Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.


I absolutely adore epistolary novels, but I've had exceptional luck with all of the pen-pal styled novels I've read so far this year. And that includes Words in Deep Blue. I mean, wow. I just might have loved this novel even more than Graffiti Moon, which is saying a lot because I love to re-read that one. I just didn't know a novel could break me and make me feel whole at the same time.

This story is beyond beautiful. Like a love letter to every book nerd out there, Words in Deep Blue pays homage to classics and contemporary favorites alike, all while taking place in a bookshop. And there's a secret sadness between the pages of some of the books in the Letter Library, one that left me open-mouthed and gasping for air, even knowing the end result. There is just so much to love between the pages of this book.

I loved the dual narrative and how Cath was able to capture each character's essence and make them feel completely genuine in their heartbreak. I loved the dynamic between Henry and Rachel, the second chance aspect...the will they or won't they? But most of all, I just loved that they got their friendship back on track, despite everything else. That's what this book felt like to me, more than anything else. Sure, it's about loss and love and growing up, too. But Henry and Rachel's relationship was the driving force of the book for me, and it was just so well-written.

I kind of ran the gamut of emotions while reading this one: sorrow, empathy, anger, jealousy, elation, and some more sorrow for good measure. But I've discovered that's kind of the way with a Cath Crowley novel. She makes you experience things on the same level as her characters and you'll be overjoyed to do so, even when they're in pain.

Re-reading has become a recent obsession, and I totally see myself diving back into this story again and again. That makes two Cath Crowley novels that are utterly re-readable. I haven't read A Little Wanting Song yet, but I imagine I won't be disappointed there either...

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About the author:

Cath Crowley is an award-winning author of young adult fiction. Her novels include Words in Deep Blue, Graffiti Moon, Chasing Charlie Duskin (A Little Wanting Song) and the Gracie Faltrain trilogy. Cath is a freelance writer, manuscript assessor and teacher.

Find Cath:

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