Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3341
Didn't work for me
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
For a school assignment, Laurel must write a letter to someone who has passed away. She chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister May loved him and they both died too soon. Laurel finds herself writing letters to many dead celebrities, revealing everything from a new crush, new friendships to secrets like what would happen when she and May were supposed to be at the movies together. Through the letters, Laurel starts to accept what happened to her sister and maybe she can finally move on.

I was really excited for this book because the concept sounded interesting. The whole book written in the style of letters to dead celebrities as a way to cope with the main character’s sister’s death? It sounded different and I like reading different narration styles, especially when they work well. Unfortunately, for me, there was a lot about the style that didn’t end up working.

The two major issues I had with the letter style narration. First, there was a lot of explaining the celebrity’s life to them that just seemed strange. They lived through it, they don’t need to be told they’re parents divorced or they were in a movie. It was hard to lose myself in the story when all I could keep thinking was Laurel was listing off facts about their own lives to them. Second, because the whole story was in letters, a lot of the time it felt like we were getting a short recap of her day or a moment instead of something that felt a little more complete.

That said, I did like how Laurel could take parts of what she knew or learned about the celebrities and apply it to her own life, and watching her slowly come to terms with what happened the night her sister died. Writing can be therapeutic and this was the first time I’d seen a character use it to such an extent. The side characters, and the depth they showed, was also really nice. I was worried about how characters other than Laurel would fare in a letter narration but Dellaira still managed to give them depth and show growth.

While the narration didn’t work for me, I think there’ll be readers out there who will fall in love with it and with Laurel and her friends.
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