tirado demasiado del unreliable narrator y en muchas ocasiones quedaba forzado, y m s cuando descubres las causas Que ha sido un tema que me ha sorprendido, pero creo que era un tema demasiado importante como para dejarlo pasar a la primera de cambio En general es una novela b sica pero al menos entretenida, con la que aprendes detalles muy interesantes sobre las vidas de los personajes c lebres que se mencionan, y sobre todo, es un peque o viaje de descubrimiento y de aceptaci n S , se saca algo de la novela, pero vamos, que una novela m s..

  6. says:

    Reminiscent of Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Love Letters To The Dead is too beautiful, too meaningful, and too heartbreaking to describe with words An incredible, moving and very important story with a beating heart and bright soul It s one of those books that everyone ought to read, own, and share with all their friends don t miss it

  7. says:

    UNA NOVELA UN TANTO DECEPCIONANTE PERO A LA VEZ SORPRENDENTE.Cartas de amor a los muertos es una novela autoconclusiva epistolar recientemente publicada en espa ol Llevaba mucho tiempo queriendo leerla y ten a unas altas expectativas que de alguna manera no ha cumplido pero a la vez me ha sorprendido porque es muy diferente a como esperaba.Como digo, de alguna manera he sentido cierta decepci n con este libro Hab a un gran hype en el Estado espa ol, unido a las opiniones buen simas que hab a le do, por lo que mis expectativas eran altas De alguna manera me ha decepcionado porque me esperaba algo m s fuerte, m s contundente y mejor escrito.A n as , tambi n es cierto que Cartas de amor a los muertos ha sido una novela que me ha sorprendido gratamente Si bien creo que la escritura es superflua, que el estilo tiene mucho que mejorar y que la autora usa pocos recursos estil sticos tambi n creo que ha construido dos personajes redondos que no dejar n indiferente a nadie.Dellaira construye el personaje de Laurel y May a trav s de los sentimientos de dolor y frustraci n de la primera Hace ver al lector c mo Laurel est traumada por la muerte de su hermana con sus cartas Algo que me pareci incre ble, el hecho de poder construir a dos personajes uno de ellos ya fallecido a trav s de unas cartas y del dolor del otro.Tambi n creo que fue un acierto contar la historia a trav s de cartas dirigidas a famosos fallecidos Es original dentro de la literatura juvenil, le da otro aire diferente a la historia y la convierte en algo nuevo En general ha sido una lectura que he disfrutado bastante, que se lee r pido y que entretiene Pero la he visto falta de trama, creo que es demasiado simple y que adem s, todo se simplifica a n m s por el hecho de ser epistolar Me ha faltado algo y por eso mismo me ha decepcionado un poco Sea como sea es una lectura amena, aunque f cil de olvidar y poco relevante.

  8. says:

    O Peso das Mem riasMay e Laurel crescem juntas partilhando o mundo, at quele dia fat dico que Laurel, se poss vel, eliminaria do calend rio, para que tudo regressasse ao outrora Laurel e May, May e Laurel, irm s e c mplices, juntas e felizes, duas e uma Com o tr gico desaparecimento da irm , Laurel perdera aquele mundo constru do e partilhado O mundo em que sempre se conhecera, desaparecera S ficara ela , Laurel , mas onde raio estava o resto Aquele resto que tamb m era ela e sem o qual se sentia perdida Invadira a uma inc moda sensa o alien gena Era agora uma estranha numa terra estranha Que fazer para recuperar nem que fosse um peda o, desse mundo amado e perdido Passar a vestir as roupas de May seria um contributo, talvez Aquelas mini saias e vestidos arrojados roupas corajosas como ela, que t o bem a definiam E escrever escrever a outros de vidas truncadas, ainda com tanto por dar e receber Jovens cad veres, tal como May Iria chegar irm atrav s deles, e desabafar Soltar as mem rias, numa purga mental numa catarse que a levasse a retratar se, reencontrar se, e finalmente rumar em frente Iria socorrer se da escrita para reviver, analisar e compreender Cartas de Amor aos Mortos poesia em prosa que nos toca a todos Os que j sofreram perdas ir o revisitar se, confrontando as suas experi ncias com a de Laurel, e qui extrair algo mais Quanto aos restantes os felizardos que ignoram o que perder algu m pr ximo ir o dar aqui com um Alerta Preparem se pois isto das perdas duro, e a dor acumulada demasiada, sempre que n o partilhada Acho que quando perdemos uma coisa que nos t o pr xima como se nos perd ssemos a n s pr prios por isso que, no fim, at mesmo escrever se torna dif cil Mal conseguimos lembrar nos de como se faz Porque j mal sabemos o que.

  9. says:

    Find all of my reviews at Obviously Mitchell and I aren t the target demographic for this book, so take my rating with several grains of salt and I m going to keep this short and sweet sour, just like myself Love Letters To The Dead could have been a perfectly A Okay book for me The basic storyline is Laurel s sister May is gone and Laurel is lost in her grief She swaps schools in order to get rid of the sister of the dead girl stigma and is presented with an assignment of writing a letter to the dead Rather than completing just one letter, Laurel writes a series of them to various famous young people whose flames were extinguished prematurely which eventually tell all of the truths about not only May s death, but about Laurel s life as well And that s where it lost me The letters, the what happened to the dead sister, the grieving process, the finding herself plotlines were all great But then Why the hell did everything but the kitchen sink need to be thrown in before this was over Laurel s sister croaked and that should have been enough for one book But nooooooooo, God forbid you don t have a superbadawful happen to some poor girl in every YA novel I know I m kind of a robot and don t cry very often, but I do recognize when I m supposed to have an emotion The one time I m guaranteed NOT to have them When an author is trying to manipulate them out of me And just to confirm to all that I m in fact a giant dick I don t understand the allure of Kurt Cobain either As the book states You didn t want to be the spokesperson of a generation Somehow my generation the one who actually grew up listening to a live Kurt Cobain rather than a dead one was able to respect this Now he s become a martyr I don t get it.

  10. says:

    You can be noble and brave and beautiful and still find yourself falling Although the title is a blaring warning that this is going to be a tough and probably a torturous read, I boldly ignored it because look at the book cover Doesn t it look beautiful Its invisible strings had this unrelenting tug at my eyes and my heart that made me give in and grab the book I really didn t know what to expect from this book but what I did not expect is that the entire story is written through letters to dead artists who died prematurely which is to me the very thing that gave this book such a unique appeal The letter writing which only started as a school requirement and which she didn t even turn in to her teacher paved the way for Laurel such a pretty name to reveal and express all those pent up emotions over her sad and bitter experiences including the death of her only sister There isn t really much of a plot in this story It s kind of linear truthfully and yet the story got a firm hold of me and I couldn t help but tear through the book reading Laurel s confessions The things she couldn t tell her parents, she writes it to Judy Garland She shares her grief over her sister with no one except Amy Winehouse When for the first time after so long, she met good and genuine friends, she writes it to Amelia Earhart Reading her letters was both painful and depressing because they revealed how much she had already suffered at a very young age There was also this nagging detail that Laurel is suicidal and the darker revelations about what she went through made me want to bang my head against the wall But because the letters are highly significant in the story, they are also the device that will determine its conclusion Will those letters save Laurel or not Will the story end in an inspiring note or an irreparable crack in the heart Care to find out

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