Sunday, 7 January 2018

Letters to the Lost - The book I read in less than a day

I love reading but I find it so hard to get into a book. I find I am so impatient to get to the plot and if it doesn't come soon enough I will just stop reading it until I force myself to finish it and I just won't enjoy it. It has been a long time since I have found a book that has had me gripped since the start. The last few books I have read I just read for the sake of finishing them and they turned out to be pretty disappointing. Also, I win the award for the world's slowest reader, as much as I love it, I am just so slow at reading but it's something I am working on. I have never finished a book the same day I started it and so this book it record breaking for me and that is why I feel like I need to talk about it, I am obsessed, it was incredible. I have never found a book to call my favourite but thesis probably the closest to winning that title, I never get that engulfed in a book so I think it is worth documenting.
The book is called Letters to the Lost and it is by Brigid Kemmerer. I am going to try and summarise what it is about so bare with me. 
The story focuses on two teenage characters, Juliet Young and Declan Murphy. Juliet is dealing with the recent death of her mum, she was killed in a hit and run, her way of coping is visiting her grave and writing her letters, just like what they use to do when she was alive. As for Declan, he is rather misunderstood and puts up a good front, he is current doing community service, landscaping at the local cemetery, to make up for a crime he committed earlier in the year. He is also adapting to his family changing after his dad got sent to prison for killing Declan's sister, his mum is moving on with a new man. The story begins when Declan finds one of Juliet's letters while doing his community service, he relates to the words written that he has to reply. They continue writing letters to each other anonymously and they both share things they have never shared before, their deepest thoughts and actions. They turn out to actually know each other, they are in the same year in school, and when their real life interferes with their anonymous letters, it is only a matter of time before one of them gets hurt.
That is all I am going to say, I really don't want to ruin it for anyone as I think you should all just read it for yourself.
As for the story itself, it is written beautifully. Throughout the book, it alternates between Declan's and Juliet's perspective but the was it is written makes it so clear who is who, the author didn't need to stick their names on it, you can just tell. 
I love that the first page goes straight into the plot, the first page is the letter Declan found. I love how there was no silly intro or daft summary at the start. I will say though, read the blurb before you read the book because it will make it that bit more easier to understand.
At the start they write physical letters to each other, leaving them in the cemetery for the other to find,  they share their deepest thoughts. I think this part of the books is so beautiful. I love that it maintains an almost tradition way of communication. Quickly though, it moves to anonymous email accounts and they are talking more and more, sharing more and more. This aspect is just as good because I love how they have kept the story modern and it also keeps it moving fast.
They both feel this connection, the author includes little details about butterflies or other indications that they both feel this drive towards each other. While sending the emails though, they are interacting in real life, Declan comes across as quite obnoxious and Juliet fears him at first. They begin to run into each more often and Juliet begins to see beneath the thick layer, what Declan is actually like. I love this part because some really important points are mention, how we are so easy to judge someone. They both think that they don't know each other but really without even knowing it, they have told each other their deepest secrets.
There comes a point in the book where they meet in person anonymously but only one of them actually realises that it's the other person. With one of them know who the other is, you might think it gets confusing but the writing maintains how beautiful it was at the start.
I won't lie, after reading this, you can probably guess what the turnout is and you are probably right but there are shocks and secrets revealed along the way that you will not see coming. Other characters affect the actions of Declan and Juliet, it is so twisted but all makes sense in the end.

I feel like I have talked enough about the plot but what I really love about this book are Declan and Juliet as characters. I find Juliet the most relatable, her descriptions of grief and loss are something, I think, most people understand and also a lot of her coping mechanisms are stages of grief I think a lot of us have been through. The way her grieving affects the people around her or the things she loved so much at one point, it is all very familiar to me and I felt a real connection with her throughout the book. Also the way she interacts with Declan is so familiar feeling. The way, in real life how she approaches him and the descriptions of her actions and thought make so much sense to me. Someone you thought was scary at one point seems to be the only person keeping an eye out for you, I don't know, but it just makes so much sense to me.
As for Declan, I warmed to him the most. His descriptions of everything he went through and the things that happened to the people around him, you can see how they would affect him. The actions he takes to help others is nothing about the blue but his self doubt is something I think a lot of people can relate to. He holds a lot on his shoulders, throughout the whole story, protecting people and blaming himself, it can get dark. There was actually one point in the book and the only point in the book I actually cried at, and it, without spoiling it, was at a point where everything was building and building and he just snapped. It was so emotional for me to read but his character is so beautiful. There is a certain character in the book, one of Declan's teachers, that I feel like was such a crucial part of his story. She helps him to push himself and see what she sees. The growing of this story line was so well thought out, to second guessing himself to actually find out that someone believes in him, it was amazing. 
Declan was definitely my favourite out of the two, but what can I say, I love a mysterious, romantic guy in a good love story.

I think most people will really love this book and find something they can relate to, whether it is to Declan or Juliet, or even one of their closest friends who do share some dark secrets and feelings too. I love how in this book, it clearly shows how someone you don't even know can make such an effect on someone's life. Declan and Juliet both push each other to do something they never thought they would ever be able to do and they don't realise how what they said, affected them so much. I just think it's amazing and so well thought out. The book was beautiful with so many twists and turn but with such a great ending. I think that this is such a good read that will have you gripped since the start. I honestly can't say enough good things!
Do let me know if you have read this book, I would love to have someone to talk about it with!
Grace xx


  1. I haven't heard of this book before but I think I'm going to have to add it to the list I want to read this year.

    Sophie's Spot

  2. Great post.

  3. This sounds interesting, I haven’t heard of this before.

    1. I hadn't either until my mum bought me it for my birthday, it is so underrated!xx

  4. I've never heard of this book, but going to give it a read I think- I'm reading quite a heavy book at the moment and I want a nice, good ol teen romance!x