Hi all, this week’s post is a trio of teen reads set in the format of letters. To be honest, I was having trouble finding some but right at the last moment, I found a few!! See if you like them…
Ok, I’m starting off with a non-fiction read, one that actually kick-started my idea for this month’s theme. I hope you enjoy my review of it.
Title: Sincerely, you: letter-writing to change the world
Author: Savannah Maddison
Genre: Non-Fiction – Writing
Publication details: Rodale Kids; NY, 2019
What this book is about: A letter can brighten your day, change a life, and unite the world. Do you know someone who could use a smile, and you have just the right story to brighten their day? Maybe you have a great idea to make your school better for everyone but don’t know how to share it. With a letter, you can connect with friends and feel heard. Your stories, art, music, and ideas can travel near and far to make a difference! Packed with tips on how to conquer writer’s block, find your own creativity, and connect with your friends, family, and community, this book will inspire you – and help you inspire the world around you.
My review: Such an inspirational young woman – Savannah Maddison!! I found this not just instructional – with tips for writing letters and writing in general – but inspirational, filled with nuggets of wisdom and affirmations. I loved how she had structured the book and the fun graphics used by Jill De Haan and Michelle Cunningham. The activities included keep you entertained and will help young people start taking action in whatever they decide. A truly awesome read!! So proud of what this young woman has achieved in her life so far!! The parts where she talks about her own life were so poignant and heartwarming!! I loved this book so much!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
The next two reads are fiction ones. I hope you get a chance to read them. Just be warned these are intended for older readers as the content is slightly darker.
Title: Letters to the lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Bloomsbury; NY, 2017
What this book is about: Juliet is drowning in grief after her mother’s death. Declan is trying to escape the demons of his past. Writing letters to her mother is the only way Juliet can cope with her loss, but when Declan finds one of her letters and writes back, it sparks an anonymous correspondence. Such an immediate and intense connection with a perfect stranger feels strange and wonderful, and soon they are baring their souls to each other. This heart-wrenching story brings together two strangers who discover a love that will change their lives forever.
My review: This was quite an emotional read for me!! Both teens are grieving their own losses when they find each other through Juliet’s letters. The storyline slowly unravels as the story is told in both Juliet’s and Declan’s voice from the letters, emails, and texts they send each other. The accompanying prose gives us a decent description of the high school surroundings and the supporting cast of friends and family. A good read!
My rating: 4 ⭐
Title: Everything all at once
Author: Katrina Leno
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Harper Teen; NY, 2017
What this book is about: Lottie Reaves is not a risk taker. She plays it safe and avoids all the ways she might get hurt. But when her beloved Aunt Helen dies of cancer, Lottie’s fears about life and death start spiraling out of control. Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best-selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers. In her will, Aunt Helen leaves one writing project for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions that are supposed to get Lottie to take a leap and – for once in her life – really live.
My review: I really loved this read!! You know when you end up crying in one chapter and laughing in the next it’s a good one!! The letters Lottie receives from her recently deceased aunt take her on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, brings her closer to her family and friends, and she even meets an interesting mystery boy along the way!! The inclusion of random pages from her aunt’s books as chapter markers give this read an extra element. Although the letters are spread out and the book is mostly narrative, I think this qualifies as epistolary!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
I know this is only three titles so I’m hoping someone has read a similar teen read and can give me a few recommendations!!
Stay safe and keep reading,