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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which happened to also be my first book by Brigid Kemmerer. When I found out she had another book coming out (Call It What You Want), I requested an ARC and decided to find more of her older contemporaries in the meantime. While my review for her new book will be up soon, I was also so happy to have the chance to read and review Letters to the Lost, a book that came out in 2017 and I'm only finding out about now!
Both Storylines Are Well Developed
I love reading a story where I feel equally connected to both of the narrators. In this case, Declan and Juliet's stories are both very well developed, giving readers the chance to connect to both of them and really hope for their happy ending. I did feel that we see a lot of Declan through Juliet's eyes, but not a ton about Juliet from Declan's eyes, which I thought was a missed opportunity to look at their relationship further. That said, Declan and Juliet are both going through very separate and difficult personal lives and it was great that they had each other to rely on. I really loved getting to know both of these characters and thought that Kemmerer did a great job humanizing them.
Some Excellent Adults
I can't state enough how happy I am that there are good adult influences in this book. Although Declan and Juliet don't have the best of luck in the parent department, I fell in love with Rev's parents and I was so happy to meet Declan's English teacher. I've said this before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but it drives me crazy that adults in YA novels are often relegated to being another battleground for the protagonist to fight on or are completely ineffectual in helping. In Letters to the Lost, we are given a teacher who both isn't afraid of Declan and wants to actually help him succeed. While Alan is clearly a massive jerk to Declan, I'm so happy that he has Rev's parents to turn to; hopefully we get more time with them in Rev's book!
The Declan/Rev Friendship is Amazing
This relationship was definitely the highlight of the book for me; while Juliet and Declan's relationship is key, it's Declan and Rev's friendship that is the ultimate example of love and support. These are two boy coming from dark backgrounds that have nothing but love and respect for each other. They know each other at their worst and at their best, and absolutely have the other's back. This is the relationship I hope everyone has the chance to find, in books and in real life.
I read this book in only a few hours because I simply couldn't put it down. I was immediately drawn into the story that Kemmerer created and needed to find out where this story went. After reading it, I found out that there's a companion novel about Rev...I'm obviously dying to read it! Letters to the Lost is a lovely story and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA contemporary novels or books with well developed character POVs and smooth storytelling. I hope you like it as much as I did!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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