Ava Dellaria is a Goodreads author who has certainly changed the young adult game by writing “Love Letters to the Dead”.
The book is the story of Laurel, whose English assignment is to pick any dead person and write a letter to them. She chooses to write about Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer of the band Nirvana. She chooses Cobain because her dead sister May loved him. She realizes just how therapeutic it is to write about what has happened with her, and what is happening to her in the form of letters.
The result is a book so full of emotions, it will leave you speechless. The book is about a young girl who is coming of age, while dealing with the mysterious death of her older sister, and learning about the people in her life.
This book stands out, more so than any other young adult novel this year. It deals with issues so deep, so troubling,that many adult novels choose to veer away from them. The characters are deep, and extremely flawed, which makes the story that much richer and that much more real.
The book deals with much darker ideas- substance abuse, loss of a loved one, sexuality, and much more. It will certainly introduce a number of children and young adults to many complicated issues in a straightforward, honest way. It is certainly the most complicated, most well-written YA book of the year.