Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

March 21, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 13 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from Publisher at ALA Midwinter in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Letters to the LostLetters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher at ALA Midwinter
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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.

Characters anonymously writing notes to each other and finding love? Definitely a theme I have read and enjoyed before but Letters to the Lost took this theme to the next level – so heartfelt, touching, and downright unforgettable!

Both Juliet and Declan are grieving over the deaths of people close to them and handling it in different ways. Juliet writes letters to her mother and leaves them on her gravestone. Declan allows anger and guilt to consume him, often pushing away anyone who comes close. But when these two connect anonymously through letters and emails, they find they are not alone and in each other they find solace and someone to help inspire them to heal. But in person they are classmates who don’t get along.

This is absolutely a character driven story. We really get a chance to dive into these characters, into their stories and the emotional turmoil they are experiencing. Juliet is quite fragile and heartbroken and probably exactly how I would be in the same situation. She was written with so many real and raw emotions that I couldn’t help but connect with her and feel for her situation. She is hanging under a cloud of despair and guilt, feeling as though she is in someway responsible for what has happened to her family. Guilt is something Declan was experiencing as well though he let his grief manifest into anger, anger at everyone. These are two people who seemingly would have nothing to do with each other outside of the letters but I loved seeing them connect outside of them as well. The characters are so well done and written with so much heart. I ached for them in their times of grief and smiles for any victory they achieved through their journey of healing.  Even Rev, Declan’s best friend who also has a tragic past of his own, was unforgettable and someone I needed to know more about (he is getting his own book!).

I stayed up incredibly late at night to finish this book because I could absolutely not put it down. I was so invested and when I finished I was in awe of the story I just read. This was my first Brigid Kemmerer novel (WHAT?!) and it absolutely will not be the last! She has a talent for capturing such captivating and compelling characters and creating a plot so moving and brilliant. This is definitely not a book to miss!

5_stars

About Brigid Kemmerer

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

13 Responses to “Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer”

  1. Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    SO GOOD TO HEAR YOU HAD SUCH POSITIVE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THIS SARA! I am very excited to get to this soon as I loved Thicker Than Water and I’ve heard fantastic things about this one too! Great review!

  2. Christina

    I absolutely loved this book too! I am so excited Rev is getting his own book as well. He is a great character. Fantastic review!

  3. Sandra Richardson

    Glad you enjoyed the book! I have it on my Want To Read List. I really love the cover as well as the concept of the two characters writing to each other without knowing they both already know each other.

  4. Cali W.

    Good review. I like Kemmerer’s previous books like Storm, so I want to read this one for sure. 🙂

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