Letters To The Lost Review

Friday, 22 September 2017

By Brigid Kemmerer 
Rating: 5/5
Source: W H Smith bundle 

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.

This is possibly my favourite book of the book club, maybe coming second to After The Fire but it would be a very close call between the two. Like After The Fire, Letters To The Lost was Chris' second pick, which says something about his taste in books because his choices were by far the best -everyone stalk his Twitter for recs in future.

This book tells a story from the perspectives of Juliet Young and Declan Murphy, dual perspective novels have been my favourite as of late so there were no complaints from me here. Despite going to the same school Juliet and Declan don't know each other, they run in different circles. Declan is a bit of a bad boy and Juliet is the girl who lost her mother in a car crash.

The process of grief has been a recurring theme in the Zoella Book Club, most of the books touch on the subject in one way or another, this is really great because it isn't something I've read too much about in the past -lately I've been sticking to fantasy which treats death very differently, YA is definitely more helpful.

To deal with the loss of her mother, Juliet writes letters and leaves them at her gravestone and even though she knows her mother can't write back, it helps Juliet process what she's feeling and express herself positively. Declan finds these letters and starts replying, expressing himself as what would be considered the polar opposite of what everyone else perceives him to be.

Someone who writes comforting things to you, things no one else has the courage to say to a grieving girl, it's not hard to predict that Juliet begins to fall for the stranger behind the words, the same goes for Declan falling for the first person to be so open and honest with him. Their chemistry is so endearing that I finished this book in one sitting, I didn't want to sit and think about what was going to happen -I just had to read it.

While the two of them are writing letters to one another, they start becoming more aware of each other around school, as you would at some point. You bump into someone once and you start to see them everywhere you go. It gets to the point where you'll be screaming at the characters to just realise who each other is.

I loved both characters but my heart always goes to the misunderstood bad boy. There's been a few good ones this year (shoutout to Nate from One Of Us Is Lying) and even though it has become a trope of YA, it's one of those tropes that I love to love. In school, Declan is this dangerous, intimidating presence. He's a criminal, doing community service as a result of it -but he isn't a bad guy. He has a heart of gold and a mind that works in this unique way that makes him so endearing. Writing the letters to Juliet gives him a chance to show his true colours without being judged or people thinking his feelings aren't genuine. Declan is the tough shell with a soft caramel filling that Juliet needs in her life to help her cope without her mother.

Of course there is drama, but as usual I will not be spoiling said drama because I want you to enjoy this book as much as I did.

I'd recommend this book to any fans of YA because this book is just beautiful. I will say that because of the sensitive topics that you might want to think carefully before you read, I was bawling half the time so bare that in mind. With this review the Zoella and Friends Book Club comes to an end, I've had the best time reviewing these books (even if the last two were a little late oops), I really can't wait for the next book club!

Thanks for reading!

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