“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. If they were just words we wouldn’t listen to songs,”
― Cath Crowley,
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
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.
Y’all, I’m on a roll with these NetGalley reviews. I was given this book for review from NetGalley and Penguin Random House. I went into this book pretty blindly. Therefore, I was completely blown away by this book.
I feel as though I’m constantly stating that I’m not drawn to read contemporary novels. However, that’s not true. I love contemporary novels. Instead, I think I’m not given as many recommendations for contemporary novels. This book helped to revitalize my love for contemporary novels.
From the start of this novel I fell in love with Cath Crowley’s writing. It is accessible yet not dumbed down. Often I feel as though young adult contemporary writers “dumb” down the language in their novels for younger readers. This can immediately put me off of the book. Crowley does not lower the vocabulary in her novel and I really appreciated that. Crowley’s writing is full of allusions and references to classical literature and history. I loved that aspect of this book. It is truly a book for readers.
The plot of this book really covered some complex ideas and emotions. Our characters are met with death, loss, and familial issues. Each reaction and emotion feels genuine throughout the book. This isn’t a book forcing a moral theme down your throat. Instead it feels more like young adults merely living life the best they can.
I think that is what impressed me most about this book. Crowley allowed the characters to create the plot rather than the other way around. The situations never felt forced or used as a means to an end.
How could I not talk about the characters? I adored them. I’m not going to lie my favorite character was probably Henry’s sister, George, she was fire and angst and compassion all wrapped up in one. The main characters were also unmistakable. This book has a dual narrative, which can be very tricky. However, Crowley did an amazing job of creating distinct voices for both of the characters. I could always tell whose perspective I was reading just from their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Crowley took a difficult style of writing and made it look easy.
Finally, my favorite part of this book was the Letter Library. The characters in this book use what they refer to as a Letter Library to pass notes and letters to each other. The letter library itself becomes a character in the book. It is a time capsule of sorts. Crowley inserted numerous letters from the Letter Library throughout the novel and it really added to the narrative. It also made me very jealous that I don’t have a book store with a Letter Library near me. I also loved that Cath Crowley left a letter to the reader, in true Letter Library fashion, in the middle of this book.
This book got to me. I felt every imaginable emotion in this book. The characters and their struggles truly affected me. This story engaged me from start to end. I have already recommended this book to Eden and Caitlynn. Now, I’m recommending that you read it. It is genuinely one of the best books I’ve read this year and has moved to being one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time.
This novel will be available for purchase June 6th, 2017. You can pre-order it here. (Note: this is not a paid promotion or review. I just like this book that much.)
Do you think you’ll pick up Words in Deep Blue?