Friday, June 26, 2020

Book Review: Letters to the Lost

I've kind of been on a young adult kick this summer and I'm OK with it. I've decided I'm going to really try hard (for real this time) to work on my backlist books. I've had this on my list for awhile and I'm glad I jumped it to the top of my pile. 
Letters to the Lost - Brigid Kemmerer
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 
I am a sucker for written letters and I think there is real power in writing out how you feel so when I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it. I haven't read anything by Brigid Kemmerer before this but it definitely won't be the last. She has amazing writing and you're left feeling the teenage feelings both Declan and Juliet have and you also feel the mom feelings and just want to hug them. 

In this book we have Juliet, her mother died in a tragic car accident and she feels responsible for it. Misguided, but guilty nonetheless. We also have Declan, doing community service for a car accident he caused on purpose for heartbreaking reasons. They each have trouble at home, in different ways but also similar in other ways, and they only know of each other at school. First impressions are everything, right?

In her grief, Juliet visits her mother's grave daily and she has taken to writing her mother letters. Declan, doing his community services sees a letter on this grave one day and has no idea who leaves them. 

That's how this pen-pal relationship begins. 

I loved everything about this book, you guys. I loved each character although they both frustrated me in so many ways because of their lack of communication but also because of the assumptions they make towards other people and their intentions. I loved their independent tragedies, their grief, the teenage angst which is already hard enough without tragic things happening in the midst of it. I love the road to teenage love and also learning to trust themselves again. 

The best way to describe this book is that it was one I raced to finish but also wanted to slow down because I didn't want it to be done. The author did an amazing job crafting this and for that, I have to give it 5 stars. 

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Why Girls Are Weird said...

I used to LOVE YA but haven't read the genre in awhile. Sounds like this one would be great to get my feet wet again.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Aw, I just love when I read a book and adore the characters - even if I don't always agree with them or they can be annoying, etc. Glad to hear you loved this one! I'm a big fan of letter writing too.