Words in Deep Blue // A Stunning Book Which Makes You Love Books That Bit More

07 May 2018

Words in Deep Blue
Published: 5th April 2018 (UK)

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

My Rating:
"One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I've read in a very long time. . . . I didn't just read the pages, I lived in them." --Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope--and letters hidden between the pages.

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.
I have been away a while but I’ve read some fantastic books whilst I’ve been gone and this was one of them. I had hoped reading a book about books (as well as a bunch of very cool characters) would inspire me to get back into reading. I adored it but it didn’t quite do what I wanted.

This book is many things, and I put off reading it for many reasons. The key one being I knew it would be sad as a central part of the story is Rachel dealing with the death of her brother, and with it being so soon after losing my nan I wasn’t sure sadness and loss was appropriate reading. Grief and loss is a central part of the story, and it is dealt with heroically, but it’s also about love, friendship, life, and family. I couldn’t see that at first, but once I started the book I was amazed at how I had missed out on such a good read when it was sat waiting for me on my Kindle.

As I said, this book is about grief. It was sad, Rachel’s brother, Henry, drowned and she is not ok. It has taken away her love for the sea and taken away her passion for life. That’s isn’t exactly the set up for something bright and cheery. But it wasn’t the overwhelmingly sad book I thought it might be. It does have moments which will make you tear up because it is an emotional read, but I spent far more time smiling along with this book than anything else. It’s about Rachel’s grief, but also about a bunch of other people’s grief. And it’s about growth and self-discovery, and friendship and so much more. I’m just sorry I let the prospect of some real emotions, like sadness, put me off reading this ARC.

I immediately liked Rachel. She is broken by the loss of a brother she was so close to and she is not coping with that loss. Returning back to a place when she will have continual reminders of her brother doesn’t seem like the best plan but it’s the only plan really. Then when she’s stuck working with her old best friend who she was in love with you can see how it was easy to like her. She has enough on her plate and didn’t want to revisit the past, especially not when it brings up memories of her brother. She slowly learns that remembering isn’t a bad thing, it’s bittersweet. Grieving and loss involve remembering, and Rachel gradually learns this and comes to turn with both her past and what her future holds.

Henry was a little different. I didn’t actually like him at first (any guy who can be in love with such a shallow girl and be blind to things around him comes across as a bit of a dick). He came across so self-centred, he just couldn’t see beyond the end of his nose, but that’s what made this book so satisfying to read. Rachel’s growth is in regards to grief and her own needs. Henry’s is in his attitudes and perceptions of those around him and what he holds as important. He discovers that his own aims were changed and in fact what he actually wants is far closer to home. He realises the importance of family and also about letting things go.

Sorry to be so vague about things, I don’t want to spoil this book because it’s not a fast-paced read but a slower journey of discovery and people and that you don’t know as much as you think about those you love and even when it comes to yourself. It’s about grief and family and the meaning of home. It’s lots of things and I adored it.

Have you read this, what did you think? What books have you been hesitant to read because it hit too close to the feels?
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