In this sharp and clever debut novel of suspense, a young woman--presumed dead--leaves a series of clues for her twin sister, which leads her on a. Dead Letters: A Novel | Caite Dolan-Leach | ISBN: | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und The New York Times Book Review. Juni An exchange of letters, books and ham Declared to be "dead letters", Solomon and McClellan were duly returned to their senders. Garfield.
He always wears a leather jacket, even though summer is barely over. Her family , dad, mom, crazy Bible-thumping Aunt Amy 3. Her lesbian friends 4.
Her cool older friends who are like, so awesome, and, like, so into each other, and like, so into music! When Kristen and I are better friends, I am going to ask her to play me some of your music.
The "letters" follow this pattern for the entire fucking book: I think your dreams must have been like the wings of an angel sparkling with unicorn horns and butterfly dreams that never got fulfilled.
Today I went to lunch with my friends. I thought about Sky a lot. Then I talked to my friends. Then I watched them kiss.
I went home to talk to my really sad dad, and I reflected upon how sad he is and how much I miss him. Sky is really hot.
Laurel is not a leader. She is a follower. She does things because people tell her to. If this book were an YA paranormal, Laurel would be the equivalent of Bella Swan because she fucking does nothing in the book unless someone drags her into it.
She is a good girl, an innocent girl who drinks and do stupid stuff like ask strangers to buy her alcohol because her cool friends tell her to.
And she really, really wants to be friends with them. In some parts of her narrative Laurel sounds like a year old. I liked waiting in line with everyone.
I liked that the girl in front of me had red curls on the back of her head that you could tell she curled herself.
And I liked the thin crinkle of the plastic when I opened the wrapper. I liked how every bite made a falling-apart kind of crunch.
Out of nowhere, the most popular guy in school asks her out, and not only that, she got the attention of Sky, the loner who never talks to anyone.
Hence the throng of girls who are always leaning in and touching his arm. It is insta-love for her, and Sky falls for Laurel remarkably fast , considering Laurel never does or say anything fucking remarkable.
But I guess year old boys are easily impressed. How do you know? Sure, Laurel is supposed to be really, really sad about May, considering she died, but I never felt her sadness.
It is a matter of telling, not showing. You could argue that Laurel is suppressing her grief really well, but why the fuck would I want to read a book about that?
I know those books exist. Some truly bad things happen to Laurel in this book, and guess what? I want to care. I could not relate to her.
I could not sympathize with her. I did not like her. View all 94 comments. Jan 05, Wendy Darling rated it it was amazing Shelves: Almost a full year later, I read the last half of it with a lump in my throat and tears dripping down my face.
This is a profoundly moving meditation on grief, written with rare sensitivity and the kind of prose that nearly stops your heart with moments of quiet, anguished beauty.
Review on the blog: Strongly recommended for fans of If I Stay. View all 11 comments. Nov 03, Ash Wednesday rated it really liked it Shelves: Reading this book felt a lot like 3.
Reading this book felt a lot like having your emotions painfully scooped out of you, put back reconfigured at the end: The book has no chapters.
Instead it kicks off with Laurel writing a letter to Kurt Cobain for an English assignment where they are to write letters to the dead.
And it really delivered on that promise. Some of the details in the story made me think of Saving June on quaaludes. I liked certain aspects of the ebb and flow of her relationship with Sky, there was discovery, there was learning, there was understanding… but the reactions, the drama was too age-appropriate for me i.
You remind me of the feeling of wanting to make something. I loved how Aunt Amy was written. She sent him cookies and cards, and New Mexico chili, and messages, especially the messages where she would do the voices of Mister Ed and of the Jamaican bobsledders and she would be herself.
I love the way Dellaira writes, the story had the rhythm of psychedelic poetry in it. I like that this was as much as about growing up as staying true to yourself; a pocketguide on how not to sellout to the world, neither burning out nor fading away.
But I had a difficult time getting immersed in the letter to someone delivery, which sucks because that was exactly what drew me in the story in the first place.
It was a little strange to read Laurel write to Kurt Cobain about his own divorced parents, then making the rough connection with her own life, then relate a childhood memory with May, then tell him what happened today in school.
But narrative wise, it felt a bit taxing to keep the connection. I even had a hard time remembering who Laurel is writing to until she mentions it midway through asking if the dead remembers this or that when she was alive.
The moments this book worked best for me was when I forget that Laurel is writing a letter to these people. So in more ways than one, this worked for me but not in the ways that I expected it to be.
View all 17 comments. Dec 27, Evie rated it it was amazing. An incredible, moving and very important story with a beating heart and bright soul.
View all 7 comments. Una historia con la que he conectado por pasajes, con personajes secundarios que realmente no aportan nada y en general, una trama que da tumbos.
Los personajes son meros peones, pero sin rumbo fijo: En cuanto al tono de la novela Que ha sido un tema que me ha sorprendido, pero creo que era un tema demasiado importante como para dejarlo pasar a la primera de cambio.
Es original dentro de la literatura juvenil, le da otro aire diferente a la historia y la convierte en algo nuevo. Me ha faltado algo y por eso mismo me ha decepcionado un poco.
Find all of my reviews at: The letters, the what happened to the dead sister, the grieving process, the finding herself plotlines were all great.
Why the hell did everything but the kitchen sink need to be thrown in before this was over???? When an author is trying to manipulate them out of me.
As the book states. O mundo em que sempre se conhecera, desaparecera! Era agora uma estranha numa terra estranha! Passar a vestir as roupas de May seria um contributo, talvez?!
Iria socorrer-se da escrita para reviver, analisar e compreender Mal conseguimos lembrar-nos de como se faz. View all 15 comments. Jul 16, Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it liked it.
Its invisible strings had this unrelenting tug at my eyes and my heart that made me give in and grab the book. She shares her grief over her sister with no one except Amy Winehouse.
When for the first time after so long, she met good and genuine friends, she writes it to Amelia Earhart.
Reading her letters was both painful and depressing because they revealed how much she had already suffered at a very young age.
There was also this nagging detail that Laurel is suicidal and the darker revelations about what she went through made me want to bang my head against the wall.
But because the letters are highly significant in the story, they are also the device that will determine its conclusion. Will those letters save Laurel or not?
Will the story end in an inspiring note or an irreparable crack in the heart? Care to find out? View all 24 comments. Aug 20, Rashika is tired rated it really liked it Shelves: This book may cause you to spend a whole day feeling down.
It brought out a lot of mixed feelings in me. This is filled with teenage angst and teenage angst can sometimes induce nightmares about how much high school sucked or well I still have 3 more months of that nightmare left but in spite of everything this book turned out to be so beautiful.
It tells a tale of loss and how to deal with it. At the start of this novel, Laurel is drowning in grief and guilt. She believes that her sister died because of her.
Laurel is such a heart breaking character. She has an innocence to her which makes you want to wrap your arms around her and never let go.
She is such a complex character and you really feel for her. She comes from a broken family. From Hannah to Natalie to Kristen to Tristan to Sky you cannot help but fall in love with each of them.
There is so much depth to all of these characters and all of them break your heart in some capacity. My heart broke for them.
She made their stories come to life and it really just broke my heart all over again. She does it so beautifully too.
The romance was well developed. Sky is a sweet love interest. He pulls some jerk moves but his reasons are so realistic that you cannot help but forgive him.
There were some things Laurel needed to realize on her own and until she did so, there relationship could not have worked. Some of them took their own lives, some of them died of drug overdose and some of them just never made it back.
While writing to these various people, she grows and she learns that not everything is perfect. She can be broken and really all she needs is to be herself.
With all that said one of the biggest draw backs of this story for me as a reader was the fact that the character was in 9th grade.
She is very innocent but then she is thrust into very mature situations and I am not sure what to make of that.
For example, Saving June dealt with something similar and because of the age of the main character the book was a lot easier to swallow. Having said that, this book really was touching.
This book really is powerful and I am definitely going to be on the look-out for other works by the author. Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change.
View all 14 comments. Apr 16, Lucy Langford rated it liked it. It begins as an assignment in English class where Laurel, our mc, writes letters to dead people, from the likes of Judy Garland, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
We are told from the beginning that Laurels elder sister May died young. While we are not told the circumstances of the death straightaway, we are told snippets of the events leading up to her death, how her death happe "You can be noble and brave and beautiful and still find yourself falling.
While we are not told the circumstances of the death straightaway, we are told snippets of the events leading up to her death, how her death happened and the circumstances surrounding it.
This is a story on grief and loss from one girls perspective. It tells the story of how May, the sister who died, is seen as perfect in Laurels mind and memories of them together, it goes through the emotions of grief, and also looks at family, friendship and first love.
The book focuses on Laurels navigation through the feelings of grief and how she deals with school life and home life. Sometimes it is hard to picture what one persons grief can look and feel like, but this book does an amazing job at describing it and had me tearful by the end of it!
I simply loved this book and enjoyed the bits of poetry speckled through out! View all 4 comments. Sep 22, Anj seaweed books rated it it was ok.
I had expected a beautiful story when I went into this book. What I got was an annoying protagonist, one- dimensional characters and a history of celebs who died at a very young age.
I was that annoyed. The beginning was quite slow and I had to plough through those pages. I was expecting the book to get better, but then, how wrong was I?
I was completely wrong. Things took a turn for the worse and each page seemed to drag on forever. Let me tell you this: Laurel, our protagonist is very one-dimensional.
Or there needs to be enough humor to offset the distasteful character s. Or the plot is so clever I can overlook it. They are rude, nasty, snarky in a not-funny way, and mistreat everyone around them.
There is one exception but I never understood why he was attracted to anyone in this family. Oh, and everyone except the tgood-to-be-true guy is a raging alcoholic.
I grew weary reading about the non-stop drinking. And make her dysfunctional characters clever, funny, or sympathetic.
And throw in at least one to root for. Mar 24, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: This book first cropped up on my radar while reading the book section in the NYT.
It seems there has been a little confusion as to which category this book belongs in. None of these really apply here, in my opinion.
What category would it fit into? So, maybe this one defies categories or labels. Contemporary fiction is probably the best place for it.
So, what is the book about? Ava Antipova returns home after receiving word her twin sister, Zelda, has died. More or less, this is a family drama, where the outward veneer and polish has long been sanded away, leaving the participants raw and exposed.
This is a dysfunctional family dealing with the effects of alcoholism and disease, financial difficulties and with an uncertain future, each deciding on which is the best way to cope with it.
The characters are all damaged and flawed, and are not exactly redeemable, or easy to relate to. But, that is not a deal breaker for me, like it might be for some readers.
But, what is hard for me to wrap my head around is how everything was wrapped up. It was a really big stretch of the imagination and frankly, implausible.
However, I give the author kudos for keeping me interested in the mystery of Zelda, and for mostly pulling off a trippy mind game with the reader.
But, after some thought, I decided the craftiness and deviousness of characters created an interesting diversion from the same old, same old. Overall, this one is a little strange, but is well constructed, and I suppose it accomplishes its purpose.
View all 5 comments. Jan 03, Monnie rated it it was amazing. What a wild ride - all the way from Astounding to Zero cool! My choice of descriptor words is on purpose - a nod to the main characters in this book, twins Ava and Zelda, so named by their father for the order of their entrance in the world at birth never mind that he got it wrong.
So Ava heads to Paris, where she finds a new life, a new French boyfriend and happiness at the tender age of But then, her world comes to a crashing halt: Soon, she begins to get text messages from her sister, which appear to be clues related to her disappearance - beginning with the first letter of the alphabet.
But the messages Ava is getting from Zelda suggest something else is afoot; should she let the police in on her secret or follow her twin to the ends of the alphabet in the hopes of getting to the truth?
The whole thing is far more a study in character development and interaction than murder mystery - and what intriguing characters they all are.
My enjoyment of the book was enhanced, I admit, by the setting. One of my favorite places to visit is Seneca Lake; my husband and I have spent many wonderful days relaxing and doing our photography thing at Seneca Harbor Station, hiking the awesome Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park, "touring" the NASCAR track in between races, visitors are allowed inside and, not insignificantly, sampling as many wines as we can from the dozens of vineyards in and around Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka lakes.
When I head out for morning walks here in my northeast Ohio neighborhood, I often wear the T-shirt I bought at Keuka College mostly because I figured it would be a conversation starter I was right.
In summary, this is a great debut novel - one I hope and expect will do very well. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
View all 4 comments. Dead Letters is a mystery and psychological thriller about a dysfunctional family and two unhealthily entwined twins. It is also about how relationships with those closest to us can be an unending source of unhappiness, if that is what we choose.
Ava has felt stifled by her family. Her mother has dementia, her father left them to start another family and conflict with her twin sister, Zelda, has dominated her existence.
She now lives in Paris, when she receives an unexpected email from her mother Dead Letters is a mystery and psychological thriller about a dysfunctional family and two unhealthily entwined twins.
She now lives in Paris, when she receives an unexpected email from her mother The whole thing was so very Zelda. When I finally reached my mother on the phone, she slurrily told me that the barn had caught fire with Zelda trapped inside.
Then, when the police reveal evidence that points towards a murder, things begin to spiral out of control. The whole community confuses one sister for the other.
Alcohol contributes its own fog to this story as Ava deals with her childhood demons while tangling with some new ones. Jolted awake in suddenly sober distress, I blink owlishly and struggle to open my exhausted, quivering eyes, which are agonizingly dry, filched of liquid.
I should quit drinking, I reflect. I read this book almost in one sitting the day before Thanksgiving and it made me appreciate my own fairly-functional family much more.
Our mother had started her mimosas somewhat earlier, and I knew from her glassy eyes and gingery steps that Nadine was approaching the danger zone, the state between mildly and mindlessly drunk wherein she could marshal enough sobriety to do real damage but was uninhibited enough to not care how much damage was inflicted.
Look at the stories you tell yourself and examine why you do the things you do. But she leaves hints everywhere and allows readers to fill in the blanks.
Sadly it was not but through no fault of the author. The story centres around 25 year old twins Av 3. She is soon on an alphabetical treasure hunt fed by clues Zelda left for her.
Each is fuelled by a bitter disappointment in how life has treated them, a situation not helped by having a wine store in their backyard. Only Ava has managed to secure a glimmer of something better but struggles to overcome the lingering affects of her childhood.
View all 12 comments. In a great way for me but I should caution, the context in the marketing seems to be gearing it towards thriller or a typical psychological thriller audience which I am too so I would probably have loved that also but Dead Letters is far more on the side of literary mystery and family saga than it is sudden thrills or huge plot twists.
So going into it with an open viewpoint will make a difference I feel. This was beautiful writing, beautiful plotting and a slow burner, a true character drama centering on twins - Ava and Zelda - the potential death of one and the coming to terms of the other.
When Zelda seemingly dies in a fire, Ava finally returns to her home after a self imposed exile - Zelda it turns out has left her a series of clues, an A-Z that she must follow to discover exactly what happened.
What follows is a journey through the lives of these sisters, their family ties and influences, their own relationships both with each other and those around them.
Ava deals with her unwell mother, starts getting sucked back into her old routines, all the while looking for that truth, the thing that will let her move forward.
It is beautifully done, cleverly intricate, a gorgeous unravelling of a tangled and poignant family dynamic. Brimming with atmosphere, filled with an eclectic cast of often divisive characters, Dead Letters is a wonderfully layered mystery, an emotive family drama with a melancholy, noir tone to the writing that just sucks you right in.
View all 3 comments. Jan 15, CL rated it really liked it. Ava and Zelda Antipova are twins and Ava left home 2 years ago to escape her twin and the life she was not prepared to live.
Now her sister Zelda has died and she has to return home. Zelda was always the wild one and Ava was the one who always followed the rules.
Ava suspects Zelda is playing a trick and now more than ever she is convinced when the letters and clues from Zelda start to arrive.
She is convinced Zelda will show up shortly and say she was just playing a joke or is Zelda really gone. Soon after her death, Ava receives messages from the grave from her sister, sending her on a twisted scavenger hunt.
Dead Letters is the debut novel from writer Caite Dolan-Leach. It is best described as a psychological mystery novel.
For Ava, home is not a sanctuary. Ava left home over two years ago, after a terrible betrayal on behalf of her sister and high school boyfriend, Wyatt.
There are also her parents to contend with. Her relationship with her daughter Ava, her less favourable twin daughter, is tense.
It is no wonder Ava dreads her return home. Nolan traded his family for another many years ago. He is an emotionally distant man, who fills the gap in his life with alcohol.
Abuse of alcohol forms a significant part of Dead Letters, as the Antipovas own a disintegrating vineyard. Through the use of letters, emails, text messages and facebook posts, a scavenger hunt following the letters in between A for Ava and Z for Zelda form the basis of this search for Zelda.
Is this an elaborate plan to get her sisters attention or is Zelda really dead? Dead Letters is a novel I have seen around a fair bit on social media and on the Goodreads community.
It definitely caught my eye and I was keen to give it a try, despite seeing some mixed responses on Goodreads and other blogs I follow.
It took me awhile to get into this novel and my mind seemed to wander a fair bit during my reading of this book. This is perhaps an indication of my response to the book, which was pretty average.
The main narrator of the book, Ava, is a strange as well as unlikeable young woman. She is hard to get close to, which is in part of a reflection of her difficult upbringing.
We learn through the flashbacks written by Dolan-Leach that Ava was the less favourable twin. She lives in the shadow of her wilder and more enigmatic twin.
He escaped the toxic clutches on his ex wife many years ago and has remained detached from his daughters ever since. There really are some complicated and messed up relations that emerge from this dysfunctional family.
I thought the characterisation on the whole of these protagonists was solid, despite all of them being unlikeable.
The narrative builds a strong picture of the twins. The pace was set at a steady pace but for reasons I am still not sure about, I did find my mind wandering.
Having said that, I did feel the need to continue reading to the end of the novel to find out the final fate of Zelda.
When I reached the end of the novel I felt a bit underwhelmed. Dead Letters takes a clever concept, infusing letters of the alphabet with a final set of puzzling messages from the grave, sending a sister on a frenzied hunt to find her estranged twin.
I liked the concept but had difficulties connecting with this dysfunctional family unit. Dead Letters is a dark and twisted tale of secrets, lies, betrayals and the intricate bond between twin sisters.
Make up your own mind on this one. This book is marketed in the thriller genre, so I was expecting more excitement thank what I got.
It kicked off well enough with the twin girls and how they were named. Then an email arriving to one of the twins informing the other twin that her sister was dead, so that got me interested.
But I have to be honest in saying that the book was a roller coaster ride for me in between loving it, then it dipping to where I lost a bit of interest The book is written very well.
Its a cat and mouse tale which does have a very good edge to it. I would definitely read more by this author.
My thanks to Corvus for my copy Apr 26, Jennifer Rose rated it really liked it. I had heard mixed reviews, so ultimately I pushed it back some on my to-read list.
I totally understand why some readers were disappointed. Dead Letters was marketed as a mystery and thriller.
It was definitely more mystery and minimal, if any, thriller. This was for sure the latter. Ava Antipova had run away from her family, her life, and her relationship and moved to Paris.
At the beginning of this book, she learned that her twin sister Zelda had died in a fire at their family vineyard.
Burned in the barn next to the house they had grown up in. Immediately, Ava wondered what her sister Zelda was up to? Ava headed back to her home to handle the situation.
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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. There was a problem loading comments right now. All but one minor character are utterly horrid,despicable,weak or heartless alcoholics, amoral druggies, or true sociopaths.
It was my misfortune to start this wretched thing over the Christmas Season! If I could give this book 3. I had a hard time getting into this book, and never really found myself unable to put it down.
Not all of the characters were developed as well as they could have been, and I never truly felt like I got to know one of the two main characters.
I felt like this story had a lot of holes, a lot of things that were never quite explained. The ending did take me by surprise, but it was the kind of ending that makes you feel a little cheated, like the author took the easy way out.
One person found this helpful. A few places I thought I could have I found myself continuing to read this book hoping that it would get better.
A few places I thought I could have done without, such as when she was drunk and screwing Wyatt. The author did have a way of leading you on so that you kept reading.
The twists and turns kept me guessing. I spent a thirsty afternoon devouring this book! Now, a glass of wine is in order ;. This is a very gripping psychological thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish.
I highly recommend it. This book had me hooked from the beginning.Dead Letters — Schwestern bis in den Tod. This book is wine-soaked yet lucid, comforting and frightening, asking the big questions about intimacy and loyalty. I feel like there are basically two parts to the book: She currently lives in Paris. In the beauty of wine country, it is clear that dark things can lurk underneath the seemingly pretty surface of family and relationships. Frankly, I was so surprised on how dark it was. Weiteres von diesem Autor. Ava returns to America, but isn't entirely convinced. I think it's closer to literary fiction. The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books. Her relationship with her daughter Ava, her less favourable twin daughter, is tense. I forgot that Emma Watson tweeted about this book ha ha. This is an author I must remember to watch! I think the way this novel dealed with grief, was done very delicately, but also, rake poker. I liked how every bite made a falling-apart kind of crunch. Sep 22, Anj seaweed books rated it it was ok. My thanks to Corvus weltesche yggdrasil my copy The characters were lovely and the writing was beautiful. Now maybe your high school days were great and you were the captain of the school Quidditch football team, but not everyone had that experience. As soon as she returned, she started to receive messages from euro b supposedly dead drift united, in a puzzle format. She is soon on an alphabetical treasure hunt fed by clues Zelda left pokemon rubin karte her. I was born in Los Angeles. One of my first memories is of looking out the window of the black Cadillac that my family drove across the wide-open desert when we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is where I grew up, and where my sister and I spent countless summer afternoons making fairy your name deutsch stream, battling evil witches, and playing other imaginary games that probably contributed to my proclivit I was born in Los Euro b. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while Lightning spielen was supposed to be looking out for her. I sve comet it vividly because it was my first awareness of that space between a feeling and the language we have to name it. Because, well, Anne Frank did it and I thought it was totally cool! No one straddles the literary thriller and horror worlds quite as effectively as Tom Piccirilli. Näheres erfahren Sie durch einen Klick auf das i. Show 25 25 50 All. All in all, I just found the book to be too big of a coole spiele com from the uk championship the police spoke to the main character to who championslesgue bad guy turned out to be. That sometimes the very act of feeling isn't enough to encompass all there is to feel.