Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I would be very shocked to learn that the author wasn't a personal fan of "Perks of Being A Wallflower," both novels share so many of the same elements. Whereas, "Perks" is a retro coming-of-age story, "Love Letters to the Dead" follows a teen girl as she writes to dead celebrities to work out her issues with her boyfriend and her sister's suicide.
I was initially drawn to the book because I thought writing to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, etc., was a unique concept. I'm an average Nirvana fan, but I know several obsessed fans. I thought, perhaps, the character would be a huge fan, have OCD, or Asperger's Syndrome. However, the people she writes to were mainly her sister's favorites. Throughout the book it's as though the character is trying to take on her sister's personality. While writing to these dead celebrities, in a way, she's indirectly writing to her sister. She gets mad at them because she's mad at her sister. It's one of the ways she works through her grief.
Because of the subject matter, it was difficult read at times. It's heartbreaking enough to be taken into the mind of someone who misses their sister and hero. Yet, there was added pain with a back-and-forth immature teen relationship, friends with problems, family trouble, and abuse (emotional and physical). Not for the faint-of-heart or impatient. Probably would be helpful to teens in similar situations.
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