It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.
Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?
I really wish that I could have rated this higher, but the pay-off wasn’t there and I found myself wishing for a little bit more and depth. The characters were well formed and exceptionally well-written, especially Hannah and Natalie. I thought that although the other character’s seemed really rounded that Laurel’s voice feel flat and almost as though she had no depth.
One aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the relationship between Natalie and Hannah and the struggles that they went through to be together. This running trait throughout book was fantastic and so brilliantly kept up. I really felt for the characters and by the end I was really rooting for them to get together. I did think that the ending for them was a little bit neatly resolved.
I really didn’t like the letter format. I thought that by the end of the book it didn’t even feel like they were letters any more and the links to the famous people became more and more tenuous and distant. I found it hard to believe that the people she was writing to would care about what she was writing. I didn’t enjoy the letters, and I wish that they would have been sporadically placed throughout instead of being the whole story.
All in all the story was well-paced and most of the characters were well rounded, but there was something missing and the story fell flat.