Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2017
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.
First Sentence: There’s this photograph I can’t get out of my mind.
Letters to the Lost was definitely a nice surprise. I read Brigid Kemmerer’s debut book, Storm, more than three years ago and remembered not being very impressed with it despite the hype surrounding it. When I saw the hype surrounding her latest released book, Letters to the Lost, I didn’t think much of it until I read the synopsis and got curious about it. I don’t know – there’s just something I love about reading sad stories that make me tear up and cry. And Letters to the Lost definitely made me cry. Three different times.
I know she’s dead.
I know she can’t read the letters.
I know there’s very little I can do to feel close to her anymore.
Now I don’t even have this. (ARC 11)
Letters to the Lost really opened up my eyes about one main thing I’ve been focusing on lately: perception. Remember those “bad kids” at your school? Or maybe even that creepy looking guy lurking just around the corner? Well, guess what? They might not be all that bad! (This doesn’t mean you go up to strangers that look dangerous alone of course.) Although Declan looks dangerous, intimidating, and angry on the outside, when you get to know him, you find out that he’s a kind, very caring, and extremely loyal friend. You can’t judge people – and books (ha!) – by their cover, although we do forget that since we’re all human beings and let our emotions take over. Letters to the Lost definitely made me think about this concept more often. I know that I give off a serious vibe when people first meet me, but as my friend said, I’m a really friendly and open person once you get to know me. You just can’t judge a person by their cover.
You do know who I am. Find me. Grab me. Shake me. Please. (ARC 223)
Letters to the Lost also focused on so many incredibly important topics that needs to be discussed more often in young adult books – besides loss, Letters to the Lost also highlighted the importance of friendship. I love how Juliet knew that she’s been a bad friend to Rowan lately because she’s been too busy focusing on her own loss. I love how protective Declan is over Rev because he knows that his friend won’t want certain things to happen to him because of his past. The family aspect in Letters to the Lost was just as important and real – Letters to the Lost showed real struggles teenagers have with their parents, from misunderstandings to compromising.
Overall, I can not recommend Letters to the Lost enough. Despite me not giving it a rating of five stars – it didn’t have that spark that would convince me to give it five stars – I really enjoyed Letters to the Lost and will definitely be checking out its companion novel, More Than We Can Tell.