Inside cover blurb:
“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.”
For whatever reason (probably the blurb above because it seriously does this story no justice), I wasn’t expecting much from this book. And I definitely didn’t expect it to hit me over the head with a sledgehammer of delight.
Words in Deep Blue could so easily be about a dumb guy stringing the perfect girl along while he pines over the one who keeps dumping him. And in way, that’s kind of exactly what it is. But bear with me here, because that plotline is clearly not the highlight.
There is an overarching theme of love and loss that is just so powerful, I have no words. I am positively in love with the way Crowley writes about it, it’s so lush and poetic. This book made me want to give up all my life plans in an attempt to write something this good.
The feel is by far the real star of this book.
Plus: This book is poetry, man. And I wish there were an actual Letter Library somewhere near me.
Minus: I did have some issues with some of the characters. Henry is kind of a throwaway, pretty naive and frustrating to me. But hey, he is an 18 year old boy. I also felt like Amy probably had some deeper issues to sort out and we see none of that here. She comes across only as a villain, which is two-dimensional and unfortunate.
If you like this book, try:
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer*- Boy meets girl by writing to her through letters left at her mother’s grave…better than online dating? You decide.
*Disclaimer: Not sure if the writing style lives up to Words in Deep Blue, but I’m willing to give it a whirl.