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Bookbed reviews: ‘Found: Letters on Love, Life, and God’ by Isa Garcia

BY LAUSANNE BARLAAN

Letters are a lost form of art, now overtaken by the ease of text messages and the speed of emails. All these new forms of communication are quick and convenient, yes, but they are mostly devoid of personality. Emojis may be the closest substitution, but nothing beats words weaved together by a loved one pouring their hearts out. This may be why Found, written by Isa Garcia, is a welcome addition to our bookshelves—it brings back the wonder of receiving letters, addressed to your different needs and feelings.

BEDSIDE STORY

Found: Letters on Love, Life, and God is a collection of letters by Isa Garcia, accompanied with tear-out postcards by Crae Achacoso. As the title summarizes, Isa writes letters addressed to different girls for the various feelings and life stages they experience.

Photo by Keeni Barlaan

WHAT I LIKED

Isa Garcia’s writing has always felt like someone read your mind, but told your thoughts through the lenses of your heart. This book may be a departure from her usual output of essays, but it somehow feels more like something you would expect from Isa—raw, emotional and relatable.

While her letters appear as her reflections and experiences summarized, they never feel like you’re prying into a stranger’s perspective on life. In fact, her letters feel a lot like a hand holding you through the scary parts of a horror movie, assuring you that it may be scary now, but see it through and things will work out soon enough.

But her letters aren’t just for the scary times, too. There’s one for almost any occasion, or at least life stages that most women go through. Isa’s range of letters perfectly capture the awkwardness of growing up, the pain of love lost, the joys of friendship, and finding refuge in God. This makes the book suited for numerous rereads when the situation calls for it. Rereads will never feel like a long winded explanation of the same old thing.

The attached postcards are also great takeaways after reading the book. Beautifully illustrated by Crae Achacoso, the quotes featured in the postcard are perfect for decoration, or even just for inspiration. The best purpose for the postcard, however, is to pay it forward. The postcards may just be Isa’s way of bringing back the magic of something made with the hand and written from the heart.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY

To be honest, not much. Thanks to the different letter categories, you will have no problem finding a letter or two that you relate to. (We just hope the book doesn’t get too worn after tearing out all the postcards.)

tl;dr

You don’t need to be a fan of Isa Garcia’s writing, but reading Found might just make you one. Her writing is fragile and emotional, but even the coldest of hearts might melt with Isa’s well-written letters. ☁

Related: “Writing Letters for Every Girl: An Interview with ‘Found’ author Isa Garcia”
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