Title: The Last Letter
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Purchase Link: Amazon
My Rating: 5 Broken Hearts
*Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for an arc of this book.
If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.
I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.
My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.
And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.
So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.
Please don’t make her go through it alone.
Grab tissues and settle in for the long haul because you won't be able to put this one down, and I guarantee you'll finish it crying. But please don't let that stop you from reading this beautifully written, emotionally charged story that now sits on my Favorites Shelf. It's truly an experience - a deeply rooted, character-based story that pushed all my buttons. The title, The Last Letter, is woven into the storyline in more ways than one. I found myself sitting long after I finished - thinking about this story and its relevance. Please avoid all spoilers and read this book. I don't think it'll be the same if you know how the story plays out when you begin.
I'll briefly set up the story by saying that Beckett and Ryan are friends serving in the military - hard-core special ops service men. Ryan suggests to his younger sister Ella that she should write deployment letters to Chaos (Beckett's call name) because he has no one. She begins sharing the highs and lows of her life through letters to Chaos - without ever knowing his real name or seeing a picture of him. Eventually, events lead Chaos to start writing her back, and a life altering connection is gradually forged. As you can tell from the synopsis/blurb, Ryan doesn't make it home, but he leaves a letter for Beckett asking him to take care of his sister, Ella, and her five year old twins, Maisie & Colt. It's complicated as Beckett/Chaos is carrying a lot of guilt and baggage. I'm not going to say more about the story that develops. It has so much more depth and meaning than I first imagined as it explores love, loss, perseverance, survival, heartache, and the trust and courage it takes, in yourself and others, to accept what you can't change and search for a way out of the darkness when your load becomes too heavy. It's a story with great passion exploring the many different connections that occur between different people, and the lasting effect they have on their lives - including the rich rewards and high price of loving with everything you've got. I know I'm being vague, but as I said earlier - there's a reason for that. Read the book. I'll share one quote:
"I'd forgotten what this feels like."
"Being hugged?" My voice was sandpaper-rough.
"Being held together." (Quote from The Last Letter)
I don't want to leave the impression that The Last Letter is all sadness and tears, it's not. There's so much love and laughter in heart-touching scenes with a broken but strong hero and heroine, adorable, scene-stealing children, a protective but lovable military dog named Havoc, passionate romance, and a support cast that lends so much to the telling of the story. The writing is beautiful and the tie-in of the letters, revealed to readers at the beginning of each chapter, is genius. Souls are bared, hearts are lost, tears are shed . . . and hope springs eternal. In my opinion, Yarros does a brilliant job of handling the difficult subject matter thus bringing awareness to a subject near and dear to many parents' hearts. I highly recommend this book. It is on my Favorites Shelf. An undeniable Must Read!
My Rating: 5 Broken Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx