The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a “Love it or Hate it” book. No other way around it or in between. I hated it at first – once I finished it – I loved it. I first read this book last spring – at a signing event that Ms. Yarros happen to be in attendance (Apollycon). Half-way thru this emotional journey – I ran into her in the elevator – I told her I was struggling with the book so far. Rebecca said she gets that a lot with this one. The next day (stayed up half the night because I could NOT put the book down) I cried with Ms. Yarros about the ending and she unapologetically said that was what she needed to write. This re-read of the book was much more meaningful and so much easier to love the story clearer. WOW – did the last part of the story throw me so far off – like totally ugly-crying feels!
OK – so we start off with the death of Ella’s brother Ryan – who is also Beckett’s best friend – in a military mission that went bad. Beckett is shouldering the guilt of that death which is his internal struggle to overcome. Weaved throughout the book we read letters between Ella and “Chaos” (unbeknownst to Ella that it is actually Beckett) on an earlier timeline before the Ryan’s death. They basically fall in love with each other thru the closeness they achieve via the letters – then Chaos stops writing back – right after the brother’s death.
Months later, Beckett shows up on Ella’s doorstep to take care of her — a plea from Ryan in his “last letter” to his friend. But, Beckett doesn’t tell Ella that he is Chaos (thinking she will blame him for the death.) Ella currently has the ultimate struggle of a young daughter (Maisie) with cancer – whose twin (Colt) is a loving, protective brother. She has no other family left except for her twins and as far as she knows her “Chaos” must have died with her brother. As the romantic relationship develops between Beckett and Ella – they work together so well -coordinating the cancer treatments for Maisie with Colt’s extracurriculars. The children are integral to this story and cement the love between Ella and Becket. He even adopts them for “insurance reasons” in the beginning – for love in the end.
Then Becket’s “lie of omission” comes to light that he is Chaos. Thus, throwing her trust of him to the wind. This is where I was in the pissed off mode – she dumps him – forcing the kids out of his life. It was too much for me that she wouldn’t forgive him. They were a family by then – UGH!
Beckett : “the truth is that I’m too scared to do anything but breathe for fear I’ll make it worse. I didn’t lose just you, Ella, I lost them, too.”
They FINALLY find their way back – friends and co-parents first, then lovers again. Next, the tragedy of all tragedies hit – it is was NOT what was stringing you along thru the whole book.
Ella: “Sometimes bad things happen. And there’s no blame to be placed. You can’t reason with the universe, no matter how sound your logic is.” Said too early.
The Last Letter is a moving, emotional, thoughtful, poignant story of love and loss. I wholeheartedly recommend it – knowing you are either going to absolutely love it or completely hate me for suggesting it. But you will be better for it in the end.
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