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.
♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 3 stars! Even though I desperately tried to manage my expectations for this novel because Crowley’s Graffiti Moon is one of my all-time favorites, I fear I missed the mark. I almost want to cry because I didn’t love this more. It’s not that it’s a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination because I enjoyed it quite a bit, it’s just that it didn’t hold a candle to her previous work and I didn’t connect to it or its characters as much as I had hoped I would.
That said, this book was certainly a love letter from the author to book lovers everywhere. The book shop, Howling Books, and its Letter Library, along with the way the characters lived and breathed books just as much as any living reader was my absolute favorite aspect of this novel.
♥ Review: I’d rather not discuss in great detail my biggest issues regarding the plot because it certainly has parts considered spoilerish by some, but I will say that even though some elements were a tad predictable and the pacing slow at times, Crowley has definitely maintained her fantastic writerly quality that keeps her readers invested in the happenings of the book and her characters’ developments. For me, though, I was frustrated for the better part of the book by Rachel, Henry, and especially Amy, and the entirety of the circumstances surrounding this tangled trio and the romance between them. The whole dynamic had me wanting more for them all, or maybe I wanted them to want more for themselves. More so, I found it odd–though a little compelling–that the main characters weren’t even my favorite parts of this book. That award goes to the book shop, Howling Books, its Letter Library, Henry’s sister, George (looooooved her!), her new co-worker, Martin, and even Rachel’s deceased brother, Cal. (Honestly, I’d really love to read the book for George and Martin if someone can make that happen!)
This novel had bookish love in spades and I certainly loved that whole element the most!
♥ Teaser Quote:
I’ll show Mum the catalog of the Letter Library. I’ll tell her about the people who have loved and lost and left a record of it. I’ll tell her to prove we’re not alone, and that all the different stories that there are somehow all add up to one. I’ll tell her about Cal and George. I’ll tell her about the idea that memory can transmigrate, from the dead to the living. I’ll tell her about the beautiful, impossible thought that Cal might have, at the moment of dying, transmigrated. I’ll tell her that I think he had been transmigrating all his life: leaving himself in the things he loved, in the people he loved. He brimmed over the edges of his own life, and escaped.
–quote taken from the eARC of Words in Deep Blue at 97%
|Book Rating Breakdown|
|General Book Feels|
|Angst Me So Good|
♥ Rec It? Sure. Honestly, I really feel (and have already noticed from other reviews on Goodreads) that other readers will love and connect with this book more deeply than I was able to, so take my review with a grain of salt. Additionally, as much as I tried not to let my personal life affect my reading mood, it inevitably happens. I recently lost two very important people to me and since this book deals in grief, I don’t know if it was the right book at the right time, especially considering how everyone handles grief differently and part of my irritation in Rachel’s behavior was how she was handling hers, which was vastly different from mine. So, like I said, my review… grain of salt… it’s a good book, so read it.
♥ A very special thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.
*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.
I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥
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