Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira [Website][Twitter][Facebook][Facebook2][IMDb]
Publisher: Farrar Strauss Giroux
Length: 323 pages
Obtained: Arc provided to the library I work at - due to be released April 2014
Why this book?:
The title caught my interest. The cover further peaked said interest. And the first couple lines of the blurb kept my interest long enough to start the book.
Laurel's sister (May) is gone. To get away from the memories and start fresh she goes to a different high school. On her very first day there she's assigned to write a letter to a dead person for an assignment. It is then that she makes a discovery. The dead are excellent confidants. So bit by bit she spills out the details of her past and May's death, as well as here current stumbling through life. Issues addressed include: Grieving, homosexuality, promiscuity, child molestation, rape, drug use, underage drinking, suicidal thoughts, parental discord, separation, and abandonment.
The thing is, Ava Dellaira was an "assistant producer" for the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She worked with and was inspired by Stephen Chbosky. And I think you can tell that by the thematic elements of the story. But of course the writing is her own.
I was especially interested with who Laurel decides to write to - a mix of musicians, poets, actors, and Amelia Earhart. She's more formal with them as she starts and moves to a first name basis from there. She researches their pasts and connects her current situation with them. Frankly, it made me want to read some memoirs...though maybe not for those same people.
And of course, this is an epistolary novel. That I read in 2014 after bombing the challenge specifically for that in 2013.