Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Contemporary-Young Adult
Published: 4th of April 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reading Status: April 26-April 30, 2017
WARNING: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t read the book yet.
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.
There’s this photograph I can’t get out of my mind. A little girl in a flowered dress is screaming in the dark. Blood is everywhere: on her cheeks, on her dress, in spattered droplets on the ground. A gun is pointed at the dirt road beside her, and you can’t see the man, but you can see his boots. You showed it to me years ago, telling me about the photographer who got the shot, but all I remember is the scream and the flowers and the blood and the gun.
Letters to the Lost is a young adult fiction of Brigid Kemmerer which tells us a story about two teenagers who are suffering from losing someone they love.
This is the first (ever) book of Brigid Kemmerer that I’ve read. My first impression about this book is that it will give me a feeling of “light reading” and I was very wrong! Because it gave me heavy and serious feelings. Although at the end, I loved every bit of it.
I rated it 4.8 here but in Goodreads, I rated it 5 stars (just a matter of rounding off actually). I have so many feelings about this book. The book doesn’t purely depend on the love story of Juliet and Declan and it has so many things to do with family and friendships. Families that are perfectly imperfect. It gave me a feeling of being a teenager
The character of Declan has the “stereotype” attitude of a teenager who is perpetually misunderstood and easily judged because of a single mistake. It reminds me of the saying (in non-verbatim):
“Do good to people all the time and they never notice. But when you make one mistake, it’s never forgotten.”
The book covers some realities in a teenager’s life. It gives us a window on what will happen to kids when their parents failed them or left them to discover everything on their own. I don’t know but the situation of Declan really made me sad rather than the situation of Juliet. Although at some parts of the story, I don’t feel like Declan is a teenager. Sometimes he feels like somewhere in between 18-25 years old. (Is it just me or you felt it too? Haha.)
“Turned out he was scared of Geoff and Kristin because they’re black. His dad told him that black people were evil and sent by the devil.”
I loved this part because it’s timely and it’s related to issues about racism. I don’t know what was running through Brigid’s mind while writing this part but I’m grateful for it because it gave me an impact that you should NEVER (EVER!) judge people based on what race they came from. And just to clarify things, I am not a racist. I’m just stating here why I loved this part. 🙂
Another thing that I loved from this book is that it taught me the exact term for “silhouette with details” photography which is conte-jour. Furthermore, I loved this because I am an amateur and enthusiast of photography and it taught me a lot too. Brigid exemplifies some important things here through Juliet’s character in which people should never underestimate other people’s passion and people have different perspectives in making an impact and difference in this world.
“I’ve spent years idolizing my mother and her vibrancy, thinking of my father in boring shades of beige, when he’s been right here beside me the whole time.”
Just O-M-G! This part made me cry because admit it. We all have those moments in life when we were so blinded by other things that made us forget about the persons who were there beside us ever since.
“Because I loved you, and you loved her. I couldn’t take that away from you.”
“But I was here for those three days. And I’ll be here for all the other days, as long as you need me.”
Hands down. I can’t really describe how amazing this part is for me. But one thing I’m sure, I love this 100%!
All in all, I love the everything! Thank you, Brigid Kemmerer, for expanding my English vocabulary. I’ve learned a lot!
Let me know that you think about this book by posting your comments below. 🙂
- “Do you think it’s funny when people say “lost” as if they were just misplaced?”
- “I feel like I understand you. I feel like you understand me.”
- “Sometimes you get to a point where it hurts too much, and you’ll do anything to get rid of the pain. Even if it means doing something that hurts someone else.”
- “Doing all these unexpected things is leaving me off balance”
- “You’re the one who showed me I could be normal.”
- “If a rich kid taunts a poor kid for wearing old hand-me-downs, that’s obviously cruel. If a poor kid mocks a rich kid for failing a test, is it a lesser cruelty because of their stations in life?”
- “But if you’re going to lose it, this is a pretty safe place to fall apart.”
- “I mean a photo is just that: a moment in time. We don’t know what’s really going on with the people in the picture. And we don’t know what’s going on with the photographer. What makes it important is what we bring to the photo.”
- “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
- “Maybe one day you’ll love a woman enough that a kiss will be worth all that trouble.”
- “I’m so off balance today, waiting to see what happens when the world stops spinning so wildly.”
- “Just because you can’t do it now doesn’t mean you can’t do it ever.”
- “You don’t think you’re good enough? I promise you are.”
BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons. You can visit her online at www.brigidkemmerer.com.
(VIA & PHOTO CREDITS @ WWW.BRIGIDKEMMERER.COM)