Yesterday I talked about the philosophy and psychology of death in John Green’s books. Todays book blogs are going to be about how we are now seeing them more and more in young adult section and how the books manage to help people understand the grief and get some handle on death. Honestly I wished there were more books like this when I was a teenager because the books are beautiful heartfelt and break you whilst putting you back together at the same time.
Love letters to the dead is about a girl called Laurel who’s sister died and she feels guilty and she felt that she was to blame for May’s death. When a teacher gives her the assignment to write a letter to someone who’s dead. The assignment takes its own role in helping Laurel gain a sense of her own identity instead of holding on to the memories of her sister. Where at the beginning of the book Laurel wishes to be just like May. She learns that her sister wasn’t as perfect as she had made her in her head.
Using the assignment as a tool to speak to people that no longer exist she ask questions to people like kurt Kobain (her sister mays favourite music star) what drew them into death. what its like to be so young to die. Throughout the book the questions and letters Laurel writes to artist and stars like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse are beautifully thought out and thought provoking and the letters decrease through the book because Laurel learns the thing you need to learn about is life and not death is that you have to live it. During the book Laurel gets a boyfriend named Sky who teaches her that Living the way May did will only get her killed in the same fashion.
Sky is the perfect character to be with Laurel and help her see that nothing is as black and white as you think its is and that living in the grey is okay so long as you remember to live. Where the original assignment was only supposed to be one letter Laurel never handed it in until the end of the school year at which point it was practically a diary that she gave to the teacher essentially leaving her ghost behind and allowing her to become own person .