Book Review: This Is Not A Love Letter by Kim Purcell

This Is Not A Love LetterTitle: This Is Not A Love Letter
Author: Kim Purcell
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary 

One week. That's all Jessie said. A one-week break to get some perspective before graduation, before she and her boyfriend, Chris, would have to make all the big, scary decisions about their future--decisions they had been fighting about for weeks.
Then, Chris vanishes. The police think he's run away, but Jessie doesn't believe it. Chris is popular and good-looking, about to head off to college on a full-ride baseball scholarship. And he disappeared while going for a run along the river--the same place where some boys from the rival high school beat him up just three weeks ago. Chris is one of the only black kids in a depressed paper mill town, and Jessie is terrified of what might have happened. As the police are spurred to reluctant action, Jessie speaks up about the harassment Chris kept quiet about and the danger he could be in. But there are people in Jessie's town who don't like the story she tells, who are infuriated by the idea that a boy like Chris would be a target of violence. They smear Chris’s character and Jessie begins receiving frightening threats. Every Friday since they started dating, Chris has written Jessie a love letter. Now Jessie is writing Chris a letter of her own to tell him everything that’s happening while he’s gone. As Jessie searches for answers, she must face her fears, her guilt, and a past more complicated than she would like to admit.
This book was a complete surprise. Keeping to my resolve to not read GR comments until after I've finished the book, I agree with some that the writing style is different and awkward (at first) and it took a little getting used to. But unlike some other readers, it wasn't enough to put me off. And I'm so glad that I kept going and gave this book a shot. Pleasantly surprised, I really did enjoy it.

Let's not mistake, though, this is a heavy book. It deals with a loaded subject, which is the many ugly forms mental illness takes on in people. Here, we deal with depression and hoarding and a girl who is trying to navigate it all while searching for her missing boyfriend, Chris.

The premise states most of the suspense: Jessie's boyfriend has disappeared, and no one has a clue as to where he's gone. He isn't the type to take off and not tell anyone so Jessie, along with the town, develop several theories over what happened. You see, this book also centers around issues of racism, and two or three weeks before his disapearance, Chris was subject to an assault that may have been race-oriented. The town they live in is described as small (near Seattle) but one that primarily tends to be very white, harboring small-time bigotted stigmas.

And because the writing style is written as if Jessie is writing a letter to Chris, many of the events in the books are told as flashbacks, including the explanation of the different dynamics of the friendships. Overall, this started as a quiet book and one that took some getting used to, but soon enough, I think the writing style actually causes you to emotionally invest, so much so that the ending really got to me. (The ending is really the point to this story.)

So if you can handle some emotional heavy topics, and really appreciate a writing style that honestly, I've never really read before, then this one is for you. It's the type of book that helps you question your own stance on issues and for that, I appreciate the author's tone and efforts.

As always, happy reading!


Post a Comment

We love and appreciate comments, so feel free to leave us one. We always try to respond to every single one and show love back. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...