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“Second hand books are full of memories”
I know people often talk about the feeling that lingers after you finish reading a great book. When the words from that book are still wrapped around you, lingering. I don’t often feel like that. But, finishing Words in Deep Blue made me feel that and more.
“This is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.” – summary from Goodreads
This book is poignant; it becomes a part of you. You see yourself reflected within this book, the characters that hold books so dear to their hearts, the stories hidden between the pages of the bookshop. If you are someone who loves books, this book will speak to you.
Especially as someone who has lost a family member, I completely understood how Rachel felt, the emptiness, the feeling that you couldn’t possibly be allowed to be happy because it would be wrong. That your brain likes to trick you into forgetting for just a moment that you’ll never hear their voice again, but in an instant it all comes crashing back. It’s a horrible feeling, but Cath captures it. She does the grief justice; she gives you the raw experience. Which I think is very important, especially during Henry and Rachel’s exchange about her depression.
Words in Deep Blue embodies the love for books that readers feel to perfection. It intertwined the stories of many without feeling crowded. Especially considering it was told from the perspectives of Henry and Rachel in alternating chapters, sometimes this can go horrible wrong with one character’s perspective being incredibly dull, and whilst Henry could be frustrating at times they were both equally entertaining giving insights from both perspectives on certain events.
I loved Rachel, but I suppose a lot of that had to do with how much I recognised myself within her, how I knew exactly what she was going through. Henry was such an idiot at times; completely oblivious to what was right in front of him and pining over the most annoying character, I just wanted to throttle him. I hated Amy with a vengeance; people like her make my blood boil. I just wanted someone to slap her, or for something bad to happen that would just shake her up a little.
I adore the idea of the letter library. However, I have never written in a book before. I feel like I can’t bring myself to do it, even though Cath stated that’s what she wanted on the front page. Maybe one day I’ll go back and underline a few lines that really stuck true.
I adored the letter excerpts scattered between chapters. Even though this is meant to be the ‘love story’ between Rachel and Henry’s friendship, I think the true love story was the underlying one told through the letters of George and her secret admirer. That was the story that truly took my breath away and caused my heart to ache. The ending of this book literally made me cry.
Thank you The YA Chronicles! I never would have known about this book if it wasn’t in their box and I’m so glad that hundreds of people like myself were able to discover the joy, sadness and wonder this book has to offer.
Words in Deep Blue is fantastic, easily relatable for any lover of books. I implore people to go out and get their hands on it!