Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published June 6th, 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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.

 My thoughts…

Henry and Rachel have been best friends since grade school and later Rachel’s feeling turn to love for Henry, but, Henry is infatuated with the pretty new girl in school, Amy. Rachel felt that she needed to tell Henry how she felt before she moved away. She wrote him a letter and tucked it inside his favorite book at his family's bookstore, Howling Books. Rachel waited for him to come to her, but he never came. On the morning she is to leave, he texts her to say he overslept. Rachel realized it was time to put Henry and their relationship behind her. Eventually she stopped all communication with him.

Three years later and after her brother’s drowning death, Rachel is dealing with a lot of pain and guilt about Cals death. Her mother sends her to live with her aunt and when she comes back to town she wants to avoid Henry. It’s not so easy since they have the same friends and her aunt set up a job for her working at Howling Books, alongside Henry.

When Rachel moves back, Henry is surprised that Rachel hadn't missed him and he cannot understand how his best friend could have forgotten him. Rachel is completely different from when she left, she is beautiful and she is closed off and not willing to share anything with him. While Henry is trying to figure out what’s going on with Rachel, Amy breaks up with Henry (once again), but Henry wants her back desperately. He is also dealing with his divorcing parents deciding to keep or sell the bookstore, which is also the family home upstairs.

Howling Books is such a unique setting, a beautiful store that brings people together and it’s Rachel’s job to catalog the books, letters and writings in The Letter Library. The Letter Library is a section of books that are not for sale, customers can write comments, poetry, quotes or draw whatever they like in those books and some use those books to write messages to their secret admire. It’s in those books that Rachel discovers her brothers writing, to a secret admirer of his own.

Rachel keeps Cal’s death secret for the most part of the book. It wasn’t easy for Rachel to learn to live with her loss, but she grew to become accepting of her new reality without Cal. As Henry and Rachel rebuild their friendship, she still struggles with why he never responded to the letter she tucked away in his favorite book. For most of the book, I was angry and frustrated with Henry. He believed that Amy, the selfish girlfriend, was the one for him and she would come back to him once again. It takes Henry quite some time to realize just how wonderful and perfect Rachel was for him.

Words in Deep Blue was much more than just Rachel and Henry’s friendship/romance, it was about grief, family relationships, and friendship. Overall, I liked the book.

Happy Reading -J 


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