Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer


LETTERS TO THE LOST is a compelling, emotion-filled read, maybe better read by more mature YA. However, even while the letters started because Juliet lost her mother, this book doesn’t only deal with death and the resulting grief, but also the wider themes of fate and choice.

The first few chapters were raw with emotion, especially the letters, and especially where Juliet used photographs to convey certain thoughts or feelings. The main characters are not your usual teens; having lost people important to them, they’re deeper, weightier, sounding almost like mature grown ups (because there are immature ones), especially in their letters where they’d discuss fate and choosing paths. I thought there was a bit of disparity in their real selves and the selves in their letters, but I suppose that’s only to be expected because somehow it’s easier to let a stranger see your real self without the barriers and prejudices of a lot of things that come with knowing who the other person is. (You’ll understand what I’m talking about when you read the book)

I like that both Juliet and Declan grew over the course of the book, that they encouraged and urged the other to change for the better.

(Declan’s email to Juliet) I followed your lead and did something unexpected. You’re right. It was terrifying. Let’s do it again.

Or Juliet to Declan: You make your own path.

I appreciate that both Juliet and Declan have support systems who helped bring them out of the rut they were stuck in–teachers, people in positions of authority who truly care for them. In Declan’s case especially. While I appreciate that eventually there’s a person who believed in him, who became angry on his behalf at the things he had suffered, I was also moved that there was this teacher who did not give up on him, despite all his rebuffs and bad attitude. I wish all teachers were like her, those who genuinely care for their students.

There’s also one thing else: Sometimes it’s the people beside us that we take for granted, when we should be treasuring them because they’re always there for us. Like Juliet, she was so “hung up” on her mother because they do all these things together whenever her mom was home (her mom was a photojournalist who was out of the country for long periods of time), but it was only after her mom’s death that she learned to treasure her dad, who was always there for her (even though he’s average and boring, compared to her vibrant mom).

Overall, two thumbs up!! I highly recommend this book.

Rating: 5 stars

Get it now from Amazon


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. – See more at:

One thought on “Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. Pingback: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer | Romancing the Books and More

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