Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
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.
*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*
I am not really sure how to start this review other than saying that while this book didn’t blow me out of the water, it was a read that captured my attention. I liked the story, I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it. Juliet and Declan use letters as a form of communication that ultimately leads to them learning how to heal and unload the burden of grief they each carry. I think stories about overcoming grief are important and to have a keystone aspect of the story be the dying art of writing letters, it is romanticized.
The story was okay for me but the plot twists seemed to be clumped together and the ending left me wanting more. While I did enjoy the story, I would have loved another chapter or epilogue at the end. The plot twists seemed to be piled on at the end of the story instead of spaced around. I also remember while reading and I looked down at 37% and thought to myself how is there still so much left when one of the truths is already know. I am not going to spoil the story but I would have liked to see a little more fluidity and falling in love in person aspects.
In terms of character development, I almost feel as if some of the secondary characters were better developed than Juliet and Declan. Declan’s step-father is a truly horrendous character who I wished, on multiple occasions, would get hit by a bus and die. Declan’s best friend is fascinating and I want desperately to know more about him and be inside his head. Declan and Juliet had their ah-ha moments and changed but for me, again, it wasn’t fluid. It was like flicking a light-switch and magically they are both changed for the better. And while I was glad to see love grow from that grief, I would have liked to see it paced a bit better.
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