Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published: April 4th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
eArc received by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.
I read this book about a month ago, and I am finally finding the time to write the review. Hopefully, I do it some justice!
You know you found a really good book when you can read it all in one sitting! I started it one night when I had a little bit of insomnia (thank you pregnancy), and I just couldn’t put it down until I realized the book was over. This book did remind me a lot of P.S. I Like You by Kasie West, mainly because the two main characters were also leaving each other anonymous letters and started a pen pal “romance” I guess you would call it that. What I enjoyed about Letters to the Lost was that it was very original (in it’s own way) and it took you through so many emotions (maybe I am just a little extra emotional lately).
This book takes you through one family’s (mainly Juliet’s) journey of grief after her mom died, and how she was able to live afterwards. What helped her a lot was writing letters to her mom, and one day someone wrote their own message on her letter. What started off as an angry response back, became her lifeline for the months that followed. Of course it seems as if no book is immune to cliches, and there were a few in here that were very cringe worthy.
Juliet was a very believable main character. You can tell that her grief was genuine, and her feeling as if she is stuck in the anger stage just made her more relatable as a person. Sometimes she was a little mean to Declan that didn’t seem called for, but when she would write to her pen pal she would always feel bad about it.
Declan was pretty much your bad boy “love/hate” interest for the entire book. Although Juliet definitely leaned more towards the hostile part for some apparent reason. You couldn’t help feel sorry for him and his back story. He has a mom who seems to be hardly there, a stepfather who is a jerk, and a chip on his shoulder. I really enjoyed how his story and Juliets started to weave together and ultimately they help each other during a hard time in their life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I liked that it’s a standalone. Normally, I read a lot of fantasy series but it’s nice to just read a contemporary now and then.