Grace Dearing ’17
Make room on your book bucket lists because Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead is a must read of 2015. LLTTD is Ava’s debut novel and was first published in March 2014. The book follows 15-year-old Laurel and her life following her sister’s tragic death. Laurel isn’t really sure how to cope with this loss, until her high school English teacher gives her an assignment to write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because he died young, just like her sister, and Nirvana was her sister’s favorite band. However, Laurel never turns in her letter. What started off as a simple English assignment, turned into something far more personal and Laurel can’t bring herself to hand the piece of paper to her teacher. The book is a series of letters that Laurel is writing to people who have all died young. People like Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, and Kurt Cobain are all addressed in these letters. Laurel writes about everything and anything–except her sister’s death. She writes about starting high school, her complicated family situation, making new friends, falling in love, but she refuses to admit what happened the night her sister left her for good. She can’t bring herself to admit that she is angry with her sister for leaving. Just when Laurel starts to adapt to her new life, things start to fall apart and they can’t be fixed until she admits what really happened the night her and her sister went to the old train tracks. Love Letters to the Dead has officially secured a spot in my top 3 favorite young adult novels.