Review: Words in Deep Blue, Cath Crowley

There are no spoilers in this review.

Before heading into this: shout out to Kat for recommending this book to me so warmly and telling me I would love it. I did and this girl knows me pretty well.
Words in Deep Blue is a beautiful, beautiful book. It’s a story about grief, love, family. It’s a love letter to books as well and most importantly, held in its heart everything I love about my books.



“Words do matter. They’re not pointless. If they were pointless then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history and they wouldn’t be the things that you think about every night before you go to sleep. ”

Before she moved away, Rachel left a letter to her best friend, Henry, in his favorite book, in his family’s bookshop, confessing her love to him. Three years later, she comes back to her hometown a different person, still broken from her brother’s death. Reconnecting with Henry, drowning herself into work at the bookshop and so on. I have said it before, but Words in Deep Blue is a really, really beautiful story where the characters are at the heart of it all, shine and make us care, make us want to shake some sense into them, scream at them, cry with them, ship them and so on. This story has all the feels and you know how I love my books like that.



 “Sometimes science isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the poets.”

Told from a dual POV, we get to hear both Rachel and Henry’s story as they deal with their own issues, from grief to heartbreak, from moving on to forgetting, to remembering, to falling in and out of love again. Both characters were so relatable, so easy to identify with, I wish I could have hugged them the whole time I read the book. Rachel, as she came back to her hometown, as she tried and deal with her grief, who she was and who she has become, how to deal with her old best friend, and so on…It was all so realistic and all so flawed at times, making this easy to read and to connect with. I could say the same thing for Henry, dealing on his side with heartbreak, with finding and figuring out what happened to her best friend in her three years away, and so on. Henry was so deliciously flawed and I couldn’t count the times I wanted to shake some sense into him, yet… I think he is one of my latest character crush. He was flawed, yes. He was realistic, yes. I just, rooted for him from page one, as well. When you’re rooting and loving the characters, that’s the sign of a great book. ESPECIALLY in a contemporary, where character growth is all I want. And all I got in this.

It’s not only the main characters that make the beauty of this book: it’s the richness and work behind the secondary characters, as well. George, Henry’s little sister, is amazing and I loved how we got to know her so much, got to root for her and see her personality shine, her wants and dreams many times in this story. Henry’s parents are there as well, fighting for their beautiful bookshop. Customers, people passing by, with their own life stories as well, are making this book stand out, realistic and making it so, so… alive.



“We are the books we read and the things we love.”

Words in Deep Blue is a book made for lovers of books and the setting left me, more often than once, dreamy. I loved that it was mostly set in a bookshop and I loved the idea of a Letter Library, this place where people leave letters, words, scribbles in the margins of their favorite books. I’m not one to write in my books, but… this made me want to start, somehow. It was beautiful and an integrate part of the story, with letters from the books here and there, serving the story, the main and secondary characters as well.



I had a lot of feelings about this book, I did. Which is probably why I don’t know where to start or end this short review. I originally rated this 4 stars, but I don’t know, as I am writing this, I feel like I have no reason to lower my rating. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, it made me smile, it made my heart ache and warm up. It has one of my favorite trope of all times, the best friends one, it has amazing characters, it has TONS OF BOOKS and… I don’t know. Just go read that one right now.

Final rating:  It’s a hurricane!

Trigger warnings: mentions of death and grieving.

Cath Crowley, Words in Deep Blue,  Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers, June 6th, 2017.


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

Did you read Words In Deep Blue? Do you want to? (YOU NEED TO IT IS VERY BEAUTIFUL OKAY)

What was the latest book that gave you ALL THE FEELS? Let me know in comments!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

58 thoughts on “Review: Words in Deep Blue, Cath Crowley


    ALSO I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH WOW i loved how they lived in the bookshop and i cried much more than i expected oops

    glad to hear you loved it too! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWWWW you thank you SO MUCH why are you always so sweet ❤ ❤
      I loved that, too! I loved the bookshop and how it was such a massive part of the story, and the Letter Library, MY HEART. ❤
      thank you!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh myy! This post just confirmed that we really have same taste for books. 🙂 This is on my tbr next year. Your post (I loved it btw) just give me a glimpse of how the story goes and confirmed that I will love this. I’m a sucker for childhood romances. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This book is high on my TBR, so I’m very happy that you enjoyed so much. Whenever a book has characters that are interested in books/working in libraries, anything with books, really, my interest is instantly piqued! Lovely review, as always, Marie! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG YAYAYAYAYyyy I have this from the library and I’m really excited to read it and it sounds amazing and I haven’t seen any other reviews. This is just making me so excited to read it and tripling my resolve to read! Thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an absolutely beautiful review Marie! ♥️ This will have to go on my TBR maybe for this year too… it sounds incredible. I love the best friends trope too and especially when the characters are dealing with grief like the loss of a loved one or even the passing of a specific time in life like it sounds happened with the bookstore. Funny it made you want to write in books… that’s a pretty sound testament to the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH thank you so, so much, Dani! I hope you will read this soon, if you love best friends and books dealing with grief, yes yes yes, that book would be right up your alley ❤ I hope you will love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh this is an incredible review Marie, and it sounds like an incredible book as well. I am definitely going to be adding Words in Deep Blue to my to-read list, in contemporary books character development is so important and I’m glad both Rachel and Henry were characters you could root for, along with the secondary characters too. 🙂
    Also the fact that you’ve called the setting made for lovers of books means this is one I need to try and get around to ASAP! 🙂
    Again great review Marie, hopefully this will be a book I love as much as you did! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, the setting is a DREAM for us bookworms, you will fall in love with it, Beth, I am, like, 99% sure of it 😛 It’s so great that it is mostly set in a library and how it’s an important part of the story ❤
      I hope you will read it and love it 🙂 thank you so, so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay, so glad you liked this! I just bought this one yesterday and I haven’t seen many reviews for it, but it sounds like such a beautiful book and I can’t wait to read it. I’m glad that it’s one that makes you feel plenty of emotions, too – definitely what I’ve been looking for. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like this book is very off the radar, which makes me a bit sad – it’s so good, everyone should add it to their TBRs. It has everything I love in contemporaries: great, developed characters and relationships, family dynamics and BOOKS and tons of emotions. ❤ ❤ I hope you will love it, Kelly 😀
      thank you so much for your sweet comment ❤ ❤


  8. Wonderful review Marie! I also loved this book and I just wanted to live in the world forever because of Henry’s family’s bookstore. The idea of a Letter Library is so great, there’s something really intimate about leaving letters for people. Rooting for all the characters really is the signs of a great story and I loved every single character in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. YES I NEED TO READ THIS. And also had NO IDEA that it mainly takes place in a book shop? And a Letter Library sounds awesome, and why do we not have something like it in real life????

    I do have a copy of this, and I have been told over and over again to read it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it BUT I WILL. Lovely review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right?? The whole idea of a letter library is incredible, I love it so much… and I’m not one to write in books, ever, so that says a lot about this story 😛
      I hope you will read it soon and enjoy it 🙂 thank you so much!


  10. I am still extremely glad you enjoyed this book (and my other recent recommendations)! As a blogger, we share our opinion on books all the time, but whenever someone reads something that I was really adamant and loud about, I suddenly get super scared about them not liking it. However, I guess we know each other pretty well by now and I know what works for you and what doesn’t haha

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was one of my favorite books this year, and I am actually starting one of Crowley’s older books today. I have thing for grief books, and this one just hit all the right notes. I loved all the different angles of love explored: unrequited love, love that fizzled out, love that never got to grow. It was all so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, which book are you reading now? I’m curious – I want to discover more of her books, after reading that one. I loved it so much, It was such a beautiful book ❤
      Thank you for your comment!! ❤


  12. Damn Mariee ! ❤ What a beautiful review! :O I have quite see this book around for a few times but your review is the one who actually makes want to pick up this book! 😀 Characters development is so important to me and I'm quite picky on contemporary but I think this would be the one 🙂 Encore une fois, j'adore!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWW Trang, thank you, your comments always make me smile ❤ and wow, that means a lot, I'm honored ahah – I hope you will read it soon and love it, I thought that it was fantastic, just the right amount of development, the right touch of emotions, family ties and romance. Hope you will love it!! 😀


  13. Okay, now I want to read it ❤ Looks amazing. I'm honestly excited. To bad that I've a long list of books to buy because I've too many unfinished series.

    Btw, in Italy this one was translated in "Io e te come un romanzo" which is literallt "Me and you like a novel" 😐 That can make sense… but I don't really wrap my head around my country's publishers' ideas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH that’s too bad – but… that book is pretty short, you can buy it and read it quickly, no one will know 😛 I’m a bad influence, I know. I hope you will read it at some point, though, it is a fantastic book ❤

      Okaaay… yes, I guess it makes sense, given the library and bookish setting and all? It's so weird, sometimes, how publishers translate book titles haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m glad you enjoyed it sooo much. Unfortunately, this book failed to reach my expectations. Although this book seemed like a bookish heaven, as much as I loved Rachel, I loathed Henry, he just felt too clingy and weird to me and thus my hopes crushed but I’m glad you liked everything!! Great review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry you didn’t love Henry, but I get where you come from – at the beginning, he annoyed me a little bit with his girlfriend – ex girlfriend and so on, but I warmed up to him afterwards 🙂
      thank you!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Omg it makes me so happy to see you loved this one so much!!! I really want to read it because of the BOOKS I’ve heard about (and the cover is GORGEOUS!!). And aaagghhh I’m so happy that it’s not just some fluffy contemporary, because I’ve grown out of those. I want to read this even more now haha! GREAT REVIEW!!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YAY – I hope you will read this one, May! It was definitely more than a fluffy contemporary, with some heavier themes and an incredible setting, really playing a part in the story overall ❤ I hope you will love it and thank youuu so much for your sweet words! ❤ ❤


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