4 / 5 stars
Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Date: 24th August 2016
Source: book included in August 2016 YA Chronicles subscription box.
Synopsis from GoodReads:
This is a love story.
It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.
Words in Deep Blue is a cute contemporary romance novel, but with a slight twist. The protagonists experience grief, family issues, and relationship troubles.
Told in third person, the book alternates perspectives between the two main characters, Henry and Rachel. Both of them are down-to-earth and relatable, and we follow them as they deal with the harder things that growing up brings. Rachel deals with the death of her brother (not a spoiler, I promise), in very realistic way. We see her shut people out, deny the reality of her situation, and eventually she starts to let people back into her life. I thought her character arc was great, and we got to see Rachel at her best, as well as her worst. Henry, on the other hand, appears to be a person who dislikes change in his life, and yet we see him adapt and grow as changes do occur in different parts of his life.
Words in Deep Blue is written simplistically, but it lent itself well to this story, keeping the pace fast and flowing well even when the plot itself was slow. Throughout the book, there are letters written between different characters, giving deeper insight into their relationships, personalities and inner thoughts. I thought that these letters, which are integral to the story, as you’ll see, really added to the atmosphere off the story, and I loved them.
It is through these letters that a mystery comes about. One character, George, has been writing to a mysterious boy for months, and we spend part of this book trying to figure out who he might be.
One downside was that I felt that part of the ending was predictable and a little bit trope-y (think YA romance…enough said). Another was that Henry is so damn frustrating with his relationship with Amy. It’s so unhealthy, and she’s such a cow, yet he keeps running back to her…ugh! Also I wouldn’t recommend this novel if you aren’t into love triangles..it has so, so many triangles.
Cath has portrayed the best and the worst aspects of life, growing up, death and relationships, and made me cry for so many reasons. It was a heart-warming, emotional read that I cannot wait to re-read in future.
P.S This was me for half the book:
- We see Rachel deal with the death of her brother in a super realistic way, and see how it affects all facets of her life.
- I loved seeing the friendships develop
- The bookshop, and the Letter Library are such amazing parts of the story, they feel like home.
- It really made me appreciate books, and letters, and writing, SOOOOO much more
- Plus most of these characters are amazing:
- Henry and Amy: MY GOD HENRY STOP BEING SO NEEDY AND ARGH!!!!!
- The ending was a teeny bit trope-y and predictable.
- LOVE. TRIANGLES. SO. MANY. SEND. HELP.
All in all though, I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something cute with a bit of punch too. *thumbs are definitely up*