ARC Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer was an absolutely beautiful book that I hope you will all read! Check out my review and be sure to add this one to your TBR or preorder today for the April 4th release! A huge thank you to Bloomsbury USA Childrens for an advance review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, our opinions are in no way influenced by this.
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: April 4th, 2017; Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.
If I could rate Letters to the Lost more than 5 stars, I would. I would give it all the stars.
The description is pretty vague, and for that I’m grateful. I expected depth to Letters to the Lost, but I got even more than I bargained for.
At first, I didn’t like Declan all that much. He did come across as a punk and a troublemaker. He was rude to everyone and wore self-pity like a security blanket. And then there was Juliet. Dealing with her own grief and unable to find her way out. I liked her enough, but also thought she kept herself too closed off from everyone—especially her father.
When their paths cross and they begin exchanging anonymous letters and emails, they learn that they aren’t so different.
I adored this book. The connection between them sizzled. But more importantly, they could discuss all they were dealing with and how it made them feel. They were more open and honest than they had been in months. At times, their confessions and thoughts are heartbreaking.
As the story unfolded, I could see the direction it seemed the story would take. Without spoiling it, so no details, but I’d have been disappointed had it come to fruition. I was glad when it didn’t, but the twist that did come was jarring. I was genuinely shocked and angered; though looking back, I think I should have known. It does change the whole story in ways.
The ending is a bit abrupt. I think I’d have liked a little more, even just an epilogue. But it’s extremely well-written with wonderfully developed characters. And that includes the supporting cast. I mean, if no one loves Rev after reading this, I’ll be stunned. And I’m stoked to see he’s getting a book!
An honest and poignant look at grief, Letters to the Lost is perfect for fans of Tell Me Three Things and P.S. I Like You.