Letters to Leonardo Reviews

I started reading Letters to Leonardo and couldn’t put it down. I was so wrapped up in Matt’s world, I was moved to tears a couple of times. There’s a good balance of angst and serious relationship issues, interspersed with touches of humour and insights into the teenage world and especially this troubled family.

I think it’s particularly effective that the whole story is not told in the text, that snippets of Matt’s story are told only in his letters to his favourite artist, as though he finds it far too confronting to even reveal these problems to the reader. These letters add another dimension to the story and also reveal very interesting insights into Leonardo’s life and work. Matt knows him well. The book is written in a straightforward style and while it doesn’t shy away from the seriousness of Matt’s situation and his relationships, it doesn’t get bogged down and overly bleak.

Although it hasn’t got a chocolate box ending, the resolution is satisfying and reinforces the need for honesty and compassion in families. It’s about life and it moves on, as we all learn that life does.

Anna Fienberg

 

This is a confronting, deeply sad and healthy-dose-of-reality book that will entrance readers. White writes with a simplicity that belies meaning – we may be reading a story through the eyes of a fresh, inexperienced teen, but the depth of emotion and understanding is both poignant and beautiful – as is the way White has captured the deep loss this young lad endures.

Moving, authentically-written and hopeful – this book treads delicately into the mental health waters… and honestly – it tells us things we truly need to hear.

Tania McCartneyKBR

 

“I started reading Letters to Leonardo and couldn’t put it down. I was so wrapped up in Matt’s world, I was moved to tears a couple of times. There’s a good balance of angst and serious relationship issues, interspersed with touches of humour and insights into the teenage world and especially this troubled family.

The book is written in a straightforward style and while it doesn’t shy away from the seriousness of Matt’s situation and his relationships, it doesn’t get bogged down and overly bleak. Although it hasn’t got a chocolate box ending, the resolution is satisfying and reinforces the need for honesty and compassion in families.

It’s about life and it moves on, as we all learn that life does. ”

Margaret Hamilton

 

Teens who enjoy drama, true-to-life problems and characters so real you want to hang out with them would love this book. It would make a great choice if you’re looking for a novel to stimulate thought and discussion. Young people learn empathy for others by walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. In Letters to Leonardo, they can do just that.

The Book Chook

 

Letters to Leonardo is a stunning debut novel from Victorian author, Dee White. The blend of first person narrative with letters gives the reader a wonderful insight into Matt’s thought processes and emotions. Matt’s journey is full of action, emotion and twists and turns which keep the reader riveted from chapter to chapter, wanting everything to turn out okay.

In a story dealing with the effects of mental illness on a family, it is soon obvious that it won’t be all happy endings, but White manages to offer hope and understanding, as well as a wonderful dose of realism.

Sally Murphyaussiereviews.com

 

Letters to Leonardo is a heartfelt and real portrait of a young adult trying to come to grips with his mother’s serious mental illness by first-time Australian author Dee White. On his 15th birthday, Matt receives a birthday card from his mother – the mother he has always been told was dead. After dealing with the shock, and his anger with his father who told him the lie, Matt looks for and finds his mother. But it’s not the happy-ever-after family reunion he hoped for.

This is a deeply layered book that explores a range of themes with subtlety and empathy. The story moves along at a good pace, the characters are thoroughly believable and deftly drawn and the situations are dealt with sympathetically and realistically. It made me cry. Highly recommended.

Maree Kimberley

 

 

 

 

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