“Love Letters to the Dead” is a young adult novel written by Ava Dellaira. Published in 2014, the book follows the journey of Laurel, a high school student who copes with the death of her older sister, May, by writing letters to famous deceased people.
The novel is presented in the form of a series of letters written by Laurel to iconic figures from the past, such as Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart, and others. Through these letters, Laurel explores her own emotions, struggles, and secrets, gradually revealing the circumstances surrounding May’s death.
As Laurel pours her heart out to these deceased individuals, she delves into her own coming-of-age story. She grapples with issues of identity, grief, guilt, friendship, and first love. The letters serve as a therapeutic outlet for her to confront her own fears and understand her place in the world.
Throughout the novel, Dellaira tackles sensitive topics such as abuse, addiction, and mental health, providing a compassionate and empathetic portrayal of the challenges faced by young people. The narrative is emotionally charged, capturing the rawness and vulnerability of adolescence.
“Love Letters to the Dead” explores the healing power of self-expression and the importance of finding one’s own voice. As Laurel navigates her personal journey, she learns valuable lessons about forgiveness, acceptance, and the strength to confront painful truths.
The novel received positive reviews for its authentic portrayal of teenage emotions and its sensitive treatment of heavy themes. It resonates with readers who appreciate introspective and character-driven stories that address the complexities of growing up.
Ava Dellaira’s debut novel showcases her skill in capturing the voice of a young protagonist and delving into the universal struggles of adolescence. “Love Letters to the Dead” is a poignant and compelling work that explores the power of writing, the bonds of sisterhood, and the transformative nature of self-discovery.