Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


After the sudden death of her older, more popular sister, May, all Laurel wants is to start over in a new school. However, though she finds herself in new surroundings, Laurel still feels haunted by May’s presence. No matter how much she tries to emulate May, Laurel feels she will never measure up to her late sister’s effortless cool, flirty, and popular persona. In an attempt to deal with her loss, Laurel begins writing about her life without May to various music icons who have passed away. Through these letters, the truth behind May’s death begins to surface, and Laurel must find a way to accept both herself and her new reality.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I thought it was really good and I loved seeing the transformations in all characters. On the other hand, it was so much like Perks of Being a Wallflower that I felt Chbosky (author of Perks) was being completely ripped off. I mean, it really is basically the same book. I’ve read that Chbosky worked with Dallaira on this piece, so maybe that’s why they are so similar. But still, surely these authors would have noticed how close to Perks this book was. In the end, though it was very well written, this book just rubbed me the wrong way. I would have liked to see what Dellaira could have done on her own.

Rating: 3/5 

* YALSA Teen’s Top Ten, Nominee, 2015

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here. 


2 thoughts on “Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

  1. Totally agree! The entire time I was reading this book I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading The Perks. When this book first came out it had a ton of hype, so I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t love it..

    • heather3638 says:

      Agreed. I was a little disappointed in Chobsky as well. She just rewrote your book, dude. Surely you noticed that was happening while you were mentoring her.

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