Okay, so I picked this book up in Waterstones shortly after being paid and after reading the first page I decided it was probably going to be worth reading. The story begins with the main character Laurel writing a letter to Kurt Cobain for a class assignment, the class assignment being to write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chose Kurt Cobain because he died young, just like her sister May did. Soon, Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse etc. Her entire story is told through letters to the dead.
The idea of her story being revealed through letters to the dead was an interesting approach and if the story had just been written the normal way it definitely wouldn’t have been as engaging. Stephen Chbosky is mentioned in the acknowledgments as supporting the writing of this novel which is probably why this story gives off a massive ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ vibe. This is not necessarily a bad thing because I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, but it does follow a very similar storyline.
This book was good, but again with the unnecessary romance? Laurel’s love interest was extremely irritating and annoying that I struggled to understand why Laurel thought he was so amazing. This is a boy who dumped her simply because she couldn’t talk about her past to him. Even though I’m pretty sure that by this point he hadn’t exactly been one hundred percent honest with her either? It was also clear that if it weren’t for May’s death, the two of them would never have ended up together.
The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the mystery throughout the entire book – what happened to May? How did she die? What happened that could be so bad that Laurel couldn’t even write it in her letters? Once finding this out though the book suddenly grew a bit dull and a lot less interesting than it originally was.
One thing I did love though were the characters Natalie and Hannah, and their complicated relationship. They were both in love but many things were keeping them apart from one another. Something you will find with this book is that every character had a massive unsolvable problem. It does make this a very stressful read to be slapped in the face with everyone’s sadness. This also makes the whole idea seem a little less realistic. How many problems can be shoved into one book?
Something else you should prepare for is that we learn pretty much nothing about Laurel but we do learn a lot about May. I think this is relatively important to the story though for reasons that you’d need to read the book to understand.
Overall, I guess I would recommend this book to you guys simply so you can find out what happened to May because that’ll grip you throughout. Be prepared to have Laurel and Sky’s forced relationship and the growing problems of every character thrown in your face though.