8 June 2017

Review #614: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

““I believe in the magic and authority of words.” ”

----René Char

Cath Crowley, an Australian author, pens a terrific and heart touching young adult contemporary fiction, Words in Deep Blue that centers around an Australian high school teenager who before moving away from her hometown, professed her love to the her best friend, whose family owned a second hand traditional bookshop, in a letter tucked away inside a book from that shop, but years later, this teenager is back and now she does not want to face her lost love, not to mention, she has already suffered enough grief in her lifetime when she lost her dear brother.


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.

Three years ago, before moving away from her hometown, she wrote a love letter to her best friend, Henry, who only had eyes for a different girl, that Rachel tucked inside the pages of a book inside the Letter Library section of the Howling Books, a second hand neighborhood bookshop, owned by Henry's family. Now Rachel is back to this small Australian town, and soon she begins working in the very same bookshop. But the idea of facing Henry haunts her and brings back the old memories of the love that jilted her. Even now Henry has the eyes for the very same girl, who wants someone else, yet Henry is crazy about that girl, but soon Rachel and Henry's exchanging notes and letters hidden inside the books brings them closer in way they never ever imagined before. Although Rachel is skeptical about discussing about her brother, Cal's death to anyone, she keeps her grief locked away inside the very depth of her heart whereas Henry too is falling towards Rachel all the while trying to keep his family business of the bookshop afloat.

Well firstly the main reason behind picking up this book is because this is a story about books and bookshops and I, being a voracious reader, could not pass up the opportunity to reading this book. And boy, oh boy, I'm so glad that I read this book, where every tiny little thing from the predictable love story to the twists to the emotions to the characters, everyone made me fall for it deeply. And not to mention, this book managed to bring out the best emotions out of me, while reading it. So for all of that, O would like to take a take a bow to this very talented author for penning such a heart warming and engrossing story about two teenagers finding love through their flaws, challenges and mostly through the love for old books. And yes I'm glad because I got to escape into this beautiful yet poignant world of books and its readers, although that left me a bit heart broken in the end, as it was hard for me to say goodbye to such a great plot.

The writing style of the author is coherent and extremely deep with an eloquent prose that will only invoke the best emotions out of its readers. The narrative is laced so well with beautiful words and quotes that will appeal to each and every individual, no matter what age they are of. The pacing is fast and smooth, although there aren't any cliched or melodramatic moments that will disappoint the readers, instead the plot resonates with the underlying beauty of a bookshop and its books through the equally brilliant characters.

Now the characters have so many layers in them that each and every fold of those will make the readers skip a beat or two for their perfect yet realistic demeanor. The main characters, Rachel and Henry, who alternatively narrate the story, are honest to their very core, depicted with their realistic side. Both the characters make mistakes yet gradually they develop and grow so much throughout the course of the story. The supporting characters too are well developed with their equally thoughtful stories. As a whole, the characters are the cherry on the top of this delightful creme brulee flavored story line, that needs to be devoured slowly.

The author has captured the beauty and the power of literature and how it can affect one's soul vividly, along with the significance of exchanging letters. So the author here brings out nostalgia as she depicts the mode of communication or rather say sharing feelings or secrets via letters addressed anonymously and tucking them away inside some random book to be read by random strangers. The whole concept simply made me fall for this book, no even though the love triangle is a predictable one, yet the plot left me mesmerized and enthralled with its charm.

Verdict: A must read for every book lover in this world.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.
Author Info:
Cath Crowley is a young adult fiction author based in Melbourne, Australia. She was born in 1971 in rural Victoria. Crowley's books include The Gracie Faltrain Trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin and Graffiti Moon.
Visit her here

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