|Letters to the Lost|
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: 5. 100. 1000. Infinity. I can’t rate this. I can only ask you, request you, implore you to read it.
Recommend: If I can reach even one person and convince them to read this – this mind-blowing, addictive, insanely compelling gem of a book – then, I will go to my grave knowing that I did at least one good thing in this life. Highly, highly recommended.
After finishing Letters to the Lost, I was overcome by an overwhelming, consuming need to write. I needed an outlet, somewhere I could express the intensely powerful emotions the book had caused in me, someone to express my thoughts to. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Declan, or The Dark in my life to whom I can talk to; for now, this blog is my outlet.
|The Dark and The Cemetery Girl ;)|
This is a novel about a girl who has lost her mother, and a boy who has lost his sister. Juliet leaves letters on her mother’s grave and one day Declan stumbles across one – he replies to the script with just two words. These two words are what change everything in their lives.
The beauty in Brigid Kemmerer’s novel is in the construction of her characters. I am in love with them, each and every one of them. Every single person has a backstory in the novel, a role, something I can relate to, to the point where by the end I am left hating just two people: Juliet’s and Declan’s mothers. How to start this… I’ll begin by talking about Declan. He’s my favorite character in the novel.
|Declan and Juliet <3|
“I say I don’t care what people think of me, but that’s a lie. You’d care, too, if everyone thought you were nothing more than a ticking time bomb.”
|I so wish I had a Declan aka The Dark in my life|
While in school or college or university, we have all come across the “bad boy” character in our class. The boy no one wants to be around, who looks terrifyingly strong, who may even have a criminal record, and whom absolutely no one expects any good from. This is how the world (and even his parents) see Declan Murphy – a dumb troublemaker, an addict, someone cruel and destined for nothing but prison and failure in life. Try to stand in his shoes for five minutes and you will realize what a depressing burden that is to bear. To be judged before you let a single word out of your mouth.
I read the boy’s actions throughout the novel, his talent with words and even more so towards engines, and I feel like screaming at the world, because “WHY CAN’T ANY OF YOU SEE THIS?” A single teacher believed in Declan’s talent at school, his community service officer eventually saw it too. But, most people who saw him and judged didn’t even have a single clue what they were talking about.
Juliet is another story all together. She is a talented photographer, and was well on her way to an amazing future before her mother’s death. The tragedy ruins her: months after the incident she is still very, very broken. Her and Declan’s anonymous communication through letters and emails is like reading pieces of their souls on paper.
I had to regularly remind myself that the story is fiction – I am not reading actual pieces of someone’s personal life. Letters to the Lost feels that real. From the start till the end I shipped the couple. They complete each other; they deserve each other.
|Gorgeous, intriguing, Rev|
A YA novel doesn’t usually have amazing side characters. This one does. I am in love with Rev, as much as I am with Declan – he is much more than just “the best friend” and deserves a novel in his own right; I’m going to be strongly campaigning for a whole series dedicated to the guy. Among the three characters I hate in the novel from the bottom of my heart, one is dead, one is in prison and one is Declan’s mother. I hate her, but hope she lives for Declan’s sake.
This is NOT your ordinary young adult novel. Hell, it starts with a letter to a dead woman in a cemetery, so that should be explanation enough. Please read it… the characters are heartwarming, the prose is beautiful and for those of you who have never read a book in your life, I promise that you shall be converted. Trust me. Reading Letters to the Lost is definitely, completely worth it.