Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer | Thought-provoking & deeply emotional

June 7, 2017 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 21 Comments

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer | Thought-provoking & deeply emotionalLetters to the Lost
by Brigid Kemmerer
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: April 4th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4.5 Stars
Source: Publisher via Mail

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Juliet and Declan go to the same school, they know who each other is, but have never really interacted much before. Juliet was always writing letters to her mom when her mom would travel and she kept doing it even after her mom passed away. She leaves a letter at the cemetery and Declan finds it. Reading Juliet’s letter, he related a bit to Juliet so he decides to write a letter back and leave it on her mom’s grave. When Juliet finds it, she’s furious because someone read something personal of hers. But as Cemetery Girl and The Dark write to each other, they keep getting closer. Also, Juliet and Declan start talking more and more without knowing that they are the ones corresponding to one another.

“We’re all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing.”

I loved the idea of writing letters to someone, not really knowing who they are. The reason is that we see how Juliet and Declan open up to one another, not knowing who’s who. They were able to share things they wouldn’t share with other people and they found relief and comfort in each other. They had something in common and that’s what brought them closer even more. I actually thought this book would be full on romance, what with the letters idea, but it actually wasn’t.

I loved that this focused more on family and loss, rather than the romance. Not only that, it also focused a lot on Juliet and Declan’s friendship. They went from not talking to each other, to interacting here and there, to forming a friendship and later on, declaring their feelings to one another. It was a sweet slow-burn not friends-to friends-to something more romance and it brought a little bit of lightness to this heart-breaking yet beautiful story.

The story has so much depth! I wasn’t really expecting that angle but wow. It really was a painful story and it broke my heart as I read it. But guys, it’s so wonderful. At times, I forgot this book is for the YA audience with how much depth it has and the topics that are discussed. The grief that Juliet and Declan have and how they deal with it in their own way… It was sad and it brought tears to my eyes. I was glad when they started writing letters to one another because, as I said before, they were able to share things they normally wouldn’t. And they were so open about everything going on in their lives. Declan’s story broke my heart the most. He’s trying to move on from the loss of his dad and sister. It was sad reading about his breakdown and just how he’s dealing with life and how alone he is.

I keep saying this story is painful and sad and heartbreaking. While it is all of those things, it is also a very hopeful story. Brigid Kemmerer did a wonderful job with the story of each character and how everything unraveled. Letters to the Lost is aย thought-provoking, deeply emotional, heart-breaking yet hopeful story that will make you reflect about loss, family and friendship.

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21 responses to “Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer | Thought-provoking & deeply emotional

  1. Aha so good to hear you enjoyed this! I actually finished reading it yesterday and while it was super enjoyable, it also let me down a little because I had heard so many amazing things and I think I got myself too hyped for it! Thanks for sharing though and so good to hear you enjoyed it! <3

  2. I have heard a lot of great things about this book. I love the depth the author was able to achieve with this book. I can’t wait to read it. I also like the romance wasn’t the main focus and more of building a meaningful relationship. Great review!!

  3. I’ve been hearing such great things about this book. I need to get my butt in gear and buy it already. Your review has definitely pushed this higher on my radar so thanks for that, Gen. Great review!

  4. I keep seeing this one at the library so I will definitely have to pick it up the next time I’m there. You’ve really sold this book to me ๐Ÿ™‚ Great Review!

  5. Glad to see you liked this one so much! I had a previous good experience with Brigid Kemmerer’s work, so I was really excited to see what else she has to offer. By reading the summary, I, too, figured this would be big on romance, so I’m happy to hear that it focuses on exploring other themes more than just the romance. I really like slow-burn stories, and I’m looking forward to reading about these characters. Great review!!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

  6. Yeah, this was amazing. I loved every word of it and cried like a baby. I got to meet Brigid a couple of weeks ago and I awkwardly fangirled over this book! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Oooh I need to read this one SO badly! I love emotional books, and tbh, I even love shedding a tear while reading- to me, it just means it’s a well written, powerful story. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the great review!

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