Blog Tour & Giveaway – Love Letters from the Dead

Posted September 22, 2015 by Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog in Uncategorized / 37 Comments

Blog Tour & Giveaway – Love Letters from the Dead

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

On September 29, 2015, FSG Books for Young Readers will publish the paperback edition of Ava Dellaira’s luminous 2014 debut, LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD. Check out my review here. To help celebrate this, myself as a well as other bloggers have written our own “love letters” to the dead. See below for my letter to Amelia Earhart and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!

Dear Amelia Earhart –

I wanted to write to thank you. You are probably wondering why I would thank you. Well you are one of the first woman role models I can remember from my childhood. One of the women who could do anything. Anything she wanted. I did a report on your life back in elementary school. I was amazed at what you accomplished in such a short life. People love you. Remember you. Idolize you. I became one of them.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up at that point but I knew I could do whatever I wanted. It was possible. You helped to give me that along with so many other wonderful woman who did what they loved and fought the world to do it.
Now I know it easy to put women like you, who accomplished so much, up on a pedestal. But now, as I have gotten older, I realize you were just a person, one who probably made mistakes, had insecurities and so on. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a symbol. A role model.

I am not sure I ever found what I wanted to be when I grew up. My passion. I do get to be a wife and a mother. And that is fantastic. And I know, because of you and other women like you, I can STILL do whatever I want and put my mind to. For that I thank you.


Dear Grace,

I want to thank you, for sharing your lovely letter to Amelia. I think you point out something so important, and profound, in your letter to her: those whom we idolize are only people, full of the imperfections and fears that we all share as human beings—but that doesn’t diminish their value as role models, as symbols of what we aspire to.

In Love Letters to the Dead, when Laurel wrote to Amelia Earhart, she became just that—a symbol of the bravery that Laurel hoped to achieve, albeit on a different scale. And, as I learned more about Amelia in writing the book—her life, her accomplishments, her persona—she became the same for me. A symbol of the courage to take off, to take flight, often without permission from the world. That can mean so many things for each of us at different points in our lives.

Amelia said once, “People are too timid about flying their own Atlantics.” At certain moments in our lives, jumping over a puddle might feel as big as crossing an ocean, and at other times, we might make it all the way around the world.

You’re right—you can, we all can—still, as long as we’re lucky enough to be here—cross our own “Atlantics,” whatever they may be. We’re all, always, still growing up, growing into ourselves. Discovering the people we want to become. What an adventure.



About Ava Dellaira

Ava Dellaira is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She believes this book began when she bought her second album ever—Nirvana’s In Utero—which she listened to on repeat while filling the pages of her journal. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California, where she works in the film industry and is writing her second novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour!


September 21st: Forever Young Adult
September 22nd: Rebel Mommy Book Blog
September 23rd: Fangirl Feels
September 24th: The Reading Nook Reviews
September 25th: Alexa Loves Books
September 28th: YA Bibliophile
September 29th: Into the Hall of Books

You can write your own letters and share them here!

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog


37 responses to “Blog Tour & Giveaway – Love Letters from the Dead

  1. I absolutely love this letter you wrote, Grace. Amelia Earhart is an amazing role model and I can definitely see why you look up to her. She paved the way for so many women! I love that because of her you know that you can do whatever you want!
    I love fun unique blog posts like these for tours!
    Nick recently posted…Review : Fated by Sarah FineMy Profile

  2. Aww, this is really sweet! I love that Ava responded to your letter too! I will admit, this wasn’t my favorite book (though I did love Ava’s writing, and I will absolutely read more from her in the future- I think Laurel and I simply did not get along 😉 ), but I love the idea so much! And I LOVE your letter. Because seriously, that is what women like Amelia did for us- gave us the option, and the notion that we CAN find our dreams. Especially considering that such a short time ago, women didn’t have the chance to dream at all. Fabulous post!
    Shannon recently posted…FALLing Into My TBRMy Profile

  3. Oh man… It’s been ages since I read this book, but I loved it. I think I even wrote a letter to my cousin after I finished it. I won’t share it now because it’s much too personal, and the anniversary of her death is on Friday. I just don’t want to get myself too worked up.

    I loved reading your letter, though, Grace. I loved learning about Amelia in elementary and middle school. She was such a wonderful person, and I love seeing students learn about her today. She’s still such a fascinating person.
    Erin recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (42)My Profile

  4. I love your letter and I love the response too! I think when we remember that those we idolise were just like us, with flaws and bad days, it’s really inspiring. And it really does make it feel like the sky is the limit (pun intended!). Sounds like a great theme for the book too, I love letters in books so I’m immediately drawn to this one.
    PS I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up either!
    Trish recently posted…Green Giants! Irish Author Book Review : The Butterfly Shell by Maureen WhiteMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge