This Is Not A Love Letter
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 Is Not A Love Letter Details

TitleThis Is Not A Love Letter
Author
ReleaseJan 30th, 2018
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN-139781484798348
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Realistic Fiction

This Is Not A Love Letter Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARSThis book was all kinds of heavy; think heartbreaking and tragic, and the kind of resolution you feel as a reader you could have saved if only you could jump into the story and tell everyone where it all went wrong. As I’m sure you can tell by the title, Jessie is writing “journal entries” to “you” who is Chris, her boyfriend (although they were on a break). If you read the above blurb then you have all the information you need before going in, but prepare your heart my friends. This on 3.5 STARSThis book was all kinds of heavy; think heartbreaking and tragic, and the kind of resolution you feel as a reader you could have saved if only you could jump into the story and tell everyone where it all went wrong. As I’m sure you can tell by the title, Jessie is writing “journal entries” to “you” who is Chris, her boyfriend (although they were on a break). If you read the above blurb then you have all the information you need before going in, but prepare your heart my friends. This one is sad. While I felt the writing was really well done, I did find moments where certain things could have been chopped down and I wanted more detail on others. The revelation in the end I felt was well done and really made me want to weep; extra points for the included diversity and talking about hard things such as race and mental health. Recommended to fans of John Green’s writing and of many other popular contemporaries of today. Trigger warning for suicide and bullying.*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    To keep both her heart and her mind from shattering, after Chris vanished, Jessie kept a running letter to him in her mind and in her heart. She told of her secrets, times they shared, emotions they shared and what she has been left with since he disappeared. THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER is a labor of love, of need, a declarations of truths and emotions, hopes, fears and the guilt a seventeen-year-old girl feels for “not knowing.” It is Jessie’s way to find answers, to feel connected to Chris, to h To keep both her heart and her mind from shattering, after Chris vanished, Jessie kept a running letter to him in her mind and in her heart. She told of her secrets, times they shared, emotions they shared and what she has been left with since he disappeared. THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER is a labor of love, of need, a declarations of truths and emotions, hopes, fears and the guilt a seventeen-year-old girl feels for “not knowing.” It is Jessie’s way to find answers, to feel connected to Chris, to hang on to the hope that their love will bring him home. It is also her punishment, her catharsis and her own way of clarifying who they were and what they had. It is her way of responding to the love letters Chris gave her every day. Kim Purcell has written a powerful story of loss and confusion and pain. She has taken an interracial teenage love story and made it all about the truths of small-minded intolerance, big-hearted acceptance and how love is colorblind. You will be drawn into their story, their relationship, Jessie’s secrets and finally into the secrets Chris withheld.Beautiful, dark and emotionally gripping, Kim Purcell has penned a tale of coming of age and clarity, all while the reality of life continued in search of the boy with a bright future who went out running one night and never returned. If this isn't a love letter, nothing is...truly a shining gem that should be read by all ages.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Disney-Hyperion.Publisher: Disney Hyperion (January 30, 2018)Publication Date: January 30, 2018Genre: YA Fiction | Print Length: 368 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:DNF I received this E-ARC via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I saw this book on Netgalley and liked the synopsis. So I requested it. Unfortunately it wasn't for me. The writing style turned me off. And some of the wording was off. I liked how racial profiling was mentioned and racism. That was well done. As I already know the ending I think everyone should read this. Highly recommend.
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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...When Chris, her straight A, athletic scholarship African American boyfriend disappears she simply can't believe the story the police come up with! Jessie blames herself for their one-week break, because she didn't stop him from running along the river, the same place where he was beat up 3 weeks previously. Now Jessie is writing Chris a letter of her own to tell him everything that’s happening while he’s gone and along the way face the guilt of Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...When Chris, her straight A, athletic scholarship African American boyfriend disappears she simply can't believe the story the police come up with! Jessie blames herself for their one-week break, because she didn't stop him from running along the river, the same place where he was beat up 3 weeks previously. Now Jessie is writing Chris a letter of her own to tell him everything that’s happening while he’s gone and along the way face the guilt of a past more complicated than she wants to admit.The short review...I was totally drawn into the story of Jessie! This is a character driven look at the stunning shock of a person you love disappearing. It was stunning! I desperately wanted Jessie to find Chris or at least learn who did this to him... and I wasn't disappointed, though it is quite shocking even as you feel a creeping horror that it is what you are starting to suspect. I can't say any more without spoilers.I do want to warn readers that the narrative will read in a totally unique way. At first you'll think this writing is really off / odd / uncomfortable. ACCEPT IT! I'm begging you to cast off those thoughts and allow yourself to be pulled into Jessie's story. As you learn more about Jessie and her insecurities you'll start to realize it doesn't matter this girl talks a little off / odd / uncomfortable. Chris loved her and she really is quite a lovely human being... The journey is beautiful, evocative and soul crushing.Cover & Title grade -> A+I LOVED this cover... There is something about the smudgy water color that spoke to me. It isn't explicit in illustrating what this story is about... but then you read the book and get to that end and think... I UNDERSTAND! I get the colors and that smudgy sky with a hint of tree line. And its so beautiful!Why MUST you read this book!?Really you could read my short review and see why I LOVE this book and why I think you should too. But here are a few more reasons and I'll try not to spoil too much...Friendship. Chris is one of the, if not the sole, African American in the town, yet he's loved! Not only by his family but by his best friend, his girlfriend (Jessie) and a small group of other kids. As Jessie tries to learn what happened to Chris she and his best friend start to talk about the past week. It is a hard look at the sometimes tragic nature of friendship. Then we have Jessie's best friend Steph who supports her friend like nobody's business! We got dual perspectives on friendship in a way that was natural and beautiful!Depression.Chris was able to get out of Brooklyn due to parents who loved and adored him and were willing to sacrifice to save him if they could. Depression follows you everywhere. It is a mental illness that some people believe doesn't exist and which makes people rather uncomfortable. It isn't about what you are doing but what is going on in their head as they struggle with these feelings that are swamping their body. It is debilitating and real. It is easily missed and hidden. You'll get up close and personal with it in the course of the story... it'll be hard but well worth the understanding you'll feel coming out the other side.Race.This was one of the more fascinating aspects of the story. It is subtle and yet without this aspect I think the story would have been a more hum-drum grief and loss rather than shockingly good. I don't want to ruin this but Jessie feels race has a lot to do with what happened and passionately doesn't stand by to allow the perpetrators to get away with what they've done... Sometimes though people are just people and not the sum total of their skin color.As a Writer...I'm really, really sad when readers can't tell good writing! The syntax of the narrative was obviously written so that you could hear Jessie's low income, small town background. She is a little crass and a little odd, but Chris loved her. Chris, this proven STAR had fallen for this sweet and caring girl that readers were calling "bad writing." And this only proves to me how EXPERTLY Kim Purcell wrote this character! To put it as crassly as Jessie, she's white trash. I don't mean that in a bad way. She is who she is and that's okay. But she DOES NOT talk like a middle class high schooler from the big city. This in fact was HER FEAR about Chris. That he would realize they were at different levels and abandon her.Every detail of the story supported the flow of the plot and why Jessie first assumed what she did and why she NEVER would even admit Chris had the problems he did. The world building was as superb as the writing! And Jessie was so authentic... This is from my notes:"I’m really enjoying the voice of Jesse, you can tell she’s a little poor but a sweet girl who is a little clueless. I like how she’s going over the last bit of time, between talking to his mom and her BFF Steph. It was super natural! I’m also dying to know what happened to him! I like the oddity of her writing this letter to him."I'm sorry to be obscure about the story... I LOVED it... It's different and unique with a blend of natural fears and conclusions with mental illness at their root. Jessie's voice is the star of the book. She feels like she’s from a small town, someplace she must escape from. We aren’t just told it but you FEEL it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingBOTTOM LINE: Beautiful Writing with Elements of Race and Mental IllnessThanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start by saying this is a Netgalley review, I received it for free for an honest review. 3.5 StarsThis letter style book was not my favorite, it had its moments. The letters are written by Jessie to her boyfriend Chris who has gone missing after a late-night run. In this letters, we get the history and background on the relationship and friendships surrounding the couple. Jessie searches for answers as to where her boyfriend who seemed to have it all could have gone. The pressure placed o Let me start by saying this is a Netgalley review, I received it for free for an honest review. 3.5 StarsThis letter style book was not my favorite, it had its moments. The letters are written by Jessie to her boyfriend Chris who has gone missing after a late-night run. In this letters, we get the history and background on the relationship and friendships surrounding the couple. Jessie searches for answers as to where her boyfriend who seemed to have it all could have gone. The pressure placed on the town by Jessie has consequences and it leads to some devastating discoveries. It’s a story about race, mental illness and the hardships of being young and in love. I didn’t love it for one reason, I would have given it 4 solid stars if it had focused on mental illness just a bit more. I personally would have likes more closure on that part, but I understand that not everyone gets that. So, in a way it is realistic. I appreciate the author focusing on the heavy issues we see today, but I just don’t think this book was for me.
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to have a full review up on teenreads.com soon, but just wanted to give a few quick thoughts. This was one of the worst written books I've ever read. The quotes below will show you the sheer lack of editing, and the overall just bad writing. Also, Purcell tries to add social commentary about racism in the story, but it's too surface level for it to even do anything. I could definitely tell that this was written by a white woman from Canada. “My eyes are slippery puddles”“My pee lasts f I'm going to have a full review up on teenreads.com soon, but just wanted to give a few quick thoughts. This was one of the worst written books I've ever read. The quotes below will show you the sheer lack of editing, and the overall just bad writing. Also, Purcell tries to add social commentary about racism in the story, but it's too surface level for it to even do anything. I could definitely tell that this was written by a white woman from Canada. “My eyes are slippery puddles”“My pee lasts for thirty-two seconds. My record is a hundred and seven. I wonder if you count your pee. We never talk about this stuff, but we should. Bathroom habits are fascinating. When you get back, I expect answers about all things bathroom related.” “He was missing a tooth but he wasn’t homeless or anything, he just randomly didn’t have a tooth.”
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  • Agnė
    January 1, 1970
    This Is Not a Love Letter is a socially conscious contemporary young adult mystery that takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride while addressing racial tensions, class issues, (view spoiler)[loss, and mental illness (hide spoiler)].Chris, an African-American “Straight A Student, Super Athlete,” did not come back home after his Friday night run along the river. Just three weeks ago, while jogging along the same trail, he was jumped and beaten to a pulp by a group of rich white boys from This Is Not a Love Letter is a socially conscious contemporary young adult mystery that takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride while addressing racial tensions, class issues, (view spoiler)[loss, and mental illness (hide spoiler)].Chris, an African-American “Straight A Student, Super Athlete,” did not come back home after his Friday night run along the river. Just three weeks ago, while jogging along the same trail, he was jumped and beaten to a pulp by a group of rich white boys from the rival high school. Jessie, Chris’s white girlfriend from a poor household, does not believe in coincidences and suspects Chris might have become the victim of a hate crime. Appalled by Jessie’s accusations, some residents of her small, predominantly white paper mill town in the Northwest attempt to discredit Chris and even threaten Jessie. But when a new theory of Chris’s disappearance emerges, Jessie is forced to reconsider everything she knows about her boyfriend.Both Chris’s and Jessie’s characters are realistically complex, and the racial and class prejudices they face ring true. The first-person present-tense narrative from Jessie’s perspective is immediate, suspenseful, and emotionally engaging. Thus, sooner rather than later the readers are bound to share Jessie’s fears, hopes, suspicions, and doubts. However, the epistolary form full of dialogue (Jessie is writing a letter to Chris, which documents hour-by-hour events following his disappearance) requires some suspension of disbelief. Nevertheless, cleverly placed clues and red herrings, an emotional investment in the story, and a desire for resolution keep the pages turning.
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  • Chloe ♥ (Blushing Bibliophile)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!!My pee lasts for thirty-two seconds. My record is a hundred and seven. I wonder if you count your pee. We never talk about this stuff, but we should. Bathroom habits are fascinating. When you get back, I expect answers about all things bathroom related.Sadly, Jessie never got the chance to ask Chris bathroom related questions.I wasn't sure about this book at first (Jess keeps saying I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!!My pee lasts for thirty-two seconds. My record is a hundred and seven. I wonder if you count your pee. We never talk about this stuff, but we should. Bathroom habits are fascinating. When you get back, I expect answers about all things bathroom related.Sadly, Jessie never got the chance to ask Chris bathroom related questions.I wasn't sure about this book at first (Jess keeps saying "you" and I got reeeeaaalllyy confused. Turns out "you" means Chris. :P) but then I got absorbed in the story and OH WHAT A HEARTBREAKING BOOK.Jessie's my favorite character in this book because she's super relatable. She likes the feeling of digging out eye crusties. I LOVE DIGGING OUT EYE CRUSTIES TOO IT'S SO SATISFYINGChris is a really sweet and considerate guy and when he goes missing, Jess and her friends try to find him. Jessie believes that he is still alive, but some of his friends think he took his own life. I really didn't expect his friends to be right all along!When Jessie finds out about Chris's death, she cries. I cried along with her. It's so sad and I couldn't help it.Will recommend to anyone who loves mystery and YA contemporary. (Reminder: prepare box of tissues before reading.)Final ratings:Plot: 5 out of 5 - SUSPENSECharacters: 5 out of 5 - Jess's friends are all so supportive and thoughtful. Love them!Writing: 2 out of 5Interest: 2 out of 5The Feels and emotions: 5 out of 5Ending: 5 out of 5
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  • Catherine ♡
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*Actual Rating: 3The cover of this book is honestly so beautiful. And fitting too. And just from reading the premise, I knew this book would be a heart-breaker. The story is written like a letter, from Jessie to Chris. A week before graduation, Jessie told Chris they should go on a break, to "get some perspective" on their future. But then, Chris disappears, and Jessie remembers the three boys from the *Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*Actual Rating: 3The cover of this book is honestly so beautiful. And fitting too. And just from reading the premise, I knew this book would be a heart-breaker. The story is written like a letter, from Jessie to Chris. A week before graduation, Jessie told Chris they should go on a break, to "get some perspective" on their future. But then, Chris disappears, and Jessie remembers the three boys from the rival high school that beat Chris up three weeks ago. She's determined to prove that they had something to do with Chris' disappearance. But Chris is one of the black kids where they live, and people refuse to believe that his skin color could be part of the story. And yet, Jessie is also missing pieces - and the truth is not too easy to process.I love the plot. A lot. I liked the amount of diversity in social issues that were addressed: racism, mental illness, and class imbalance all played a part in this story, and I felt like the intersectionality of these different issues really reflected the real world in a much more realistic manner. I'm not too sure what I feel about the ending, to be honest, as the story went in a direction I expected but didn't like too much.I felt like some of the side characters could have been developed more, as some of them seemed to just be there to progress the plot forwards by providing information or adding to Jessie's emotional conflict. In fact, though we never saw much of Chris, I felt like I learned about his personality and his struggles simply through context and Jessie's memories; therefore, he was my probably my favorite character just because he was so complex. Because I liked him so much, I felt myself becoming more and more involved in the search for Chris.I didn't have a problem with the writing style and how a lot of it used "you", as in Chris. I did get a little tired of lengthy narrations and found myself skimming. Still, there were some really beautiful lines that are testimonies to how great of a writer Kim Purecll is.Overall, I'd still definitely recommend this to people to read, as I feel like it addresses a lot of important issues in today's society in a very extreme and eye-0pening way. Either way, I feel like this is a story that'll leave you thinking and maybe even shedding a few tears.
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  • Heaven
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 This book is a heavy one so be warned going into it. The author brought in some rough topics such as mental health and racism.The story focuses on the main character Jessie who is writing journal entries to her boyfriend Chris who has gone missing. I enjoyed this book and coming to the conclusion I had to hold back the tears.I believe the downfall of the book was some parts dragging while others were to short. I was into the book and wanted to see how everything unraveled, however, it wasn’t 3.5 This book is a heavy one so be warned going into it. The author brought in some rough topics such as mental health and racism.The story focuses on the main character Jessie who is writing journal entries to her boyfriend Chris who has gone missing. I enjoyed this book and coming to the conclusion I had to hold back the tears.I believe the downfall of the book was some parts dragging while others were to short. I was into the book and wanted to see how everything unraveled, however, it wasn’t a book that was hard to put down.Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.The storyline of this book is fantastic. It's suspenseful, heartbreaking, hopeful, all in one. The main character is incredibly relatable, even though she struggles with things a lot of teens don't have to handle, like an agoraphobic pack-rat mother. In a lot of novels featuring teens, I feel like the characters have kind of all-or-nothing personalities that don't really match real teens. They are either totally c I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.The storyline of this book is fantastic. It's suspenseful, heartbreaking, hopeful, all in one. The main character is incredibly relatable, even though she struggles with things a lot of teens don't have to handle, like an agoraphobic pack-rat mother. In a lot of novels featuring teens, I feel like the characters have kind of all-or-nothing personalities that don't really match real teens. They are either totally confident and 100% have their lives together or they are complete messes. Jessie is the perfect mix of both. She has her issues and her doubts, but she also has these amazing moments of clarity and confidence. I love her as a character.Just a few nit-picky things that kept me from giving the book a five star rating. The format of Jessie writing a letter to Chris took a little while to get used to. For about the first third of the book, every time she said "you," meaning Chris, it kind of jolted me out of the story. There were also some grammar issues here and there that bugged me. I felt like the author just threw in some grammatical mistakes to make Jessie seem like more of a "real teen." Which is fine in some stories, but it has to be consistent. Since her grammar was correct most of the time, those few instances were a bit jarring.
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  • Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
    January 1, 1970
    • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -This Is Not A Love Letter was a great way to start off my year! I love mysteries. This book started the year off with a bang.The book starts off with Chris already missing. He and Jessie are taking a “break” for one week to gain some perspective on their futures and their relationship. This was, of course, Jessie's idea. Chris wanted nothing to do with it. So, naturally, when Chris goes missing, Jessie thinks she may have scared him off by pushing • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -This Is Not A Love Letter was a great way to start off my year! I love mysteries. This book started the year off with a bang.The book starts off with Chris already missing. He and Jessie are taking a “break” for one week to gain some perspective on their futures and their relationship. This was, of course, Jessie's idea. Chris wanted nothing to do with it. So, naturally, when Chris goes missing, Jessie thinks she may have scared him off by pushing him away.When we first learn Chris is missing, Jessie has a theory immediately. Some kids from another school beat him up a few weeks prior and she is worried they may have done it again, only taken it much further. We follow Jessie throughout the investigation and see her constantly go back to these guys. Josh, Chris' best friend, has another theory. What if Chris jumped into the quarry? What if he took his own life? There are some signs pointing toward depression and possible suicide, but Jessie refuses to even think it. “Please don't be in the river.”“You're terrified of the river. I'm terrified of fire. You think I'd light myself on fire?” Let's talk about characters.Jessie is such a wonderful character. I adore her for the fact that she is realistic. She isn't perfectly beautiful and she isn't popular and doesn't have the perfect family. She also isn't a complete screw-up who deals with her pain via drugs or drinking. She is just a girl who wants to know what happened to her missing boyfriend. She is missing a father figure in her life. Her mother is a hoarder and extremely obese; she barely leaves her bedroom. Jessie struggles to help take care of the home along with going to school and applying to colleges. She is a good person but has her flaws—such as her temper, which we witness a few times in the story.Chris is not present in the book in the current sense, but as Jessie narrates the story (directly to Chris, as this book is sort of one, long letter to Chris from Jessie) she reminiscences, if you will, about past moments with Chris. This was a great way for the reader to get to know Chris and how amazing he was. He was a stand-up kind of guy. He didn't like fighting and violence. He was honest, kind, and loving. He was part of a Jehovah's Witness family, which he struggled with a bit, and had a younger sister who adored him. Chris' family was pretty close with Jessie, so we see quite a bit of them in the book. I think the author did a great job of showing us who Chris was so that we could really feel how sad it was that he was missing.The mystery was done very well. I was questioning throughout the book who may have hurt Chris or taken him, or possibly what he had done himself, whether it be leave town or commit suicide. The book pointed in a few different directions, but in a good way. It wasn't messy or confusing, but very suspenseful.This Is Not A Love Letter could definitely be considered a diverse book. There is a “gay-best-friend” type of character. Jessie works as a lifeguard at a local swimming pool and meets him there. He's close to her and painted in a good light. I enjoyed his character and he plays a significant part in the book. Jessie and Chris are also in an interracial relationship (Jessie being white, Chris being black). They struggle with this slightly, as some of their peers are judgemental. Chris struggles alone with his race as well. This being why those guys beat him up prior to the story beginning. They are privileged white boys and didn't like that a black kid was being scouted for a college team, etc. “I don't blame you for wanting to leave.This town was built on racism...” It is also rare to see a Jehovah's Witness family in YA (correct me if I am wrong). I think people assume they are all crazy, but this book shed a little light on how they actually think. It wasn't a highlight, but just a small hint of it. I think each of these diverse issues were written well and handled respectfully. The only real con I had was some of the grammar. I think the author tried to show how Jessie was a “lower-class” girl and didn't speak “properly” at times. For example, instead of saying “I have to go” she would say “I got to go” (I gotta go wouldn't have bugged me as much)... I honestly just found it to be an annoyance more than anything. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.Overall, this book was great! I think the story is relevant and I think the author really thought out the plot and executed it to perfection. I enjoyed the characters and their dynamics. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense. I think it was an all-around great read.What happened to Chris, though? I won't spoil it, but you should check out the book to see for yourself! :)- - -Book source: From the publisher for reviewPublisher: Disney-Hyperion• For more of my reviews, check out my blog! • You can also find them via my YouTube channel here!
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  • Daphnee (daphneereads)
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a love letter by Kim Purcell was surprising. It’s about a boy, Chris,that goes missing and the character evolution of Jessie, his girlfriend, in form of a letter. I really enjoyed it, it kept my heart racing and aching. They are some trigger warnings for mental illnesses and self-arm. Thank you for the free ebook copy.
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  • Jenny Bravo
    January 1, 1970
    I can't even fathom writing a review right now. I am a mess. My heart is so completely shattered. I've never ever cried so hard while reading. My emotions are in shock. I will have to write my review tomorrow. 😭😭😭😭😭😭💔💔💔💔💔
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  • Danielle Steenrod
    January 1, 1970
    TW: depression, suicide, racismThis is Not a Love Letter discusses difficult topics such as depression, suicide, and racism as you can see by the trigger warning I have provided. This is not a cute contemporary. If you are looking for something light-hearted, then I do not suggest picking up this book. I went through a whirlwind of emotions while reading this book. I was angry, sad, and very anxious while reading. It definitely was a book that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. My h TW: depression, suicide, racismThis is Not a Love Letter discusses difficult topics such as depression, suicide, and racism as you can see by the trigger warning I have provided. This is not a cute contemporary. If you are looking for something light-hearted, then I do not suggest picking up this book. I went through a whirlwind of emotions while reading this book. I was angry, sad, and very anxious while reading. It definitely was a book that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. My hands were sweaty, my heart was racing, and I was breathing erratically. If you do not handle difficult topics well, I definitely would not pick this one up.Jessie wakes up one morning to pounding on her door. She goes out to find her boyfriend’s best friend Josh outside. He looks terrible; like he hasn’t slept all night. He asks her if she’s heard anything from Chris (her boyfriend.) No, she hasn’t heard a thing. This is when she finds out the devastating news–her boyfriend has been missing since the night before. No one has seen or heard from him since he went for a run.The book is set up in a unique way. It is written as a series of letters from Jessie to Chris. She is not writing a love letter like he always did for her; she is writing an account of everything that has happened since he has gone missing. At first it was a little difficult to grasp how the book was written, but after a few pages I got the hang of it. I ended up really liking how the book was written as letters by the end.I didn’t know that I could fall in love with a character that never even speaks, but I did. I felt every emotion that Jessie portrayed to Chris in her letters to him. I fell in love with him just as she did. Reading these letters addressed to a missing person that you can tell she is utterly in love with just broke me. I found myself crying throughout the book multiple times. This was not an easy book to read. I found myself being even more thankful that no one important in my life has ever gone missing. This book was one hundred percent anxiety-inducing. I was going through every emotion that Jessie was as I read her letters.As I mentioned above, this book explores difficult topics such as depression, suicide, and racism. The depression and suicide part wasn’t really explored too much, just mentioned here and there but never really went into too much detail. I would have liked to see more of the mental health topic. The racism part however, was a huge part of the book. I thought Kim Purcell did a really great job of showing how blacks are discriminated against for no reason at all besides the color of their skin. I really loved that this topic was talked about so much throughout this book. She did a great job at portraying the racism that is found in predominantly white communities.I just want to add in that this story is personal to the author. At the end of the book she wrote a note saying that she herself has been through a similar situation where a close friend of hers had gone missing. She said the emotions she put into this book were real. I could definitely feel them.I really loved this book even though it was difficult to read. I just could not put it down. I wanted to know what happened to Chris immediately. I am rating this book 4 out of 5 stars.Thank you to NetGalley and Kim Purcell for the advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - 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 I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - 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.When I first started reading this book my main thought was "so dramatic for a teenager book" but when I read more I realized that teens are ALL ABOUT THE DRAMA. Putting myself in that mind set (I am a fully-grown middle aged woman) was hard at first but once I observed some girls in my library being all over-the-top I came to think that they would LOVE THIS BOOK. I found it very well written and engrossing and was almost sad when it was over. Keep writing, Kim Purcell, you have a great future ahead of you|
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    When I read the book description of ‘This is Not a Love Letter’ when I first saw the book on Netgalley, I immediately found myself interested. I love reading a nice romance. And this book was supposedly a romance story with some suspense. A perfect combination, is you ask me. So when my request got accepted I was super excited.‘This is Not a Love Letter’ is a book unlike any other I read. The book is written through the eyes of Jessie. To be correct, the book is supposedly written by Jessie. It’ When I read the book description of ‘This is Not a Love Letter’ when I first saw the book on Netgalley, I immediately found myself interested. I love reading a nice romance. And this book was supposedly a romance story with some suspense. A perfect combination, is you ask me. So when my request got accepted I was super excited.‘This is Not a Love Letter’ is a book unlike any other I read. The book is written through the eyes of Jessie. To be correct, the book is supposedly written by Jessie. It’s a letter for her boyfriend Chris who suddenly disappeared after they took a little break. And this was definitely something that made this book very interesting and kind of unique. Throughout ‘This is Not a Love Letter’ we follow Jessie’s search for Chris. We read about her search through town, and through the places they went together. We read about all the different emotions she went through. And we also read about what Jessie would like to say to Chris, if he was there. There are some flashbacks to moments in the relationship between Jessie and Chris. And I just really enjoyed reading it.What made me keep reading this book was definitely the not knowing what happened to Chris and if he would ever be found. There were so many questions about his disappearance and this book kept me hooked till the very last page. I loved how we found out more and more about Chris and the way he felt. There was some powerful message in this book and I really enjoyed reading it.Reading ‘This is Not a Love Letter’ definitely left me feeling emotional. Without spoiling the book completely, in case you haven’t read it, the ending was rather sad but also beautiful in a way. And what I loved most was the way this book was supposedly a letter for Chris. It felt personal, and I loved that.‘This is Not a Love Letter’ was definitely a beautiful and touching read. And I would definitely recommend it. Especially for young adults.
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  • Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to @netgalley and @disneybooks for providing a copy of This is Not a Love Letter to me in exchange for my honest review. Jessie has told her boyfriend Chris that they need a one week break. Chris has been offered a baseball scholarship to college and he wants to marry Jessie right after high school while Jessie’s not sure that’s the best decision for their future. Then, Chris vanishes and the story unfolds as Jessie writes a letter to Chris telling him everything she should have told h Thank you to @netgalley and @disneybooks for providing a copy of This is Not a Love Letter to me in exchange for my honest review. Jessie has told her boyfriend Chris that they need a one week break. Chris has been offered a baseball scholarship to college and he wants to marry Jessie right after high school while Jessie’s not sure that’s the best decision for their future. Then, Chris vanishes and the story unfolds as Jessie writes a letter to Chris telling him everything she should have told him when they were together. This story kept me on the edge of my seat and I wasn’t sure of the outcome until the very end. I don’t read a ton of YA but this one seemed to throw in one too many social issues for me. Chris is one of only a few black kids in a depressed, small town in the Northwest. The issues raised included racial tensions, homosexuality, teen drinking and sex, depression, hoarding, single parent families, economic disparity and mean girls. Whew. A lot of stuff going on in this one. One resolution at the ending was too unbelievable for me. Too pat and easy. This one publishes on January 30, 2018. Despite a couple of flaws, I’m putting this one on my recommend list because of the message it provides around the core issue addressed (intentionally vague so I don’t provide any spoilers). Also, it’s a sweet love story with a good message about not taking people for granted and to not be afraid to share your feelings and emotions with those you love. Because of the heavier issues, age 14 and up.
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  • The_reading_foodie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you @netgalley for providing me with the ARC of #ThisIsNotALoveLetter by @typingthumbs #KimPurcell. Jessie wakes up one day to find out her boyfriend Chris is missing. He went for a run the night before and never made it back home. Jessie and Chris’s friends are doing everything the can to search for him. It comes to light that Chris was jumped by some guys for the color of him skin. He is an African American in a predominantly white town. It also comes out that Chris has been struggling w Thank you @netgalley for providing me with the ARC of #ThisIsNotALoveLetter by @typingthumbs #KimPurcell. Jessie wakes up one day to find out her boyfriend Chris is missing. He went for a run the night before and never made it back home. Jessie and Chris’s friends are doing everything the can to search for him. It comes to light that Chris was jumped by some guys for the color of him skin. He is an African American in a predominantly white town. It also comes out that Chris has been struggling with depression. All Jessie wants to know is what happened to Chris. If you do not want to cry then do not read this book. It took me about a quarter of the book to get into the writing style but the actual story pulled me in. It touches on two difficult topics, racism and mental illness. You know from the beginning that something obviously happened to Chris, the question becomes is he a victim or was it self inflicted. The story was good but honestly I can’t necessarily say I enjoyed it because it was just so sad. If you are interested in a good emotional read be sure to check out This Is Not A Love Letter releasing today, January 30th.
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  • Sarah A
    January 1, 1970
    This Is Not a Love Letter is an interesting YA novel. It follows Jessie, a girl about to graduate high school whose boyfriend just went missing. When Chris went missing, he and Jessie were on a break, a week-long break she requested to get some perspective about their futures. Chris went missing while he was running on a path by a river, and Jessie is almost sure it has something to do with the boys who assaulted him near the same river recently. In their small town, Chris is one of the few blac This Is Not a Love Letter is an interesting YA novel. It follows Jessie, a girl about to graduate high school whose boyfriend just went missing. When Chris went missing, he and Jessie were on a break, a week-long break she requested to get some perspective about their futures. Chris went missing while he was running on a path by a river, and Jessie is almost sure it has something to do with the boys who assaulted him near the same river recently. In their small town, Chris is one of the few black boys and Jessie (who is white) is terrified something horrible has happened to him. As she speaks out, things become increasingly murkier and increasingly dangerous for Jessie. As Jessie deals with Chris’s disappearance, she decides to write him a letter to describe what’s happening while he’s gone, as he’s written her love letters every Friday since they’ve been together.I liked this book, but I have some complicated feelings about it. The epistolary style works very well to tell the story, and I thought it was a great way to read it. Jessie, being a teenager dealing with big stuff, doesn’t always make the best choices in her handling of the situation, but that’s to be expected and it’s really great to see everything through her eyes. She also has a lot on her plate, in addition to Chris’s disappearance and it’s interesting to see how she handles (or doesn’t handle) everything.This book also tackles some big issues, from mental health to racism. I felt like it did some of these well, and others not as well. I feel like the mental health issues dealt with were realistic and handled with sensitivity. It was more subtly woven through the story at times than the racism aspect, and I felt like it was skillfully done. On the other hand, I feel like the racism issues were handled a lot more bluntly, and I felt like it mainly touched the surface of a lot of the issues, but the fact that they are presented is important. I also liked how Jessie took time to confront her own prejudices and thoughts at times throughout the book, and I felt like that was very valuable.This book was a hard book to put down. I really cared deeply about what happened to Chris, and I felt for Jessie and the people in their lives as they dealt with this horrible situation. I had a lot of anger throughout the book, and I also had a lot of tears. If you’re in the mood for a mystery with heart, I do recommend this book.
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  • Kristina Lenarczyk
    January 1, 1970
    Although the title foreshadows that this will not be a romantic story, I went into this novel expecting a contemporary romance - but it hit so much harder than that. There are so many important themes covered in this novel, including but not limited to; racism, mental disorders, family dynamic, and friendship. I felt as though each of these was dealt with head-on and compassionately, however at times I felt that it was taking over the overall suspense of the novel. Overall, I thought this was a Although the title foreshadows that this will not be a romantic story, I went into this novel expecting a contemporary romance - but it hit so much harder than that. There are so many important themes covered in this novel, including but not limited to; racism, mental disorders, family dynamic, and friendship. I felt as though each of these was dealt with head-on and compassionately, however at times I felt that it was taking over the overall suspense of the novel. Overall, I thought this was a very powerful, painful, and thought-provoking read. I felt Jessie’s pain, and her manic episodes wondering what happened to Chris, and she brought so much life and energy (both positive and negative) into her letters. I was on the edge of my seat, and couldn’t put this novel down until I knew what happened. It is such a realistic story that I think is able to reach all reader’s through it’s biggest question of “what could I have done differently?” Check out my entire review on my blog!http://theprincessgummybearreviews.bl...
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  • Bailey Randolph
    January 1, 1970
    "There's nothing. No sign of him anywhere."Jessie's boyfriend Chris disappears one night while on a run, just after Jessie suggested they take a break from each other. Everyone thinks he is just another teenage runaway, but Jessie knows differently - and she's out to prove it and find him.It has been a while since I have read a book that kept me so on-edge. Kim Purcell's This is Not a Love Letter is one of those books that I just couldn't put down. The suspense kept me hooked right from the begi "There's nothing. No sign of him anywhere."Jessie's boyfriend Chris disappears one night while on a run, just after Jessie suggested they take a break from each other. Everyone thinks he is just another teenage runaway, but Jessie knows differently - and she's out to prove it and find him.It has been a while since I have read a book that kept me so on-edge. Kim Purcell's This is Not a Love Letter is one of those books that I just couldn't put down. The suspense kept me hooked right from the beginning, and touched upon a lot of social issues that are very relevant in our society today. This book definitely will bring out a lot of emotion in readers, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary mystery or suspense books.I Received a digital ARC through NetGalley
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  • Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    Received as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Oh man...this story is heartbreaking. But a story with a message that needs to be heard. The story unfolds as a long letter written to the narrator (Jessie's) missing boyfriend. She recounts the search for him and all the things that are happening. It was a beautiful way to tell the story. The story has twists and turns that keep the reader guessing/hoping.
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  • Tracy Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Disney Book Group for the free ARC, in exchange for this honest review. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I want to start out saying, this is not a happy story. It's actually a very sad one. When I think of that intense teenage first love, the angst, the heartbreak, the borderline obsession with each other, the fear of what happens after graduation, the author nailed it, And you add that all together it makes for the perfect YA romance. However, this book is so much Thank you to Netgalley and Disney Book Group for the free ARC, in exchange for this honest review. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I want to start out saying, this is not a happy story. It's actually a very sad one. When I think of that intense teenage first love, the angst, the heartbreak, the borderline obsession with each other, the fear of what happens after graduation, the author nailed it, And you add that all together it makes for the perfect YA romance. However, this book is so much more than a YA Romance. There are topics such as racism, teenage dating violence, mental health issues, dysfunctional parents, rich kids, poor kids, the justice system, It's all within the pages of this book. The memories that Jessie has of Chris are sweet, and you can feel it in your bones how much she loves him, and how much she just wants him back, she is willing to do anything, just for him to come home. The writing in this book is breathtaking, emotional, and really just pulls at your heart-strings. It also leaves you feeling kind of heavy, it evokes a lot of emotions. And to me that is the strength of an amazing author. I look forward to reading many more Kim Purcell books! 
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  • The Belle
    January 1, 1970
    As an avid reader, I look for a lot of things in the novels that I choose to spend my time with. Reading is not merely a job for me, it is a way of life. I have escaped into books since my childhood spent in the humid bayous and the honeysuckle filled countrysides of Louisiana, using them to provide balance and fantasy, to expand my vocabulary and to help rid myself of a thick Southern accent by speaking the words aloud.I do my best to read a range of work. Some are thick tomes that span generat As an avid reader, I look for a lot of things in the novels that I choose to spend my time with. Reading is not merely a job for me, it is a way of life. I have escaped into books since my childhood spent in the humid bayous and the honeysuckle filled countrysides of Louisiana, using them to provide balance and fantasy, to expand my vocabulary and to help rid myself of a thick Southern accent by speaking the words aloud.I do my best to read a range of work. Some are thick tomes that span generations, like the book I'm currently caught up in. Some are paranormal scripts wrought with intrigue, battle, and more often than not - a curious romance. And some are even erotic in nature, or a new bestseller that everyone is talking about (or both).I was turned onto Disney-Hyperion books last year, and I have learned that I have to be careful with them. While some are fun-filled adventures full of new characters to love or to despise, the majority of the books I've picked up from this imprint are gritty, thought-provoking, frighteningly relevant, and cut all too close to the bone. I have sobbed my way through A List of Cages, rooted for the underdog in Threads, and very nearly lost my faith in humanity while reading The Bone Sparrow.Each and every time I've finished these novels so full of heartfelt depth and raw honesty, I have placed them on my bookshelf with a little extra love. There are books that you read to forget, and there are books that you real to feel.I knew when I requested an ARC of This is Not a Love Letter, the newest novel by Kim Purcell, I'd more than likely be finishing it with a lump in my throat. And boy was I correct in my belief. I knew it would be hard to read, as the subject matter sent more than a few blaring-red-lights into my trigger zone. I lost my mother to suicide, but not in the sense you would assume. My mother's sister, after years of battling mental illness, chose to take her own life on my mother's birthday when I was a young girl. It is a day that is forever burned into the forefront of my mind as the day that I not only lost my aunt, but I lost my mother.The phone call came and my mother fell to her knees. She spent weeks and months seriously contemplating her own suicide. After several unsuccessful attempts, she allowed her own mental illness to take over and hid behind her grief and pain with drugs and alcohol as numbing agents. I was left to monitor her survival, to care for my younger brother, to attempt to navigate myself through my adolescence and impending teenage years virtually alone. I was no more than 13 years old. Suicide leaves a ripple effect the likes of which nothing is comparable to. Some call it the ultimate act of selfishness; I call it the ultimate act of sadness and despair. Others ask how anyone could ever be so unhappy that they would believe simply not existing is the answer. I can tell you from the experience of watching my mother contemplate this question every day for more than two decades, that those who think of suicide as an answer deserve our utmost sympathy and forgiveness. They do not deserve our judgments.This is Not a Love Letter is simple in it's story. It is a study of the aftermath of suicide. Of not knowing - why, when, how. Of the attempt to move on. It holds a message of the ripple suicide leaves in it's path; a wave of true destruction. It is the analysis of an immature teenage mind desperately trying to figure out the complexities of a tangled web of adult situations and feelings. It is also, in it's essence, a love story. Jessie has always had a hard time letting people into her circle. No new friends - it could be her battle cry. She has her reasons. The biggest is probably her mother; caught up in her own diseased mind and a victim of self-loathing, Jessie's mom took to extreme hoarding before she took to her bed. There are times Jessie even forgets she has a mother, and then the image of an overweight woman in a dirty nightgown will float down the hall past her on the way to the bathroom, mindlessly kicking along stacks of unread magazines or piles of other things they will never use. She has a handful of friends. Most of which belong to Chris. They are only her friends by extension . . . as a nod of respect they hold for her boyfriend, the famed ballplayer who is set to leave their little town and move on to college with a scholarship to play. He's popular and good-looking, full of laughter and jokes. And regardless of the fact that he's one of the few black kids in small school in a close-minded small town, he fits in. Of all the girls he could have chosen, he picked Jessie . . . the girl with the ratty tangerine-colored hair and too much pudge around the middle. As their graduation began to sneak it's way past the periphery of their lives and into the foreground, both Jessie and Chris felt the intimate pangs of mutual panic. Jessie was desperate to get out of their small town, eager to move on with her life and make something of it that didn't consist of living in a run-down house in the bad part of the neighborhood. Chris was desperate to bring Jessie with him to the big city; for her to be on the sidelines of his success, cheering him on as his own personal booster of sunshine. All of his feelings were wrapped up in this one girl - his Jessie - and life without her would have no meaning, he was sure of that. But Jessie couldn't seem to wrap her head around the fact that she might end up in the shadow of his success, without a real identity of her own. And so after a fight about their future, one that left her saying things she wishes to God she could take back, Jessie insisted upon a break. Just a short break so she could clear her head  - alone. Chris didn't want it, he protested in vain, and now . . . . . . Chris has disappeared. Vanished. Not a trace. The police in town believe he's run away, his mother thinks all she has to do is leave it up to God, everyone is saying not to worry, but Jessie  - she knows in her gut there has to be something more to the story. He'd been harassed lately, for the color of his skin and for his natural talents, and Jessie believes that he may have been taken or worse - pushed into the unforgiving depths of the rapids that surround the verdant woods in their area. Woods that the pair have traveled into countless times, he on foot and she on her bike.  Woods that hold the secrets to their first meeting and their early kisses, their whispers and their dreams. She worries that those very same woods where they sought sanctuary may have claimed him as a prisoner for good. Over the span of days and weeks, Jessie takes to her journal to write down every detail she can think of in critical review, as an effort at putting the pieces together. Maybe there is a clue; something small that she forgot that could turn out to be something big. Perhaps something written on those pages will jog her memory into remembering where he could be, where he would seek refuge and solitude. Because Chris can't be gone for good - he's all she really has. When her poking and prodding leads to threats and nasty situations, Jessie finds herself in deeper than she ever imagined . . . but she can't give up, because sometimes it feels like she's the only one looking for him. She has to find Chris, she has to bring him home and tell him that it will all be okay, and she will stop at nothing to learn the truth about what happened to the boy she loved and what her actions might have pushed him to do. This is Not a Love Letter is the newest novel by Kim Purcell, an author known for her provocative approach to relationship complexities, real world issues, and compelling storylines. The insert that accompanied my ARC copy states that Purcell was inspired by the tragic loss of a close friend of hers who suffered from mental illness and took his own life while they were in high school together. A subject that has in the past been utterly taboo, teen suicide has in recent years been thrust into the spotlight as a relevant matter - as it should be. With numerous social media avenues and technology readily at teenage fingertips, acute bullying has taken on an entirely new meaning, while mental illness is plaguing people of all ages across a land where universal health care is a joke. Teenagers are growing up in a fishbowl (and in more than half of most families, without both parents at home) with every detail of their lives on display for critique and criticism by their peers and by strangers, and where emotions are already at a heightened state, illnesses such as depression and anxiety are being triggered exponentially - sometimes to disastrous effects. In this brutally honest young adult novel, nothing is left hidden. The life of Jessie and her experiences with Chris are laid naked and bare for everyone to see, and the result is a detailed examination of a modern-day teenager's world. Giving the book 4.5 out of 5 stars, I recommend it to readers ages 15+ (as there is some language and some mild depictions of sex) and encourage parents to read it as well. I was touched by how on-point Purcell was in her observations: the truth in her depiction of Jessie's feelings, the difficult frankness in the racial injustices Chris endured, and the adult situations in which these young people were involved in. I admire and applaud the author for doing her due diligence into something that everyone should be aware of. Suicide is on the rise, especially amongst our youth, and we can no longer hide behind "not knowing" as parents, adults, teachers, influencers. This book hit very close to home, leaving me uncomfortable and raw as I remembered the same feelings Jessie had. Understanding the ripple effect of suicide on all those directly and indirectly involved is paramount. The guilt that survivors endure is bitter and agonizing, and can trigger those left behind in ways that are unimaginable. Feelings of low self-worth, diminished self-esteem, isolation, depression, and anxiety are so prevalent in our children and oftentimes their voices go unspoken or unheard. In a society that is full of an attitude intent upon the "next-best-thing," we must learn to slow down and listen to our youth as they try to reach out, and help them get the help that they need, whether we understand their pain or not. Life can get better, with help. 
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of the ebook for This Is Not a Love Letter, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Chris Kirk is a star-athlete, straight 'A' student, and all-around nice guy. One night he goes for a run, and doesn't return. This sets his girlfriend Jessie--with whom he was on "a break"--into a frenzy to find out what happened to her boyfriend. From that point, we are all along for the ride.The author, Kim Purcell does a great job of pulling you into the story. From the start you're I received an ARC of the ebook for This Is Not a Love Letter, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Chris Kirk is a star-athlete, straight 'A' student, and all-around nice guy. One night he goes for a run, and doesn't return. This sets his girlfriend Jessie--with whom he was on "a break"--into a frenzy to find out what happened to her boyfriend. From that point, we are all along for the ride.The author, Kim Purcell does a great job of pulling you into the story. From the start you're trying to figure out what happened to Chris? Where is he? Is he alive or dead? Who knows what? Though we only have one perspective to entertain--that of Jessie's--it's from the one character who seemingly was closest to Chris. From her, we're able to glean some understanding of how Chris related to everyone else (both central and peripheral) to the story. Where I began to have trouble was around the midway point: what type of story was this intended to be, honestly? On the one hand, it felt like a mystery. There's the introduction of motive via the jealous teammate (Dave Johnson) who isn't happy about Chris being scouted and offered a scholarship. A scholarship offer he felt would have been his if Chris hadn't shown up and taken it from him. Johnson is introduced as a jerk, who is potentially both racist and homophobic, with anger management issues. Jessie wonders if said jealousy boiled over into something more, especially given her knowledge of the twos previous interactions. This is what brings the cops on the scene. However, as the story continues to unfold, and Jessie learns more about Chris through the words of others, we're forced to consider other alternatives for his disappearance. What is crystal clear is Jessie and Chris have a very codependent relationship. It's not healthy. Both she and he have emotional issues, stemming from abandonment and lack of trust, and each acts in extreme ways to protect themselves from more emotional harm. As these things come to light, it's clear this story is meant to be much deeper than a mystery and, as such, greater care could have been taken to allow for other perspectives to be given. Jessie's wasn't nearly enough and, honestly, after awhile her self-centeredness began to grate on my nerves. Overall, the story started out with a load of potential but, by the time I reached the end, I was disappointed with the handling of the story and the inattention given to the central character via the lack of other perspectives.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I received an eARC for this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!There are spoilers in this review I suppose, though to be honest most readers will be able to see what I am talking about right away. Take that as you will.I wasn't sure at first how I felt about this. The beginning started a bit slow, but once I got into it...wow. It was so intriguing but so heartbreaking all at the same time. Jessie was a good narrator, because her views of Chris and her own desire to change Note: I received an eARC for this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!There are spoilers in this review I suppose, though to be honest most readers will be able to see what I am talking about right away. Take that as you will.I wasn't sure at first how I felt about this. The beginning started a bit slow, but once I got into it...wow. It was so intriguing but so heartbreaking all at the same time. Jessie was a good narrator, because her views of Chris and her own desire to change the possibilities of what might have happened to him clouded the reality of what was going on. I really liked that, and I liked that her own selfish teenage wants and needs shone through a lot, which rooted the story very much in the real world. The ending was sad, but not unexpected to the reader. Jessie was the one in denial, but the hints and clues provided for the reader gave us a sense of what had really happened despite her insistence. With books like 13 Reasons Why being made into television shows and with the topic of suicide becoming even more mainstream, these sort of books are so important. The author did a great job of showing how people can hide their pain behind a smile, even managing to keep it hidden from those that know them best. People have secrets, we can never truly know who a person REALLY is at their core, and that was beautifully shown here. A really lovely effort, that I think will resonate with readers of varying ages!
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! I hate writing reviews like this because I know the author is proud of the book and put in a lot of hard work, but I really couldn’t stand it. The main character was annoying. For someone who was dating someone black, she sure seemed like she was uncomfortable with it, even as she showed how uncomfortable everyone ELSE was about it. Also, the format was a good idea-written to Chris as he is missing-but it left the girlfriend giving us little “inside jokes” that w Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! I hate writing reviews like this because I know the author is proud of the book and put in a lot of hard work, but I really couldn’t stand it. The main character was annoying. For someone who was dating someone black, she sure seemed like she was uncomfortable with it, even as she showed how uncomfortable everyone ELSE was about it. Also, the format was a good idea-written to Chris as he is missing-but it left the girlfriend giving us little “inside jokes” that weren’t important or relevant or often even brought up again. She likes to count tings. He likes to play this game where he makes her choose. Etc etc. I don’t think anyone has that many little quirks or inside things, and if people do, they need to be in here by they’re relevant. I feel like we don’t ever really get to know Chris until 3/4 of the way through the book, even though she’s talking about him nonstop. That’s not right. Also, I just pictured an annoying, insecure girl who THINKS she’s way more in love than what she was as the story drags on. And she apparently has big boobs because I heard about it several times. I just couldn’t like the characters and couldn’t like the story. I ended up skimming so I could at least write an informed review. It was a good concept, but it fell short.
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  • F.T. Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    The writing in this book is superb--from the first pages, instead of telling you the story in some over-the-top, grab-your-attention way, the author drops you in the middle of the action. Jessie's boyfriend Chris has gone missing, and we follow her like a fly on the wall in the hours that follow: in the chaos, the finger-pointing, the immediate sense that everyone has something to hide.The story delves deep into teen drama in a way that is very accurate: the harassment of a black boy in a predom The writing in this book is superb--from the first pages, instead of telling you the story in some over-the-top, grab-your-attention way, the author drops you in the middle of the action. Jessie's boyfriend Chris has gone missing, and we follow her like a fly on the wall in the hours that follow: in the chaos, the finger-pointing, the immediate sense that everyone has something to hide.The story delves deep into teen drama in a way that is very accurate: the harassment of a black boy in a predominantly white town, the girl backstabbing, the complexity of teen relationships. Jessie feels guilty in a way we can all relate too, as she looks back at her relationship with Chris and what she might've done different. The love letter angle didn't do much for me, but I could see teen readers enjoying it.In the end, the book delves deep into mental illness in a very teen-centric way--somewhat dramatically, but I think very appropriately so considering how the story ends. I spend a lot of time with teens who deal with mental illness, and I'd highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with this type of tragedy, which is difficult to understand.**NetGalley provided review copy for honest review**
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    This book never once made me smile, it never once made me feel good feelings, it was an all-over the place mess. Just the format of her writing a letter to her missing boyfriend really didn't work, especially in the beginning. She told all the back story of their relationship, he knows, he was there, MAYBE it would have been better if it had been in journal/diary format. Even a change of format could not have helped save this book for me, none of the characters were truly likable.
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