Monday, July 26, 2010

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters - Gail Giles

Summary: When Sunny's older sister, Jazz ran away to New York, Sunny was secretly relieved. Everyone loved Jazz, talked about Jazz, wished they were friends with Jazz. Jazz was perfect and Sunny was...well, not Jazz.Then Jazz's apartment building burns to the ground and she is presumed dead. Sunny's family, already broken by divorce, unravels. Dad's drinking skyrockets, and Mom's depression hits an all-time non-functioning low. Sunny is left to cope.Then they get a letter from Jazz saying she is coming home. But how? Jazz is dead, right? (Summary from back of book - Image from - Book from the libarary)

My Review: I picked up this book after reading Kari's review and I definitely agree with her review. This is an incredibly fast read for two reasons. First, it's only 126 pages. I can personally attest to its "waiting room" readability. Second, the action starts immediately with the arrival of a letter from Sunny's presumed dead sister, Jazz. When Jazz shows up for a visit, any sane person can see that something is terribly wrong.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters is definitely creepy and I could see it being tweaked a bit and made into an M. Night Shyamalan movie (that I would definitely go see). That having been said, I didn't "get" the ending. It was obviously a gigantic twist, but I had a hard time making sense of it and have heard the same from several other people. We were all left with a giant sense of "Huh?". I felt that Giles could have written a better, less ambiguous ending without hurting the story.

My Rating: 3.75 Stars For the sensitive reader: A scattering of profanity throughout - mostly of the "S" variety.

Sum it up: A book with great cinematic potential.


Anonymous said...

i didn't get the ending either !
is debra trying to steal sunny's identity too ?
i also noticed that whenever the letters with the yellow stationary come up , someone dies .
is sunny sentenced to her doom ?

Anonymous said...

i thoght that sunny hire debra to do all that stuf

Anonymous said...

the ending is confusing!

MMB said...

I really enjoyed this book, it was a quite a good read. I found it very thrilling that Rhonda (or Debra) was so good at pretending to be Jazz. It's a scary thought that an incredible actress could just take over your identity. I would agree that the ending is quite ambiguous. I have a couple of ideas on the ending. First, I would say that yes, Debra is now attempting to steal Sunny's identity. On the contrary, I think that Sunny could also be a little out of it. Sunny was very jealous and spiteful of her sister. At the same time, her grandmother didn't believe that Jazz had written any of the letters, she thought Sunny wrote them. So I think another possible interpretation is that Sunny was so unstable and in denial over her sister's death that she wrote the letters to herself. This could have been a coping strategy for Sunny if she was in fact, that unwell. What do all of you think?

Kari said...

Yes to all of your hypotheses! I've thought of those too. There are just too many options that are all plausible. But, that's why I like this book. It's just plain fun.

Unknown said...

What if the Debra story was real, and The incident with the Not-Jazz actually happened. BUT like they all agreed they refused to talk about, making it look like Sunny made it all up. And at the end, when she gets the letter from "Sunny" it's actually Debra letting her know that she's pretending to be her. And because Sunny, along with her mother, let her go, she gave Debra have the opportunity to even try and "become" someone else.??? Anyone else agrees??

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this book on my bookshelves and the ending is killing me. I thought since it was written a long time ago someone might have discovered something by now. I looked on youtube and nothing, just 3 videos, and they're shorter than 2 minutes. I need to know, Is Sunny crazy? Once I read Dara & Nick and it was like that, one sister lost it when the other one died. But, I also think Debra was real. And the "Sunny" letter, what with that???? Was it Debra, Was Sunny delusional again?


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