Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Interesting concept poorly executed. The assignment, one of those creative writing start-of-year ones, is to write a letter to a dead person. Laurel, reeling from her sister's death and mother's move to California (not to mention living one week with her father, another week with her mother's sister) decides to write to Kurt Cobain, her sister's favorite singer.
Soon she's writing to Amy Winehouse, Judy Garland and others. See what I mean about interesting? The poorly executed part is that the letters don't work as well as they could. First, letters shouldn't be filled with dialog between characters, they should be narrative or with minimal dialog. No teen writes pages of dialog in a letter. Second, there's a clunkiness when Laurel writes exposition about the person to whom she's writing - rather than asking how Judy Garland felt about her name change and being forced to support her family, she writes that it happened. Or she tells Kurt Cobain the facts of his life, which one would suppose he already knew. I get why the exposition needed to happen, but it could have been more gracefully written.
ARC provided by publisher.