‘Letters to the Lost’ by Brigid Kemmerer.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Published: April 6th 2017.
Page Length: 393 pages.
Genre: YA Mature, Contemporary.
“I don’t even know you, but I feel like I understand you. I feel like you understand me. And that’s what I like so much about it”.
Juliet Young has always written 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 of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
After reading some of Brigid Kemmerer’s previous novels, we enjoyed everything we’ve read so far! Brigid Kemmerer has a beautiful way of portraying broken teens who try and find their own way in life. However, she is at her absolute best with her recent release Letters to the Lost. This book intrigued us from the moment we read the blurb! This beautiful and raw book stripped us bare!
We were captivated by this story. After reading the first two pages, we literally couldn’t put the book down! We loved the idea of how young adult contemporary, brings two characters together. However, in Letters to the Lost, both main characters Juliet Young and Declan Murphy became close without ever having met! Without ever knowing each other’s identities when they shared their darkest secrets and feelings to each other.
Over the course of the novel, Juliet Young and Dylan Murphy’s story entwine to become one. Juliet’s mother died in a hit-and-run car crash, and she’s been struggling with her grief ever since. Juliet would always write letters to her mother as she was often overseas for her career as a photographer. She would capture the pain and suffering of war zones in just one shot. Juliet continues to write letters to her mother. Even after her passing. Juliet has been leaving these letters at her gravestone.
Declan Murphy has the signed penance of community service. This involves mowing the lawn around the cemetery. He finds a letter one afternoon by a gravestone, reads it and writes back as he believed that no one would notice that he had. As an exchange between letters surprisingly starts, they soon become emails between the anonymous accounts of ‘Cemetery Girl’ and ‘The Dark’. Juliet and Declan have no idea who they are reaching out to and they have no idea that sharing their intense and withheld grief will subside their pain. However, in real life, they both misjudge each other. Neither are each other’s biggest fans.
What will happen when they find out each other’s identify?
Will their identities ruin the connection that they share between their secret messages?
We loved the striking imagery and the way the author conveyed emotion. This novel was perfect in every way and form. All the letters they wrote to each other were thought-provoking, honest and confronting. They gave us shivers! There is definitely an unrefined beauty to opening up to someone you don’t particularly know but you feel you can trust. Each letter conveyed so much, they were sinking in grief and acceptance.
The story addresses many important themes such as friendship, loyalty, betrayal, loss, bullying, judgement, personal struggles and acceptance. Amid the character’s pain comes moments of hope that gifts them with the realization that they can both try and help each other get through each day.
We definitely recommend Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. It’s meaningful, breathtaking and a thought-provoking read! An excellent story is portrayed about two teens who meet in multiple ways!
We recommend this book to those who love YA Contemporary. Keep in mind that it’s more of a mature read.
Book Rating: 5/5 Stars.