This book falls into a rare sub-category of fiction — not just a letter-format novel, but an unanswered letter-format novel (see Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott for another great example).
Love Letters to the Dead is an excellent debut novel that will speak to teen readers looking for realistic fiction about life, death, friendship, and family. You can learn more about this book on Ava Dellaira’s website or the Love Letters to the Dead website.
Laurel’s assignment for English class is to write a letter to a dead person. She writes a letter to Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, was a fan of his music. Kurt Cobain is gone now, and so is May, but Laurel still thinks about both of them.
Laurel is supposed to turn in the letter to her teacher, but she doesn’t. Instead she writes another letter, and another, and another. Sometimes she writes to Kurt Cobain, or River Phoenix, or Janis Joplin, or Amelia Earhart, or Amy Winehouse, or Judy Garland, or Jim Morrison, or e.e. cummings, or Heath Ledger. She writes to dead singers, dead actors, dead poets, dead people who weren’t brave enough or dead people who might have been too brave. She writes to them about their own lives and about her own life. She writes about starting over at a new school, about trying to make new friends, about falling in love for the first time. But she also writes about May, about trying to understand May’s life as well as her death, and about learning to live now that May is gone.