Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 400 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I have no words for my intense love of this book. I read it, I immediately bothered the author on twitter and ran down the streets screaming. Okay, maybe not that last bit, but I did force it on everyone I could at work and on the Internet, which is a success in my book. I mean, a YA You've Got Mail? Sign. Me. Up.

This story is so character driven. That's the beauty of it. We have these two teens that are hurting really badly, they're suffering the way nobody should ever suffer, and somehow they find each other under the most unlikeliest of circumstances and realize the world isn't as lonely of a place as it may seem.

Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother. When her mother passes away, she continues to do so, leaving them at her grave every couple of days because she doesn't know what else to do. Her grief is intense and real, leading her to give up her greatest love and talent, photography, because it reminded her of her mother too much. One day she gets a response to one of her letters from a boy named Declan. Of course, Juliet doesn't know that the school thug who got drunk and crashed a car last year and is constantly doing community service is the one writing back to her, the one she is starting to get to know and have feelings for because of how similar they are. They start this journey together, and the question is are they going to finish it?

Declan, like Juliet, is hurting. He's perhaps the most complex character in this book and I loved it. He's a protector, but he also needs protecting. He is hard, mean, and angry, but he just needs to be held and told that everything is okay and that he is loved. He is intelligent and handy, but hides behind a facade of stupidity because it is easier to play into stereotypes. Once you're written off, nobody expects anything better of you. (Also, shout out to the fact that Declan's family is the worst family I have ever read and I hate them with a burning passion so bravo, Brigid, for making me want to vomit whenever they randomly appeared in the book because they're just not good parents and don't know how to handle any situation and huge enablers and blah. That run-on sentence was totally necessary because they're that bad).

Through a series of almosts, the two slowly start to guess at the others' identity, which causes readers to flip through the pages at a lightning fast speed because they need to know what happens. This book is

And, luckily, there will be a sequel. While this book was amazing, there's still so much more to tell. Especially when it comes to Rev, Declan's best friend who was abused as a child and eventually adopted by his amazing foster family. His story only just begun in this book and I am so, so, so excited to see where it goes! Plus, I NEED MORE KISSING!

5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'm really excited to read this book! It sounds incredible, and I love the idea of two characters writing letters to each other without knowing that they are writing to each other. So pleased to see you enjoyed it!

  2. As with all of Brigid's work. I am awaiting letters to the lost with anticipation. Her characters are always 3 dimensional, thoughtout and complex. You understand why they do what they do. Can't wait.