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Ava Dellaira Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Love Letters to the Dead (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Search Of (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ava Dellaira was born in L A, California; however, she was raised in New Mexico. Here, she spent many summer days playing imaginary witch games, making potions and battling evil witches with her sister. Her first writing memory was a poem she wrote in 2nd grade, where she wrote about her kittens, her mom and rainbows. Ava attended the University of Chicago and earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.She moved to Los Angeles soon after graduation with a desire to be a screenwriter. She secured employment with Author Stephen Chbosky; he wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Ava shared some of her writing with Stephen, and he recommended that she should write a book, something she had never contemplated before. That night as she drove home, a weird idea popped her mind. Love Letters to the Dead. She never wasted time on it and began working on the book that night.

Ava presently lives in Santa Monica, near to the beach. She likes to ride her bike, run, and walk along the beach. Ava loves the Southern California weather, shopping in the nearby farmers market, and watching movies. She values time spent with family, and her boyfriend. She also likes the open skies in New Mexico and travels there often.

Love Letters to the Dead

Laurel has begun life at a new high school. She is a conservative young girl that dresses like she’s still in middle school. Her English teacher, Mrs. Buster, gives the class an essay writing assignment-a letter to a dead person. Laurel picks Kurt Cobain as her subject and pens down her imaginary relationship with other deceased people. Her letters make for confessions to the dead to help her deal with rage and grief. Laurel stays with her father and her paternal aunt Amy who visits every week. Aunt Amy confides in Laurel that her mother went to Hollywood to pursue her acting career after losing a child, and divorcing Laura’s father.

At the new high school, Laurel quickly makes new friends and keeps on writing letters to the dead, revealing the transformation in her life and expressing her grief and confusion over the death of her sister. Laurel discloses details of her family with every letter she writes, and she opens up about her relationship with May and the final night that she died. Laurel discovers more people to write to over the internet; she also explores the cause of their deaths and their childhood days. She finds a way to connect with the dead and writes to them in different ways.

On the first year of May’s death anniversary, Laurel describes her sister’s death to the dead through her letters as well as her friends. She recalls that day when she and May had gone to the theater like they always did. Paul brought his friend Billy like he always did. May hang out with her boyfriend Paul as Laurel stayed with Billy, who molested her sexually the night that May died. As they drive home from the evening out, May wants to stop at a bridge where she and Laurel played Pooh Sticks. The sisters engage in a heated argument, and Laurel blurts out that Billy sexually abuses her. May runs out of the car and hovers over the bridge. She leans over the railing and drops down into the river where she drowns. Laurel still struggles whether May killed herself or that she drowned accidentally on that fateful night. Subplots of the book contain the shaky love story of Natalie and Hannah. Natalie is gay and is not afraid of her sexual inclination. Hannah is having difficulty expressing her attraction towards s Natalie. Hannah actively dates and experiments sexually with boys to hide her longing to be with Natalie. There is also the love story of Sky and Laurel, Laurel’s parents and, May and her preference for older and shady boyfriends, Laurel and May, Jesus man and Aunt Amy.

The weird Love Letters is, in summation, about loss, guilt, and grief; all fused together into a deadly weapon that keeps piercing at Laurel’s heart. Nonetheless, the originality of the novel is unique because the letters to the dead throws light on the lives of the dead like John Keats, E. E Cummings, Amelia Earhart and many others. It also shows Laurel’s rollercoaster and the way she blames herself for her sister’s death. But through these letters, she realizes that she’s not to blame after all. Laurel has no self-control on things being done to her which is annoying. Most of the time, she just shrugs stuff off. The connection between Laurel and Sky starts as something wonderful but it suddenly crashes when Sky’s begins to behave rather childish.

Laurel’ has amazing friends. Some quite dramatic, typical of high school kids. That’s what made the novel real, rich and vivid given of the book’s telling vs. showing in the letter format. It is well put, and genius in every way. The characters come alive, they’re almost surreal, yet they are teenagers. They seem like your typical girl next door. Ava knows how to charm up a crafty teenage life.The novel is fast-paced, letter formatted, removing all the annoying and unnecessary fluff. It is a compelling story told in simple writing. The book, however, dictates the influences Amy had on her younger sister Laurel. It shows how Laurel aspires to follow her elder sister, without questioning whether her conduct is decent enough to emulate or not. It also describes the consequences of a broken family on children. Laurel explains this in her letters, how grief is a myth that makes you get closer to people who are mostly on their own island.

Dellaira writes the novel in a rhythmic psychedelic poetry with such ease. She idealizes the lifestyles the diverse personalities of dead people when they lived and drew a provocative prose on death. She openly expresses her feelings to the dead. She writes down her personal life as if to expect a response from the dead. Laurel displays too much weakness in her personality, but in the end, she finds strength upon realizing the depth of her letters to the deceased.

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