Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Words in Deep Blue - Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue
Cath Crowley
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

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.
Rachel is returning to her hometown after three years. She isn't returning under joyous circumstances, but rather to try and escape her brother's death. Running from one source of pain brought her right into another, as she now finds herself working in her ex-bestfriend, Henry's, bookshop. Rachel still feels the sting of Henry ditching her on "The Last Night of the World" and not responding to her declaration of love, and doubts she will be able to rekindle their friendship.

There is actually a beautiful letter at the beginning of this ARC from the editor, where she describes the book in so many ways, and I have to say, she was dead on. It's a story about love -- first love, second chance love, end of love, beginning of love, familial love, friendship. It's a story about healing  and being able to move on after a tragic loss. It's a story about books and words and the power they can have. And Cath Crowley did a stupendous job telling this story.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Loved This Book

  1. The Characters: Crowley created such an amazing array of characters in this book. Both Henry and Rachel are magnificent, with all their quirks and imperfections, but the auxiliary characters are also amazing. George is so fabulous. I fell in love with this girl who was so hard on the outside, but melting on the inside for an anonymous letter writer. Other notable characters: Henry's dad, Michael, Frederick, Lola, and Martin. I immensely enjoyed being in their company and getting to know them. 
  2. The grief was so real: Rachel's pain was so palpable. It caused aches in my heart and brought tears to my eyes. There were so many things related to Rachel's grieving that I though Crowley did so well. I loved that she showed not only how Rachel was affected, but also, how her grief affected those around her. Crowley also made a point of explicitly stating that it as ok for Rachel to hurt for so long after her brother's death. That it was acceptable to ache for so long. There are NO RULES for grieving. She showed that Rachel began to heal, when she began to share her feelings and come to terms with the fact that Cal was gone. I was really touched by all of this as someone who has lost an important person, and I feel there are many people out there who can also relate. 
  3. The banter was fantastic: These characters had a lot to say and they did so with style and wit. I lost count of how many times I grinned due to one of their conversations. These were bright and well read people, and they even scienced! Nuff said. 
  4. The Letters: I also loved the letters, all of them. There was the pain and longing in the letters exchanged between Henry's parents. The lovely, sweet letters of first love between George and her admirer, and also, the slow rebuilding of a friendship in the letters between Rachel and Henry. The letters were so delightful, I found myself looking forward to finding one stuck between the chapters. And well, there was the Letter Library. **This is on my wish list**
  5. These characters love books: We spend a lot of time during this story in a bookshop with people who love books. They often talk about books, and these conversations were ah-mazing! When reading the bookish exchanges, I kept finding myself wanting to crawl into the book to join them, because I had found my tribe. 
I have so many emotions about this book -- all good, I might say. I could never properly explain how beautiful and gorgeous and incredible this book is. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me long for those I lost, and made me want to hold tighter to those I love. Just utter perfection. 

I'm not crying....

**I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.

Have you ever found something in a second hand book ?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I'm sure I've found things in second hand books - but nothing terribly exciting beyond an old bookmark or something. LOL You find weird things in library books too sometimes!

    This book sounds amazing and really well done. I'm glad that the author showed that grief doesn't just end and it's okay to feel sad. I also love that it has a bookshop and bookish conversations. :)


    1. It really is wonderful. Definitely one of my favorite books so far this year

  2. I have heard so many good things about this book!! I love the themes, am a sucker for letters in books and banter is always a positive. Lovely review!

    1. I am getting all tingly just thinking about how good this book is

  3. This book looks amazing! I love that the author was able to capture so many emotions and put them into a book. I also love the feeling after reading a book that you aren't sure how to explain it because that usually leads me to believe it was touching! Great review! I am going to need to check this one out!

  4. Okay, this sounds amazing! I didn't know a lot about it before your review. The only thing I've ever found in a second hand book was that one of them was something we'd found donated to my current library, but it was by a teacher I used to work with at my last school in a different district, city, and state! Great review!

    1. This book totally made me want to search second hand book stores. And I will hype this book, because I loved it so much!!! It was funny and sad and heartwarming and just made me so happy.

  5. This sounds like such a powerful and emotional book! I've heard some great things about it so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it so much as well. :) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage