Monday, May 12, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria...

Title- Love Letters to the Dead.
Author- Ava Dellaria.
Publish date- May 2014.
Publisher- Hot Key Books.
RRP: $14.95

(Goodreads)

Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
Laurel is living through something so awful she can't even speak of it- which is why she decides to keep writing letters to the dead once she is given the job as a school assignment. Soon enough her heart is spilling out onto the paper, and she is revealing a side of herself she has tried to forget.


Image Credit: Hot Key Books.



What I thought:
When I finally decided that I wanted to read Love Letters, I was excited by the potential I felt a story like this could have, really intrigued to see who each letter was to and, honestly, assuming it would take me a day or two at most to get through.
Whilst it took me only 3(ish) days to read, this by no means felt like the quick read I had hoped for.

The book is entirely made up of these letters mentioned in the title, and that was a factor I enjoyed, especially as I had been anticipating, for quite some time, a letter at the end of a chapter and then "life". But no. Each letter felt individual, really as if they were written especially for the person in question, and I did enjoy reading Laurel's thoughts on these people and also learning more about them- the letters to Amelia Earhart were by far my favourites, because they held a very unique beauty, a real sense of possibility. They took flight in my mind.
Indeed, there was so much beauty to be found in these letters, fragments of thought and passages that were so delicately crafted and genuine that the memory of them sticks with me.

But... but this was by no means the read I had hoped it would be- the teen-ey drama frustrated me, the obsession with drinking, and the fact that, as far as I could tell, Laurel is only 14 really vexed me. It was undoubtably a turbulent read, there were heartbreaking, absolutely awful subjects faced- and they were faced, eventually- and I truly did get emotional and chocked up, especially towards the end, but I just did not like it- at times I did, certainly, and I didn't hate it, but I didn't truly like it, either. Not really.

I also found it very hard not to draw parallels with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I read last year and didn't like very much at all: two girls Laurel is friends with (on a note with these two girls, I didn't like that they tried to force Laurel to kiss one of them and never apologised, because they were scared, yes, but once they understood, even, they never mentioned it again- they joked about it and that felt wrong) have a relationship very similar to the one that Patrick has in the beginning (with...Brad?), the way Laurel was taken in by an older pair mimicked Sam and Patrick with Charlie, and the mystery and reveal around Laurel's sister, May's, death, that felt very similar, too. All of that bugged me.

Rating: Whatever comes between Poor and Oh nooo...
Certainly at times very beautiful, Love Letters would continue to strike chords with me, and I got very into the reading of it, felt emotional over it, but I'm left feeling disappointed. It was not unique as I had hoped it would be.

Thank you to Hot Key Books for this review copy!

14 comments:

  1. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't like this book that much :( I enjoyed it, but I understand what you mean. Thank you for being honest and sharing :D Amazing review. <3
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog a while ago. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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    1. Thank you, Carina! I might go and check out your review of it now, to see how our thoughts varied. I can say, though, that I truly did like the cover- more the background than the image, but the font, too. It was nice.

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  2. Yup, yup, yup. I read this over the weekend and I felt like it took forever to get through and it also felt like a rewrite of Perks, like I cannot believe how similar they were and I really, really disliked Perks :/ Such a shame, this sounded like it would be awesome.

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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    1. I'll look out for a review, then! I'm excited to see what else you thought.
      I didn't like Perks, either, though both of these books had quotes and passages that really stood out to me.

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  3. That's really too bad! I had high expectations for this one, and I especially thought it would be original. Then again, I haven't read Perks yet so maybe I would like this one a bit better?

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    1. Possibly! I think I liked the signature quotes in Perks more, there were more of them that stoodout, but I definitely liked the passages more in this, and the story I liked levels above Perks. I think Perks had more small quotes that really were beautiful, but this, as I say, had more larger passages that were truly exquisite. That is probably no help at all! xx

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  4. Thanks for the brilliant and honest review, Romi! I can see where you're coming from. I finished this book yesterday and I was also disappointed. This book wasn't as original as I hoped either.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ebony! I'm sorry you felt the same about this, it would have been great had you enjoyed it, but it's so interesting to hear that a lot of people feel similarly about it. xx

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  5. I kinda wanted to check this book out (because LETTERS TO DEAD PEOPLE), but if it's anything like The Perks of Being a Wallflower (a book I DNFd) than thanks but no thanks :(
    Great review though! :)

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    1. Well there are some truly fantastic parts about the letters, like learning about new people (I highlight Amelia Earhart as my favourite) because you get a different background and perspective on them, but it's a little odd how the entire story, conversations and all, manage to be incorperated into the story, all written from memory. At times it didn't feel realistic, in that sense.

      Thank you, Cayce! xx

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  6. You're the first person who I've seen draw parallels between this book and Perks. I didn't enjoy Perks either, and have been hesitant in picking this one up. Your review has helped me push this further down my reading list. While I like the idea of the letters, I agree with you about her age. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a teenagey-drama filled book. If you know what I mean!

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    1. A couple of other reviews have streamed through since I posted mine, and I've noticed so many compare the two, which is actually really interesting that we've experienced the polar opposites! I'm sorry it doesn't sound like the kind of book for you, but I hope you have a great next read.xx

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  7. I haven't read Perks, but the movie was delightful and there was a David Bowie song. But I just read Mandee's review yesterday and she said the same thing, bit disappointing, the age of the girl seemed off and that it was a lot like Perks which she didn't like.

    I think it's interesting to know that these two are friends, did they collaborate on it a little, did Mr Stephen Perks Dude give her a lot of pointers and guidance that led the story that way, did she read Perks, decide it was really successful and try to emulate it? Such thoughts.

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    1. I personally didn't overly like the movie and it seemed quite... verging on awkward at times, from memory, but I have been wanting to rewatch it more recently, so perhaps my feelings will have changed if I see it again. I don't remember the DB song, which I am part surprised part dully horrified that I didn't notice.

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Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x