Rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.
I just didn’t get it.
The whole book is Laurel writing letters to famous dead people, because writing to dead people seems to be a way for her to talk about her feelings more . . . I guess. (???) And every. Stinkin’. Letter is the same format.
It goes like this:
Dear Dead Person,
I love you because ________. I think you’re cool because _____________(Insert useless info found from a five minute Wikipedia scan about said dead person). Watch and see how I can somehow tie what happened to you to my life today, and how that somehow would have made us such great friends if you were still alive! I love Sky. He’s hot. My friends are complicated. My life is complicated. Why did Mommy leave me? Did I mention Sky’s hot? Oh, and did I mention in some randomly vague terms yet that something oh-so very bad happened to me when I was younger that may or may not involve my sister, causing me to now have deep rooted issues that I can’t go into until much, MUCH later and, also, makes me think I might be somewhat responsible for her death? SKKKKKKYYYYYYYY. My older friends are cool, like really, really cool. They have good taste in music, like my dead sister, who also had good taste in music. Sky’s so amazingly, super HOT.
I guess I should have put a spoilers warning, because I think I just told you the whole book.
Laurel’s character is just so bloody confusing. She’s supposed to be – what? – fourteen, fifteen years old, going into her first year of high school, and yet I was never able to believe that. Her letters are not how a fifteen year old girl would write, because 1.) there were a few times that she used words that made my eyebrows shoot up and 2.) she goes into far, far too much depth about the dead person she’s writing to, and if these are all just letters for herself, why is she writing that stuff down? For one thing, she already knows that information since she’s (duh) writing it, and, also, if this is a supposed letter to that dead person, why are you adding in things about their life that they would ALREADY BE WELL AWARE OF? It’s not like they lived it or anything, geez . . .
Not to mentions the snippets we get of what happened on the night of her sister’s death is so confusing.
First of all, we don’t even get any idea of what exactly happened to her sister until about halfway through the book, and by then we only know that 1.) Laurel thinks she responsible for her sister’s death and 2.) . . . .
Actually, that’s all I’ve got.
Was it suicide? I dunno. There are hints that it wasn’t, but then again, there are also hints that we’re not getting the full story, and only Laurel knows the full story. And guess what? Getting useful info from this girl is like pulling teeth.
Laurel is what I’d like to call an obnoxious unreliable character.
She is so unbelievably stupid and naïve. If she was just naïve, I could get over it, what with her being only a freshman in high school and whatnot. But she’s just so stupid.
Example (at party):
Laurel: (*Being all depressed*) I just want to sit in a corner and play with M&M’s.
Random Guy She Does Not Know: Come outside.
Laurel: (*Still depressed, clutching M&M’s*) Okay.
*Goes outside and sees guy who she went to homecoming with and who she does not particularly like in any way because he is a slimball*
Guy from Homecoming: Take this mysterious pill.
Laurel: I’m not sure . . .
Guy from Homecoming: It’s a . . . uh . . . uh-caffeine pill! Yeah, that’s it. It’ll just make you happy.
Laurel: Oh, okay. (*takes pill*)
Guy from Homecoming: Let’s go to a bedroom to . . . uh . . . talk.
Laurel: That sounds nice.
You know what I was wondering during this part?
I was wondering what happened to the freakin’ M&M’s. Because Lord knows the part of my brain wondering if there were more colored pieces than brown pieces in the bag was taking precedence here. It also would have been a better topic to continue writing about from here on.
Mr. Brown M&M says to Mrs. Brown M&M, “I think it’s time we have children darling, little uncoated chocolate pieces for the both of us. What do you say?”
And Mrs. Brown says to Mr. Brown, “But Mr. Brown, there’s no room in this little bag for little chocolate darlings! And this girl is just playing with us! Ohh! We can’t bring chocolate children into this world at such a harsh time! Just think of the heat the children would endure from this girl’s hands! They’d become nothing more than smudges of brown on the girl’s fingertips!”
ANYWAYS . . .
This book also reminds me of . . . oh, what’s it’s called? That one book that was made into a movie and is really popular? The one that’s written in letters too and is about (basically) all the same topics? You know the one . . .
Oh, yeah. The Perks of Being a (Freakin’) Wallflower.
Oh, no. This isn’t similar at all to that one book (*waves hands stupidly*). It’s just written in the same format, Charlie and Laurel are basically the same except their genders (except Charlie’s better), has the same topics in it, blah, blah, blah . . . But never mind that little fact.