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Letters to the Lost Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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"This book is going to fly off the shelves to all teens, but it will hold special interest for those looking for a tear-jerking romance and serious readers of realistic fiction." - VOYA
"A great concept, delivered in a compulsively readable package . . . romance readers will stay up late to finish this very satisfying and heartfelt read." - Booklist
"Explores the ideas of carving identity out of pain and the way perception colors expectations." - BCCB
"Readers will find themselves rooting for the real Declan to win Juliet’s heart the same way his online persona did. Consider this tale of modern star-crossed love as a first purchase for YA collections." - School Library Journal
About the Author
Brigid Kemmerer is the author of Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell, and the YALSA-nominated Elementals series and the paranormal mystery, Thicker Than Water. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, with several stops in between. Brigid is now settled near Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and children.
Top customer reviews
But there's so much more happening here. This book is also about acceptance and appearances and the disconnect between expectation and reality—how we sometimes judge before we understand, or fulfill the expectations others have of us, without even wanting to. It's about how we see one another, and how we see ourselves, and it's about what happens when we come to know someone and ourselves when we remove all that baggage.
Juliet and Declan are able to bare their souls to a stranger more easily than those who love them most—and it connects them at a level that is visceral for the reader. You root for Juliet and Declan as they create a safe place in their secret world, even while you bite your fingernails knowing it cannot last. What happens when their private world collides with real life will keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe, if you're a softie like me, shedding a few tears. (I wasn't yelling at the characters... YOU were yelling at the characters.)
I tore through this book in less than a day. The pacing kept me racing through and ignoring a bunch of things I was supposed to be doing. But I'm not sorry. It's fantastic writing and even all the supporting characters are really well drawn and human. Any one of them could carry their own novel. (I'm very much hoping to see more from Declan's best friend Rev, soon.)
If you're looking for a touching, fun and engaging story of love and redemption with characters that will having you thinking about them days later—this is a great book for you. Buy it!
I like the characters. This book is definitely a character novel rather than a plot-based novel. Things happened, but the plot is much less important than what is going on inside each of them. My favorite. Declan and his best friend Rev are the standouts for me. I loved Rev so much that I wouldn't mind a sequel for him. I never want that. There was just something heartbreaking about his tough/vulnerable dichotomy. I appreciate that Brigid Kemmerer allowed her characters to be flawed. Declan has a habit of taking offense and losing his temper sometimes without reason, and Juliet is sometimes self-absorbed and judgmental. The writing is strong enough that you understand their poor choices and aren't frustrated by them.
There is a strong theme of reputation and expectations. How do we respond to how the people around us see us? What does it take for perspectives to change? Both Declan and Juliet are constrained by a predetermined definition of who they are. The definition is partly defined and upheld by themselves. Much of their journey lies in figuring out that both they and the people around them are infinitely more complex that the narrow vision that they have of them.
Recently there was a situation at my school where a student asked for help dealing with a home situation. One thing that my school really values and puts a premium on is relationships. And while day to day it does make for a great learning and working environment, more importantly, it allowed a twelve-year-old boy to know that if he reached out, he would get help. Bear with me. I swear this relates to Letters to the Lost. I happened to be finishing up this book at the time and what I found both unusual and heartening was the amount of positive, healthy adult interaction. Shout out to the English teacher who differentiates an assignment because of *gasp that it what the student needs. How often does that happen in YA? Especially in a book that deals with death, abuse, foster care, and let's face it, high school. Sometimes there MIGHT just be one adult who cares but overall adults are not to be trusted. In this book, almost every adult when clearly communicated with had the best of intentions and was willing to support and help as best they could. There needs to be more of this in YA. YA is supposed to be for teenagers. Or preteens such as my students. Adults might like it and read it but we are are the not the target audience. When all the books show adults as monsters, users, incompetent, or absent what message are we sending them? Especially those that need help? I am glad that Letters to the Lost managed to subvert that trope.
Brigid Kemmerer's other books seem to be something along the line of YA elemental urban fantasy. I am not super interested in them but I will be on the lookout for her next book.
Most recent customer reviews
I actually thew my whole schedule off to read this book...Read more
I have been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer for a long time, so I knew without a doubt that I would be reading this book.Read more