This coming of age story revolves around the female protagonist Laurel, a high school freshman whose beloved and through Laurel’s eyes, perfect older sister, May, who has died recently. The tale addresses Laurel’s way of receiving closure and finding herself along the way. To avoid the painful reminders of her sister, she changes schools for some new scenery.
At her new school, she is given an assignment by the teacher to write a letter to a famous dead person. Laurel begins writing a series of letters to numerous famous dead people, such as, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse. She doesn’t have any intention to hand in the assignment but continues to write these letters to express her feelings about May’s death and other dark issues in her life. She finds a new group of friends who help her escape from reality. Also a crush who has issues of his own and seems to be hiding a secret…
This novel is beautifully written and has dark themes of sexual abuse, possible suicide, physical violence and homosexuality. Insimilar context and writing style to Stephen Chbosky’s ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’.
This unique novel also allows readers to understand the lives and deaths of the celebrities a little better, and I feel as though each person relates to each celebrity and letter, differently. Personally, I had a real connection with the letters written to River Phoenix. I began to YouTube his interviews and the distressing 911 call. I feel that researching the celebrities in the books, enhances the reading experience. Especially when listening to Kurt Cobain’s music and understanding the references to the book.
The author dedicated this book to her recently deceased mother. Because she beautifully depicts her true emotions into the pages, is a way I think this how she is able to connect with her readers in such an intriguing manner. Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in her next book.
I give it 4.5 stars