Published by Farrar & Straus & Girouxon April 1, 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
MY STARS: 4.8
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.
Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher.
She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her.
Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May.
And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.
Ava Dellaira is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She believes this book began when she bought her second album ever—Nirvana’s In Utero—which she listened to on repeat while filling the pages of her journal. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California, where she works in the film industry and is writing her second novel.
I was lucky, fortune or some supernatural magic (maybe Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin or Amy Winehouse helped me) of read this beautiful book, full of letters for each type of emotion wrapped in homesickness, melancholy and hope, and in them was stood the essence of the protagonist: Laurel.
Laurel is a girl who starts her first year of high school, at a time when everything around you is broken: his sister May died in an accident, her parents are separated, and she's at that time of life to define: who is she? and this path of self-exploration and gather those broken pieces begins with an assignment for class Inglés: write a letter to a dead person.
And what started as an assignment (undelivered), it becomes a habit of writing a letter to a famous person who died in fatal circumstances, starting with Kurt Cobain, whom her sister was a fan, and later to find more characters she takes as a link to go telling their story and are in some way related to the other characters, friends and his family, his first love, etc..
The author has a fine writing and good storytelling, moves fibers either within you feeling a little happiness by Laurel, or a desire to mourn, also angry at some point, and also you can see their environment and is not easy, both his parents have to part of the end of a relationship, lost her first daughter, and in that facet something that catches my attention is that it might be also this book for a new adut genre type.
The other characters are really magnificent and each with something you might like, flaws, virtues and also with their own conflicts, Laurel's friends: Hannah and Natalie, these girls play an issue as to the sexual diversity of each person and their acceptance as such and in which Laurel demonstrates that they are her friends regardless of labels, Tristan and Kristen, a couple of advanced course they begin their journey of "that's what I want to be" and "I wish to go "very cute and help to Laurel at times. Sky, the guy who will make the heart of Laurel passes nice and sad moments of first love, in particular was my favorite character including Laurel.
We also have to aunt Amy Laurel shows us that religious side in times like this can arise such beliefs (of any religion) and even if not alive, we have May, who made me be so angry with but in spite of it all was the engine Laurel to begin his journey.
I loved the book, reading is not a happily ever after type but has its charm. While minor adjustments needed in your very lightweight format and detail some points, the author takes very good point or situation you want to control with a good outcome. Loaded with lots of emotion, it's worth what you add to your reading of this year as we are probably listening or reading about this book soon.
I recommend you read it in the afternoon or evening, with a tea of your favorite flavor and atmosphere in a moderate tone music you like, whether their favorite artist or group.
If I had that assignment for Spanish class (I add that my language is Spanish, but perhaps could be also in English) would have to choose between three people: Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and George Harrison.
* E-ARC received from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review*