words in deep blue | review


Title: Words in Deep Blue

Author: Cath Crowley

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication date: June 6th, 2017

N° of pages: 288 pages

Genre: Contemporary, YA



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.


Rating | rating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating

Review | THIS BOOK’S AMAZING! Not only does it make you feel, but it also makes you think. I have never read or heard of Cath Crowley before (shame!) but her writing is so beautiful that I just can’t wait to read another book by her. You can’t go wrong (in most cases) with books about books. Not only Words in Deep Blue revolves around the meaning of words, how they can mean much more than we think and just literature in general but it also introduces us to a very unique way of communication: The Letter Library! This is what really caught my interest and I hope this could get applied in real life asap (if it hasn’t been already). It’s one part of the bookstore where there are books that are not for sale and that people can read and where anyone can leave notes, messages or letters to anyone else. Doesn’t this sound amazing?

I don’t think there needs to be a lot of talk about Crowley’s writing. True, I’ve never read one of her books before but let me just say I might as well read every single book written by her after this. The writing is magnificent and the characters so well written and  well developped! They all felt so real (even Cal, who, technically, wasn’t present in the story since the latter started with his death) and the emotions too! Cath Crowley definitely has her way with words! In this book, she manages to tell us how books can help us deal with life when it gets unbearable and how it can hold well cherished memories in between the lines. And she does so in a GREAT way! It’s at the same time light and dense as it tackles difficult topics such as bullying, depression, grief…

This book follows two main characters: Rachel Sweetie and Henry Jones. Rachel has moved out of town for a few years before returning. By returning, she was trying to escape her grief over her brother who died drowning. Henry was dumped by the “love of his life” with whom he was planning a trip around the world. Rachel and Harry were best friends but when she moved, they lost touch and now they’re meeting again as two people drowning in sorrows and needing their best friend. And who could that be, hum? They’re both really great characters and I loved their conversations that included a lot of literature references and a lot of interesting -sometimes philosophical- topics … Henry was adorable and a very good person who deserved much much better than mean Amy, his ex-girlfriend who would do just about anything to get in his way and Rachel‘s. The latter is also very smart, courageous and sweet (her name is Rachel SWEETie, after all…). How they reconnected was just so lovely. I don’t think I have good enough words to express how much the characters are great but let me tell you, not only the main characters are great but the side characters too! God knows how much I’ve loved George, Henry’s sister! In fact she might have ended up being my favorite character in the book. “Might” only because I ended up loving lots of characters which doesn’t usually happen. Teenage Me (if not my Now Me too) was able to relate a lot to her! She doesn’t open up easily to others and doesn’t care about what is considered to be normal. She’s very sarcastic and witty and I loved her quarrels with Martin. I also loved lots of the other characters’ stories, especially Frederick‘s who’s been a regular at Howling Books for a long time, trying in vain to find a book he previously owned by Derek Walcott. For 20 years, he never gave up and the story behind it is very beautiful and touching.

I don’t think there’s more to say about this book. There are things better left unsaid, haha! 😂 I highly recommend this to each and everyone of you. 

This book was provided to me by Knopf Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


“Words matter, in fact. They’re not pointless, as you’ve suggested. If they were pointless, then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history. If they were just words, we wouldn’t write songs or listen to them. We wouldn’t beg to be read to as kids. If they were just words, then stories wouldn’t have been around since before we could write. We wouldn’t have learned to write. If they were just words, people wouldn’t fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them and stop aching because of them.”

“We lose things, but sometimes they come back. Life doesn’t always happen in the order you want.”

Have you read Words in Deep Blue? What did you think of it? If not, does it sound like something you would read or something you have read? I know, lots of questions here already 😂 but let’s just add a more “general” one: What are your favorite books about books?

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