Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 400

Publisher Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

REVIEW: Letters to the Lost has all the feels. Declan and Juliet are complete opposites. These two would never be seen together in any part of their lives. And yet, fate would bring them together. Even though the circumstances are not in any way pleasant, they find their way to one another with letters that were never meant for each others eyes. This is a story that I could relate to. Losing someone that one cares for dearly and trying to find a way to stay connected, to feel like that person is still a part of our lives.

It’s a love story that includes heaps of writing, which nowadays isn’t a format used too often. At first I felt the same way as Juliet when she discovered that someone had read her private letter to her mom, then written a response to it. And how could Declan think it was okay to do it, or feel just as hurt when Juliet goes back and ends up reading it herself after she had already left it there. I realized I was getting swept into this novel, and it was only getting started.

I am reminded of the movie A Cinderella Story, but instead of only including chat rooms and emails, it’s also through written letters. Rather than having the popular quarterback on campus responding, its the outcast everyone has come to know as the delinquent on his way to prison. But things aren’t always as they seem. There are open wounds that need healing and in this way both of them will find their way out of a very emotional situation.

I thought it might be the same lovey dovey teenage story, going to high school, a little bit of drama, the usual. But it was so much more. The problems they go through are piercing and honest. So many go through the same, never being able to talk about something that causes such anguish, many times telling a stranger more than those closest to them. Declan never thought he would be able to open up, or even find closure with his family troubles. Juliet felt she would always be right there with her mother, forever half alive because of it.

Not everything is roses and these two have to go through much more before they find their happily ever after. Secrets that come to light shatter their worlds even more. Realizations that find a way to the surface brings them more questions that needed to be asked. But in all of that, they find strength they never knew they had and a confidant that makes the the rest of their lives worth living.

***I received this copy from Bloomsbury USA Childrens via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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