This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.
Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Published May 1, 2014 by Hot Key Books
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars
From the blurb: It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain – he died young, and so did Laurel’s sister May – so maybe he’ll understand what Laurel is going through.Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people – Janis Joplin, heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse… It’s like she can’t stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love – and her shattered life.But the ghosts of Laurel’s pas can’t be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them – before they consumer her.
Laurel is fourteen and just starting at West Mesa High, in Alberquque, New Mexico. Two years ago her parents separated. Six months ago her older sister May died. After May’s death her mum moved to California and now Laurel spends one week at her dad’s followed by a week with her Aunt Amy.
At first I quite liked Laurel’s voice but after a while I thought she sounded quite young, even for a fourteen year old. This contrasted with the end of the book where some of her conversations sounded more mature. I wasn’t sure if this showed growth in her character, or if the way she wrote was different from the way she interacted with people in real life as she really seemed like two different people.
I was expecting it to have more of a nineties-vibe after hearing that Laurel chose to write to Kurt Cobain and that she and May liked his music, but this was set in the present day though it took some time to figure it out (she eventually writes to people who have died in recent years). I did like all the background info on the people she writes to as most of them are not people I have researched.
Towards the end I felt a bit more emotional, I even cried, and then felt quite down. This is just such a sad, depressing story, and one with quite an obvious issue, though the reveal is dragged out for quite some time.
I’m not having a lot of luck with books that I’m excited about this year. I’ve read such wonderful reviews of Love Letters to the Dead, I adore the cover, I loved the sound of the letters, but for some reason I could not connect with this book and I’m at a loss as to what else I can say about it. I will add that I think it's odd it's been blurbed by Chbosky as this book is extremely similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, unfortunately that is another popular book I was not a fan of at all (I’m aware that the two authors are friends).
Thank you to Hot Key Books for my review copy.
So, as I mentioned, I love the cover of this, it’s such a dreamy sky, and I wanted to recreate it on my nails.
I started with 1 coat of Ulta 3 Lily White.
Once dry I sponged a bunch of different polishes over the top, starting with the top of each nail and working my way down. Here’s a list of polishes: Ulta3 Black Satin, Chi Chi Going All the Way, Ulta3 Berry Blue, Nail it! Cornflower, Nubar Rockin’ the Garden, L.A Colors Illusion, Zoya Caitlin, Ulta3 Gumball, Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream, Illamasqua Load.