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.
TWO BEST FRIENDS, A LONG TIME AGO…
“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.
SOME CHARACTERS YOU WILL WANT TO HUG AND LOVE
“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.
A SETTING MADE OF DREAM AND STARDUST FOR US BOOKWORMS
“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!