Words in Deep Blue by Cath CrowleyPublished by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on June 6th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
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Love lives between the lines.
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.
Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
I received this book from the Blog Tour Host in exchange for an honest review.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Warm and heartbreaking and poetic, Words in Deep Blue is a standalone novel of the best kind. A book that you can’t turn the pages fast enough.
Rachel leaves her love letter for Henry in his favorite book at the bookstore his family owns, asking him to come to her. But he never does. Heartbroken, Rachel moves away to take care of her grandmother and there, her beloved brother drowns. Looking to start new, or maybe over again, she heads back to the city where she grew up and where Ben and his bookshop await her. Ben is currently heartbroken over his not so fantastic girlfriend dumping him and when Rachel moves back into town, his memories resurface and old wounds reopen. Why did she leave without a word? They were best friends! Weren’t they?
I deeply enjoyed Words in Deep Blue and I can’t even really explain why. The characters are multilayered, with their vulnerabilities out for show. I loved the bookstore aspect, how letters to loved ones and those we’ve lost would turn up in the pages. I love how they got lost, misplaced or read by others. There’s an old time romance to this book, of lovers given second chances and secret crushes. It’s full of simple, heartbreaking romance that is so well written, Rachel and Henry’s heartbreak jumped from the page.
The writing is perfect too, lyrically describing all the things we feel and cannot explain. I liked how the story paced itself, aching for each character and how grief and love change our lives. It was the perfect length too, though I wish I could stay in the book longer, I feel like this was the perfect length of story.
This book really stands out against other contemporary YA fiction I’ve read recently.
Give it a try. You won’t regret it. You may even want to find your local second hand bookstore.