Canyon Echoes Book Club: “Letters to the Lost”

Canyon Echoes Book Club:

Now on Canyon Echoes, you will find that there is an online book club where the Canyon Echoes staff discuss their favorite reads. We hope this will help you find something you can’t set down. If you find something that interests you, you can go to the CVMS library to check it out. A warning to those who want to read something on the Lonestar book list or any of the other lists, you might want to check if these are available because chances are that other students are reading them too. I am a huge reader, but I rarely run across a book that I feel so inspired by. This first book that I recommend is Letters to the Lost which is available in the library and was my personal favorite when reading off of the Lonestar list. First, I will tell you a little about the book. Then other readers who have also read this book will tell you their opinion as well.

Summary

Letters to the Lost follows Juliet Young, who leaves her mother letters on her grave. The story moves back and forth with another high schooler, Declan Murphy, who finds her letters at court-mandated community service for the graveyard. When he writes back she is angry because she didn’t think anyone had gone through as much pain as she had. The twist is that she doesn’t know it’s him but he knows it’s her. If she did know, Declan thinks that she won’t like what she sees. They both go to the same school and while her previous yearbook teacher tries to get her to be back on yearbook but she struggles to be the same person she once was. Because her mom was a famous photojournalist, taking photos reminds Juliet too much of her mom. After Juliet starts to go back and dig up her mom’s last moments she finds secrets that may have been better left buried and Declan would rather not share. His worry of telling her fades and once Juliet finds the truth she begins to connect the dots, trying to make sense of what she has lost. What if the truth has been there the whole time? When these two opposites find each other will they find themselves?

What I liked

Why I recommend this book is for two reasons. One is that the love story is more about the journey rather than the destination. It was an interesting plot that kept you guessing and rethinking what you knew about the characters. It was not only that their friendship evolved but so did the characters individually. I loved that the dad was present and let her have some time to grieve, I think this book portrayed an actual grieving response. Also, the common character of the bad boy was different then I thought it would be when reading the summary. He was more deep and mature after what he did rather than keep getting into more trouble. He used his reputation to hide that he was actually smart, and his best friend was a cool addition to the story. I felt like photography was an interesting hobby to include in the book especially when it tied into the way the mom dies. Which was highly unexpected. I loved that she wasn’t too whiny and had opinions throughout the book as well as natural selfishness she realized herself. Overall I really enjoyed the author and how the book was written.

Opinions

Because someone else recommended this book to me, I will pass it on. I think that recommending books can help you find something that otherwise you wouldn’t have found. These are some other opinions on the Letters to the Lost that are worth checking out.

  • “It was really engaging, filled with hidden secrets and unexpected twists. If you like books that are a little sad and sweet read this book!”- Cleo S. (8)
  • “It was pretty good, the love story was something different then what I am used to. It was something both new and very well written.”- Ojal K. (8)
  • “I really liked the book because it helped me with the loss in my life. I could relate to the characters and the story. It was very close to my heart.” – Jaden S. (8)
  • “Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost is my favorite of this year’s Lone Star books because it perfectly captures how our perceptions about other people shape our interactions with them, and it illustrates that everyone deals with their own pain in their own way.  Despite this, it is an uplifting and captivating story. I couldn’t put it down!”- Ms. Stiles, CVMS Librarian