Monday, April 24, 2017

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

E-galley Book Review on My Bookish Itinerary

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)
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.
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***I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
I absolutely LOVED reading Letters to the Lost! This was my first book by this author, but definitely not my last! I was immediately hooked by this heartbreaking but hopeful story about Juliet, a girl who has lost her mother. Juliet goes to the cemetery to write her letters as a way to still feel close and connected to her mother. But one day Declan finds one of Juliet's letters. Not only does he read the letter but he chooses to write and leave a response. Which starts an interesting correspondence between them. 

I was completely mesmerized by the writing. I did not want to put the book down. In fact, this is a story that I read in one day. Letters to the Lost has heartache, deals with grief from losing a loved one, as well as, dealing with the guilt and learning at their death was not your fault. This book has friendship, a lot character growth, family relationships, hope, and swoons. 

I really enjoyed the messages Juliet and Declan wrote to each other. Especially since they didn't know who they were writing to. This element gave me so much anticipation and longing for them to finally reveal themselves. But it also gave me the same amount of desire for the messages to not end. So I think it is safe to say that I really enjoyed the build up between Juliet and Declan. 

The plot is great. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen when Juliet and Declan found out about each other. There were some things that happened that really took me by surprise. I think the story had a wonderful pace, and I really enjoyed reading it!

I really loved the character growth for both Juliet and Declan in the story. I think that they both grew a lot. I really like Juliet. She is smart and sweet. Her struggle with trying to find a way to move on without her mother is heartbreaking and realistic. I liked her friendship with her best friend, Rowan, most of the time. It isn't my favorite best friend relationship, but it was good. I just felt like Rowan wasn't as supportive of understanding Juliet's grief as I would want her to be. I might be wrong. But overall, I did enjoy their friendship. I also liked the interactions between Juliet and her father.

Declan is my favorite character from this story. He has been through a lot and has a hard time dealing with what has happened in his life. He has an emotional and complicated life with his Mom and Stepdad. I loved his character growth the most. I really liked his interactions with other characters. Obviously I enjoyed him with Juliet. But I also really enjoyed the time he spent with Frank, his supervisor at the cemetery. And I especially loved his friendship with Rev. I really enjoyed Rev's character and his story. He is a bit mysterious, but we learn a bit about him and his horrible past too. I would definitely be up for a companion novel based on Rev's character! 

My Recommendation:

I LOVED reading Letters to the Lost. You could feel the pain and conflict coming off of the pages. I really enjoyed the messages between Juliet and Declan, as well as, the build up to the big reveal. I loved the character growth and the characters themselves. I was completely entranced with the writing and the story that I read it in one day. I couldn't get enough. I highly recommend reading this book. I loved everything about it. Letters to the Lost is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2017!

My Rating:

Annapolis, Maryland

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