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.
Letters to the Lost was a vividly poignant novel with strong real-life issues. Kemmerer wrote fantastic characters with such depth and turmoil, and allowed their personalities to speak through via the writing with no barrier in between. I fell so in love with their connection as it built between the pages of their correspondence and how that translated into their everyday lives.
Teen angst and emotion can be so hard to capture, but with Declan and Juliet it hit me right in the gut. One is struggling with consequences of an action, while the other is struggling with the reaction to a devastating event. Both are wrapped so tightly in grief and regret and sadness that it drips from the pages, but underneath all of that is the saving grace of a little bit of hope they find in one another. It was truly so heartbreaking to enter into their lives and see the causes of their current predicaments, how their families were involved or lacking, and how everything, even the most minuscule things, had an effect on them. I felt it, every bit of it, and it was just written and laid out so very well–expertly, really. Not only were the main characters so striking, but every single secondary character was just as palpable. These characters are still with me, and I hope they continue to stay.
My one big want was an epilogue or a bit more to the ending. The resolution deserved to be bigger, grander, and I craved it upon reading the last word. Or maybe I became so involved with them that I am just selfish in wanting more. Letters to the Lost was an addictive read that I couldn’t put down. The last hour of the novel was a mad-dash to the end where pages were being flipped as fast as my eyes could read, and I don’t find many novels that bring me to that reaction. Brigid Kemmerer is a great storyteller, and I can’t wait to experience more from her.
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
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.