I received this Book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on April 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Social Themes, Death & Dying, Adolescence
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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.
Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer is a book that lead to me making a stupid decision. That’s right. I have a newborn and am super sleep deprived. Instead of sleeping when he fell asleep the other night, I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book. Without a kid, this wouldn’t be such a bad choice, but man, I am paying the price today. It was well worth it, though. I was so invested in the two main characters and their individual traumas.
Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters To The Lost opens with Juliet visiting her mother’s grave. She leaves a letter for her mother at the grave. Declan serving out his sentence of community service at the graveyard – completing maintenance and such. He finds the letter and instead of throwing it away, he responds at the bottom of the letter. What results is a reluctant back and forth, which eventually transitions into a friendship built on bonding over their individual grief.
However, the interaction between the two is anonymous. They don’t know who is on the other end of the letters. In fact, outside of the letters, the interactions between Juliet and Declan tend to be more hostile than not.
I essentially fell in love with the two main characters of Letters To The Lost. They are the reason I stayed up an obnoxiously long time reading Brigid Kemmerer’s book. Juliet is dealing with the pain of losing her mother, who died in a hit and run car accident.
Her mother was this famous photographer who went all over the world on assignment. Juliet blames herself because she asked her mom to come home early. She’s got so much grief and feels like no one understands her, at least until she begins trading letters back and forth with a person she knows only as ‘The Dark.’ I liked seeing Juliet come out of the darkness of her pain and to heal. She definitely goes through such a compelling emotional journey.
Declan, the other lead character, is one who will break your heart. I think of the two, Declan’s story was the hardest to read. I mean that it was quite emotional. You see, Declan is doing community service after he drank a handle of whiskey and crashed his dad’s car into an office building. His dad is in jail, FYI. We learn that Declan’s little sister Kerry has died, but not the full circumstances of her death.
For Declan’s story we see how he has really closed himself off and only gets along with this guy Rev and his adopted family. Declan is dealing with a strained relationship with his mother and his step dad, Alan. He also has a reputation at school for being tough and a delinquent. In fact, when Juliet and Declan interact at school it always has a thread of animosity. Yet, Declan also like Juliet, finds healing in the letters. And well, once you know his whole story, you can’t help but root for him.
I wouldn’t necessarily categorize Letters To The Lost as a romance, per se. Although, there is romance in it. However, Declan and Juliet absolutely have chemistry. It just takes a really long time to get to that point. The journey though, is so worth it. I felt like this book was very well written and engaging. I loved how much I actually cared about the characters. This is absolutely worth reading if you’re into contemporary books.
Other reviews of Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer:
- The Story Sanctuary – “totally blew me away“
- The Eater Of Books – “this one made me feel some feels.”
- Love Is Not A Triangle – “I loved this book so much!“
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