Love Letters to the Dead warms hearts


The story is about a girl, Laurel, with an English assignment: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel decided to pick Nirvana lead singer, Kurt Cobain because her older sister, May, loved him and like Cobain she also died young. And before Laurel knew it, she had a whole notebook full of letters to the dead – people like Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart and Amy Winehouse – though she never submitted a single letter.

Everything in the letters is about starting high school, starting new friendships with upperclassman, learning to live her life with a broken family, falling in love for the first time and May’s death. But Laurel starts to question how to mourn over someone who she hasn’t forgiven?

It not until Laurel has written the truth about everything that’s happened to herself that she can finally come to closure with what happened to May. Within each letter and thinking about the past, Laurel starts to come to her senses to see the kind of person her sister truly was – lovely, amazing and very and deeply flawed. It’s within this realization where she finds herself and her path as a new highschooler.

“Love Letters to the Dead” is a beautifully written novel by, Ava Dellaria. It’s a story about a girl’s journey through the challenges of life with a deep and often heartbreaking beauty. Each letter reveals more and more about Laurel and how she thinks, how she feels.

Each character is told in a vibrant way that makes it difficult for readers to not personally connect with at least one character. With each letter the reader is given something to truly think about on the topic of life and the challenges it throws at us.

I recommend this novel for high schoolers, especially the kids that need a little push on the right road. Reading this book changed my outlook on life, that not everything is glamorous and that we will face challenges sooner or later. It’s a novel that is perfect gift for the holiday season.



  1. David Bader says:

    Well-written review. Provides a good overview of the author’s intent and how the theme of the book can give the reader an opportunity to learn about life’s challenges.

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