Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost is a tale of two people finding each other when they need someone the most. It will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and Julie Buxbaum’s Tell Me Three Things. I found it engaging and satisfying, so I gave it four stars.
Letters to the Lost is publishing Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
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.
I really enjoyed this book. The main characters are believable, especially because they aren’t always perfect, and I found myself invested in their lives quickly. I did think this was going to be more of a romance, but I wasn’t disappointed. Juliet and Declan form a much needed friendship, and I was pleased when that seemed to be the bigger focus. While the angry boy and sad girl are not new ideas; their journey to better is not the usual YA romance solution – readers can actually see the realistic actions that bring about their changes. It hits home that the choices you make do impact the way you feel, the way you are perceived, and the way you are treated. I really appreciate the fact that this book has all the drama my high school students want, but it also has messages that they can tie to their own lives. I’m adding it to my classroom library wishlist and I know it will be a hit, especially with students who enjoy contemporary YA. Language and situations are appropriate for high school, but adult readers of YA can enjoy it just as much.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.