Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: n/a
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

I can't believe how long it's been since I read something new from Brigid Kemmerer. I loved her Elementals series. It was fun and romantic and action-packed. This book is nothing like that series and yet it is still just as amazing.

Wait, I lied. They are similar in that the brothers in the Elementals series have a world of hurt thrust upon them and the hits just keep coming throughout the series. The same could be said of both Juliet and Declan: they've both had something tragic occur to their families, something that seems impossible to overcome. And just when it looks like they might not be able to, they find each other.

This is the second book in as many weeks that I've read featuring the secret pen pal aspect, and I must admit, I really like this method of getting to know the characters...and them getting acquainted, as well. I'm not usually super interested in books focused on grief because I'm not very good at dealing with it myself, but the letter-writing aspect had me intrigued. Plus, I know that Brigid made even elemental powers seem realistic, so I knew she would be able to portray the characters' grief genuinely but without leaving me a sobbing mess.

I loved the connection these two characters shared, in their correspondence and outside of it, even if they weren't aware it was that same connection they were drawing on. I liked that Declan wasn't your typical bad boy, that there was more to him than just acting out. And that people finally started to see beyond that brusk exterior to the boy hurting beneath. I also like that Juliet was one of the first people to do so, even if she was one of those making assumptions about what kind of person Declan was based on rumors and heresay. Both characters showed so much growth and changed so much, just in the short span of time they'd started writing to each other, and I really appreciated that that relied more on their connection than their growing attraction, though I enjoyed that aspect, as well.

Also, the friendships in this book were life-affirming. Friendship should be about support but not being a pushover, and I liked that despite the many tragedies inflicted on these characters, they still managed to be there for each other. (I'm also very glad to see that Rev is getting his own book because there was obviously so much more to his story than what we get in this book.) It was also refreshing to see so much family involvement, especially as the story progressed.

Considering that I'm not a huge fan of this type of story normally, I could not put this book down. In fact, I found myself sneaking it in at work or any other chance I could get. I don't think you can help but be invested in these characters. That connection they share is nearly palpable, and you'll need to see how it plays out.


GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

BRIGID KEMMERER is 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.

Find Brigid:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Me, reading the summary: Sounds great. I'm listening...
    Me, after reading your review: OKAY I'M READY FOR THIS NOVEL RIGHT NOW.

  2. I've been hearing so much about this book and now I REALLY WANT TO READ IT!! I mean, it's also totally my kind of book, so I probably would want to read it anyway. I've never read a book by this author, so yay for NEW TO ME AUTHORS!!! I'm glad you loved it-- hope I do too!

  3. I still need to read the Elemental series! But I loved this one so hard so it will be done, and soon! I've already stalked the local libraries so I know where to grab them. lol I'm so glad you loved this one too!


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