Monday, May 5, 2014

REVIEW: Love Letters To The Dead - Ava Dellaira

Dear Laurel,

Honestly? You ticked me off. You started writing these love letters to dead people as an English assignment that got personal, when your sister May’s death was still raw. In the beginning, the whole thing felt unnecessary. Everything you said felt flat – like you were saying things on purpose to have an effect. You didn’t sound like how you were supposed to – a girl in need of closure. Rather, you sounded like a writer who’d borrowed your name to write literary fiction. And I could not understand how seeing Sky FOR THE FIRST TIME inspired such lovesick reactions from your side. I gagged, Laurel, I did. And then, in class, when you were called to recite a poem, you said you were extremely nervous, but you understood the poem nevertheless, even though it was your first time reading that poem. Which isn’t possible. And like Jen at YA Romantics said, you were writing Hollywood biographies – about Judy Garland, River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse – and you found some way, after a long winded narration, to identify with them. I felt sorry for you Laurel that you identified with people who’d lost their fight with life.

I didn’t like you at all. You didn’t get the sympathy you deserved from me. You kept talking about how you wanted to be strong, how you wanted to be as brave as May – wearing short skirts, smoking, flashing people. Maybe, in your head, losing one’s morals takes courage. But, in actuality, it isn’t bravery to do what the “regular weird” people tell you to do. It would have been bravery to not do it.

But then, you started revealing yourself more, and I could see that you were messed up. Really messed up. So the things that I didn’t like about you started making sense. And in some way that isn’t palpable enough for me to pluck out and write, your writing matured. Your narration continued to irk me, but you didn’t. Not anymore.   

I liked the way you introduced the people in your life. They didn’t feel like props in your letters, they felt like they had a story of their own. And even though your narration was initially so slow that I drifted off, towards the middle, you found your pace.

I like you now.

Yours Truly,

VERDICT: 3.5 stars

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