Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaria: Book Review


I chose Love Letters To The Dead because I was participating in a January buddy read on Letters To The Dead is a contemporary and it is Ava Dellaria’s debut novel. It reminded me so much of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbsoky, which is one of my favorites, and I had no idea that he was her mentor, so I could see how he has influenced her writing style. I have to say that Dellaria’s writing style is unique, it feels like as if you were to stumble upon a box filled with letters and then you begin reading the letters in the box. As i was reading this book, I only got glimpses into the protagonist’s life, as she tried coping with her problems.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.


I really liked Laurel, she tried to be so much like her older sister May and it was really to see how devastated she was when her sister died. Laurel always spoke highly of her older sister and at first, you are led to believe that May was perfect, but the more you continued reading, the more you found out that May was a tragic and flawed. May tried to be a good older sister to Laurel such as telling her sister that she was a fairy. When the big revelation was unveiled, I really felt sorry for the Laurel to have witnessed her best friend die. I would have never expected this story to be really dark, and i did feel really uncomfortable learning that protagonist was being molested. I had a hard time reading those parts, even though the author did not give explicit details of it. I would consider this book to be a coming of age story because Laurel went through a semi-destructive path and turned her life around near the ending. She finally discovered that she could be her own person and still have aspects of other people. I did have a feeling that her last letter was going to be addressed to May, and I was happy that it was.  I wasn’t a big fan of the romance she had with Sky, it could have been better if there was no romance just for her character. I was a big fan of the romance between Natalie and Hannah, it was really well developed and I was glad that they were able to get together in the end. Hannah had to overcome her insecurities and it was nice to see how much she changed from the beginning to end. I have to say that her family and friends were really supportive. I really liked her father, he was one of my favorite character and he was very likable because he cared so much about seeing his daughter try to live a normal life. I really liked how Laurel wrote to famous people, it was very interesting and unique! With each person that she wrote to, it seemed that different aspects of her personality were revealed. Overall, this book was an entertaining read. It’s a slow read, but it’s worth it.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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