REVIEW: Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Published: 6th April 2017

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 393

Format: Paperback

RRP: $16.99

4/5 Stars

Juliet Young has always written 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 of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.

Letters To The Lost is the story of Juliet Young and Declan Murph, two troubled teens devastated by the loss close family members. Unknown to each other, the pair become entwined in an intense and often fiery and thought-provoking letter exchange after a particularly disastrous introduction through private letters left at a graveyard. What follows is an incredibly raw and honest narrative that will pull at your heart strings and leave you wanting more.

I can honestly say that Letters To The Lost is the kind of book that haunts you. In a good way, I promise! The characters and their predicament had me so conflicted while reading the book that I often would find myself contemplating them countless times throughout the day. Even now, some weeks after having read the book, I find myself thinking about them and what they went through.

Initially I was intrigued by the blurb of the book and the letters involved in telling the story. I did worry however about how successful the letter component would be within the story, as I’ve read countless books that attempted something so ambitious as this narrative, and failed miserably. Thankfully Letters To The Lost is not one of those books. Kemmerer has proven herself time and time again with this narrative in terms of the complexity of the plot, the raw emotional drive and upheaval of both the characters and the readers emotions and the pure beauty of her writing and seamless joining of the letters within the narrative.

I don’t want to ruin this books powerful emotional punch by saying too much about the narrative itself, but what I will say is that this book is about so much more than letters and grief. It’s about the importance we place of family and friends, the respect we give them and the roles they play in our lives. It’s about finding your place in the not-so-sparkly-adult-world and learning who you are with and without all of that (your friends and family). It’s a book that explores raw emotions that will both tear you apart and lift you up, all while securing you to the edge of your seat as you race towards the books climax.

Without giving too much away,Letters To The Lost is the kind of book that will have you revaluing your own life choices and how you would react should you be in any one of these characters. It’s a book that will challenge you in some regards, but will ultimately reward you with its honesty and heart warming moments that are sprinkled throughout the narrative.

I’m not ashamed to admit that my experiences with this book were violent. I cried, i laughed, I screamed, kicked and even through the book across the room and left it there for a couple of days. But the characters and Kemmerer’s words were never far from my mind, nor my emotions, and if that’s not the sign of a bloody brilliant read and out of this world writing, I don’t know what is.

If you are looking for a quick, happy-go-lucky read than perhaps this isn’t the book for you right now. But if you are looking for a more mature Young Adult novel dealing with real and heavy issues, then I highly recommend you pick this one up. Kemmerer’s writing is superb and her story is beautifully balanced with gut-wrenching scenes of devastation and sorrow and heart-warming moments of hope, love and friendship.


To purchase a copy of Letters to The Lost, visit the following online retailers:

Bloomsbury Australia | Allen & Unwin | Booktopia | Book Depository | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble |

To learn more about Brigid Kemmer, visit the following social media pages:

Brigid Kemmerer’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon US |



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