Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Elena Reviews: Letters to the Lost By Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Letters to the Lost

Authors: Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
*Beware, pretty long review coming up ahead!*

From the moment I read the synopsis, I knew Letters to the Lost was going to be a game changer for me. It made the story sound so deep, poignant and heartbreaking that, me being me, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was intrigued before I even started reading, fell in love immediately after I did and was so hooked, it physically hurt if I actually tried to put the book down in order to return to my boring, uneventful life. Which is something that, believe it or not, hasn't happened to me in ages! I might sound a bit bitter but, exams just started, I'm more than overwhelmed and I feel like my life is over! Moving on to the actual review...

Letters to the Lost tells the story of Declan and Juliet. They've both had a shitty year, in some very different ways, and they accidentally find each other in the midst of this chaos that their lives have become. At a time when nothing really makes sense, they start exchanging these letters and it's like everything starts becoming easier to get through. They find solace and understanding in each other. The whole thing is anonymous so, they don't really know who they're actually talking to in these letters but, everything becomes clear as the story unfolds! There are a lot of bumps along the way but, there's always light waiting at the end of a tunnel, which is something Declan and Juliet realize and find within themselves and each other. 

First of all, I want to start with the writing! Letters to the Lost is one of the most beautifully written contemporaries I've ever read! I couldn't get over how incredible and poetic the writing was. The best part is that, it just kept getting better and managed to hook me into the story and make the experience even better and more interesting. The plot itself fascinated me from the beginning and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I found it to be more unpredictable and exciting than I was initially expecting. 

The narrative was also very interesting and different. You really didn't know who was talking at the beginning of each chapter which might sound confusing, but it just added to the excitement in trying to figure out what was going on. It was a very nice twist to the traditional narrative that you come across most contemporaries. Plus, the letters just added to my fascination with the story and its characters. They were the perfect touch to an already wonderful setting! 

Declan and Juliet's story might sound cliche but, believe me, it isn't. And it's definitely worth reading because of the weight its words carry. I loved the characters from the moment I started reading and connecting with them was as easy as breathing. It took no effort whatsoever, which rarely happens for me. I usually have to read a lot of pages in order to get a feel for the characters and their personalities. I could relate with these two and understand what they were going through. I feel like we could've been best friends in real life actually! 

I was so frustrated with the way everyone treated Declan and realized that, we take a look at one snapshot of peoples' lives and that's it. We base everything off of that one snapshot, without really giving them a chance to replace it and make it better. We don't even try to see past that and discover what is hidden underneath its surface. Their story shows that, there's always something more to a snapshot of a moment and you have to get past that in order to discover it. There's always more to people that something they did wrong, or something they didn't do at all! 

I wanted to punch them in the face for treating him like a criminal. Even adults, which is absolutely ridiculous. And please, don't get me started on his mother and stepfather. Nice lady, probably, but really? Letting him take the blame for something that wasn't his fault and keep living with it for so many years without doing anything in order to take that burden away and set him free! 

I loved Juliet and could understand what she was going through because it felt like the words were transformed into feelings that reached my fingers and pierced my heart. The process of connecting with her as a teenager whose life was changed forever took no effort on my part, as a reader, at all. She was struggling to adjust to a life without the person she'd admired for the course of it. It was like everything came to a stop and she had no idea how she was supposed to go past it and move on. How to keep doing what she loved and feel complete again. She felt like nobody could understand her and that's why meeting and getting to know Declan - even though she didn't know who he actually was at the beginning - made everything better.

Furthermore, getting to know the secondary characters was also a very interesting experience since, they played a big part in the story and how it developed. Plus, they had both Declan and Juliet's backs throughout the book and stayed next to them through thick and thin. I fell in love with Rev and would've loved it if the author released a book about him! It's probably one of the few times I've actually liked a secondary character this much! He gave off this very mysterious vibe and I would give anything to get to know him better! 

Last but not least, I loved the development of the story and the characters themselves. You can obviously see and feel the change in them and how good they are for each other! There's also a very ''dramatic'' twist at the end which, I couldn't have predicted and some other, unexpected events that will leave you speechless.

Letters to the lost was a deep, heartbreaking and raw read, with very important messages about family, loyalty, loss, betrayal, hope and love. It shows as that, falling down goes hand in hand with having the strength to rise back up again, stronger and more determined. Its beautiful writing will definitely make all these feelings come alive inside you and you won't be able to forget about it!


  1. I have this on my wishlist :) Now I'm even more excited to read it - it sounds like such an epic, beautifully written read! Fab review!

    1. Thank you! It was truly and epic read and I cannot recommend it enough! Thanks for stopping by!


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