Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Annike: Hey guys! Hope your week has been really great so far. Today I am here with a book review on Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. This is actually the second book I have read this month with this same title haha 🙂 But this one is definitely a very different story that was great in its own way so definitely check out the review below!

34680953.jpgJuliet 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.

This book really intrigued me when I read the blurb for the first time quite a while before it actually came out. I had recently read the Letters to the Lost by Iona Gray and while I was looking for it on Goodreads, I stumbled across this book that had been on my to-read list and thought about it again. Then, that week at my school library I found it on the new books pile and instantly had to pick it up and check it out.

This book is a pretty serious book when you look at all of the themes and ideas that it follows. It had a mixture of hope and loss which was really well written by Brigid Kemmerer. I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a romance book because there was very little romance in the story. Instead, it seemed to circle around themes of friendship and coming to terms with betrayal and loss. The story looks at both Juliet and Declan who are going through their own battles against themselves and those they have lost. They are trying to figure out where they are in life and cross paths in the cemetery where Declan is doing community service and Juliet is visiting her dead mother.

From here they start exchanging letters which then moves onto emails. These anonymous letters and emails were definitely my favourite parts of the book. I always love when you have anonymous people exchanging notes because everything is so raw and honest. Some of the letters – especially from Juliet – were so beautifully written when she referred to photographs or photographers and it was so nice to get to look into that part of her life through her writing. On the other side there was Declan who was a young boy struggling with the perceptions of him from society which he just couldn’t seem to prove wrong.

This book had some really great themes of love and friendship as well as family. One of the things that I didn’t like so much was the very predictable plot line. I found that most of the aspects in the story had simply been done before such as:

  • Main Characters having a single best friend
  • Anonymous exchanging of emails
  • Bad boy and Good girl
  • Friendship online is a nemesis in real life

These are just some of the things that I thought could have been changed or altered to make the story a bit more unique.

Overall, while there were some things that I thought were too predictable and cliché it was a really well written book that did keep me interested for the entire read. I would definitely recommend it as a book that has a really deep and meaningful while also not being too depressing. It made me think and was beautifully written so would definitely recommend it!

4/5 stars



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