Letters to the Lost
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.
I loved Brigid Kemmerer’s Elementals series so I was really excited to see what she would do with contemporary. She’s written some of my favourite characters and character dynamics and this book definitely did not disappoint in that regard. Both Juliet and Declan had very unique voices so it was easy to tell which POV was being told and I was immediately drawn into their story through their letters to each other and the way it contrasted with their real life meetings.
Juliet was still grieving after her mother’s death and writing letters to leave on her grave was a way for her to cope and still feel close to her. Declan was dealing with feeling like his mom and stepdad didn’t want him around, especially after he crashed a car the night of their wedding. Both Juliet and Declan needed someone to talk to and, without really meaning to, found that with each other. It was great to see them opening up to each other and sharing their pasts, giving each other confidence to put themselves out there. It was also interesting to see how different their real life interactions were since they were both very guarded people who kept rubbing each other the wrong way. I loved the progression of their relationship.
I also loved the supporting cast. Juliet’s best friend was great but Declan’s friend Rev was perfect. I wanted so much more of him. I liked that there were adults in their lives that were trying to get through to them, adults that weren’t their parents. There were a few examples of great teachers who truly care in this book. We didn’t get to see much of Rev’s parents but they definitely took home the award for top parentals.
The plot dealt a lot with grief and with perceptions. Both Juliet and Declan had lost someone close to them and it shaped their lives afterward. It showed how wrong forming an opinion of someone based on how they dress or how they act can be, and how hurtful it can be even if the person doesn’t show it. I also appreciated that it showed how sometimes it can be easier to open up to someone who’s a total stranger over someone who knows you very well. This is definitely a book that will find itself on my re-read list.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.