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.
Author: Ava Dellaira
Source: Owned (Purchased from Kobo)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 1, 2014TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE MENTION
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked that each letter meant that Laurel would be talking about a different character or point in her life. I also liked that you could see Laurel's character development in the way that she addressed the people she was writing letters to. It started out with praise for their lives, work, etc. and then turned into "I get that you were awesome, but did you realize what you left behind?" especially with one of the Kurt Cobain letters at the end of the novel. That one really struck me.
I thought that the depiction of grief was SO GOOD. Like, so good. You could see Laurel going through all the different stages and what that meant. I thought that her character was just extremely well written. I liked her interactions with Sky and that they both realized their relationship was toxic at a certain point because it was not healthy.
The only thing I would have liked was a clear definition of whether or not May committed suicide. I felt as if the author skirted around that and I would have rather known whether or not it was a definite. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this one. And would recommend it for a good contemporary read.