Simple Yet Emotional: Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Simple Yet Emotional: Words In Deep Blue by Cath CrowleyWords in Deep Blue
by Cath Crowley
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
Pages: 288
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Source: Audiobook Received for Review

Love lives between the lines.

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, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

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.

Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I was really excited when I first heard about this book last Summer because Graffiti Moon is one of my favorite YA books. Unfortunately, the US release date wasn’t until another whole year and I was never approved for a review copy and I kind of just… forgot all about this book. Luckily, I was able to get an audiobook copy of the book and when it came time to pick a book from my new audiobook batch, Words In Deep Blue was my first choice. In a way, my my expectations were a bit on the higher side, or maybe the extra long wait had something to do with it, but while I really liked the story… I wasn’t completely sold on the romance part of the book, or at least on the execution.

Like I said, I really loved the story. It was one of those simple yet quietly emotional books that I happen to love. The kind that don’t need extra drama or unnecessary plot twist for shock value. The romance could have been better in my opinion, or at least the timeline or pace of it. Most of my problem with it was that Henry spends about 80% of the book (probably more) hung up on his ex Amy to even realize that he has feelings for Rachel. Amy treats him like shit and uses him when it’s convenient to her and it’s clears he only wants him because she doesn’t want him to be with Rachel, yet Henry sure takes his time realizing it. He spends most of the book pining over Amy and waiting for any leftover scraps of attention she gives him. By the time he realizes that Amy has been playing him and that he has feelings for Rachel, it kind of felt like a case of too little too late since the book was almost over. Another thing that bothered me was that it was a little bit hard to believe that nobody knew that Rachel’s brother had died. I know he didn’t have a Facebook but I’m sure other family members did and news like that travels fast along social media.

Despite me not loving the romance, the rest of the book made of for it. I loved how it was simply a contemporary romance without tricking to tick off as many diverse boxes from author’s/publishers checklists simply for the sake of it. I loved the concept of the letters and the setting of the library and the Letter Library and Rachel and Henry were great characters, even if he had his head up his ass most of the book. I loved Henry’s family and how flawed yet realistic they were and I just loved the Aussie setting of the book. While the wait (for me) for this book was a really long one, I’m glad I finally read it and glad it ended up being a good one.

Audiobook Sample:

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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...
  • Rummanah Aasi

    Henry got on my nerves. It took him forever to realize that Rachel was for him. I also thought that since Rachel and Henry were BFFs then that gave the author a chance to not highlight their romance. I found that part of the story also lacking.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one that felt the same. I was annoyed when Henry finally realized he loved Rachel and there was so little left of the book…

  • I had big issues with Henry and Amy, ugh. Like you, I felt the rest of the story was strong enough to overlook this irritating part. I wanted to live in that bookstore.

  • I have heard so many good things about this one!! I didn’t realize it was so short so maybe I will listen to it now. Great review!

  • I’m so happy you enjoyed this one Nereyda! Omg, I totally agree about Henry’s pining and whining though (he’s the reason why I gave the book 3 stars instead of 4 tbh. he just grated me so dang much.) But the topic of grief was really well-done, and I enjoyed the small little indie bookstore as well. I’ll have to pick up Graffiti Moon by this author! Awesome review.

    – Aila @ One Way Or An Author

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one annoyed by Henry, that was a bit of a bummer tbh. Graffiti Moon was so good!

  • I read Cath Crowley’s A Little Wanting Song waaay back in the day, long before I started blogging, and absolutely loved it. Clearly I need to try some of her more recent stuff too, because this sounds very cool! Love the idea of the letter library.

    • Oh wow, I haven’t even heard of that one, I thought she only had Graffiti Moon out. Gotta look it up now.

  • Ugh, I know how you feel about being excited about this book and then forgetting about it as the release date is forever away. At least it’s out now for you, in the UK we have to wait until 2018! That’s a long wait but I will do it. I am so excited for this book and your review makes me excited. Sure, there are flaws to it, but it still sound pretty brilliant. Now… is it April 2018 yet?