Hardcover: 269 pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (6th June 2017)
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.
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This book, was quietly menacing - which should no make sense at all, but if you read it, you’ll totally get my oxymoronic claim. A book about bookshops?
TAKE MY MONEY. This type of book has to be, by far, my fav thing ever to read - but more than that, when it’s done right. Though having said that, I have yet to read a book about bookshops that destroyed that glorious theme, and I hope I never have the misfortune of reading such a tragedy. But it can so easily go wrong, if the author doesn't reallyyyyy feel the way they should about books and stories, and that can so easily come across in the characters and plots they build. Anyway, I digress, Words In The Deep Blue luckily did it right - and what we are left with here, is such a beautiful and poignant tale about love and loss, relationships, growth, and of course booooooks books BOOKS.
Told in a dual narrative between Rachel and Henry, two people who used to be friends, possibly something more. Rachel is unwillingly reunited with Henry when she moves back to the town after the death of her brother and in search of a job, lands at Howling Books, owned by Henry’s parents and Henry who works in the store. - Sidenote; dear Rachel - you landed the best job ever. EVER. What ensues between these two characters is rediscovery of their friendship and relationship, as they both tentatively go from frenemies to actual humans to friends. Henry; sweet, cute, caring, totally lost in the abyss of what he currently thinks he wants (a girlfriend that keeps dumping him). Rachel; lost in a sea of her own grief (pun intended) after losing her brother who drowned.
Two of my fav characters, aside from Rachel and Henry who were awesome in their own right, was Henry’s little sister, George, and Henry’s Dad. George - because she’s epic. Witty, sarcastic, funny, and her sub plot broke my heart a little, and if you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I mean. She reminds me so much of Louise, from Bob’s Burgers - which basically means George echoes one of the best cartoon characters, very close to my heart. Henry’s Dad - because it’s all stemmed from him - despite the financial troubles that’s threatening to tear down Howling Books, hid Dad just loves the bookshop too much and can’t bear to let it part. Everything that’s in this bookshop, from it’s eclectic mix of patrons, the Letter Library, the monthly bookclub; it’s all part of this glorious bookshop and makes my heart swell with happiness. Sidenote; uhm we need a Letter Library in every bookshop please, ASAP. I mean come on, people leave HANDWRITTEN letters in between the folds of books, for strangers to discover? EPIC MUCH?! Think Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares on steroids.
All the characters were fleshed out so well, so dimensional and vivid, individuals with their own personality and had nuggets to add to this gold-rush of a story. The prose was beautiful, so wonderfully written, so easy to read in one sitting. The love the characters had for books and reading; granted Rachel and Henry spoke a lot about classical books, which went straight over my head as I don’t read many classics, but just reading about them and reading about why they loved these books, why these were their favourites and just general bookish chatter had my heart soaring. Also. Other books about books which are a must read: The Shadow of the Wind (aka, my fav book EVER), Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.
Words In Deep Blue - beautiful book with beautiful characters that really is just one of those books that you settle down in a comfy chair, with a mug of hot chocolate, and read into the early hours of the morning, with a smile lingering on your lips with every page. Going back to how I opened my review, “it’s quietly menacing” - this book doesn’t scream drama or shout - it’s a softly spoken thing, with tonnes of character, growth and love. It’s menacing in the way it will settle in your heart. It’ll make you laugh and smile and have your heart aching. But in a nice way. Leaving behind for you one of my fav parts of the book.
"What?" she asks.
"Your head," I tell her, "is a very pleasing shape."
"Likewise," she says, and smiles.