Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue

by Cath Crowley

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Published: June 6th 2017
by Random House




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. 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. 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.


What’s the point in living on past the moment when those we have loved have left us? And how can we ever forgive ourselves for letting them go?

Words in Deep Blue is an emotion-packed, beautifully written, and deeply moving story about loss, the power of books, and finding closure.

The day before she moved, Rachel wrote a letter to her best friend Henry, confessing that she loved him. Three years later, Rachel’s younger brother drowns, so she moves back to her hometown in hopes of finding some closure. There she reconnects with Henry while the two of them work at the same bookstore.

Rachel is a well-written character who is easy to relate to and sympathize for. She’s intelligent and organized. She’s certainly not perfect – she’s so consumed by grief from the loss of her brother that she can act a bit cruel – but those flaws are what make her feel so realistic.

We cannot choose where and when we are born, by whom or how we are first loved, or with who we fall in love. And we cannot choose who is taken from us, or the way in which they are taken.

Rachel’s romance with Henry was slow-moving and realistic. Seeing Henry again causes Rachel’s crush on him to resurface, but Henry is still healing from a breakup with a girl he’s still very much in love with. As they spend more and more time together, their friendship gradually transforms into something more.

Above all, though, this is a testament to the power of books and words.

Words do matter. They’re not pointless. If they were pointless then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history and they wouldn’t be the things that you think about every night before you go to sleep.

Working in a bookstore has a huge influence on both Rachel and Henry, and it was wonderful seeing that words and books played such a large role in this book.

Words in Deep Blue is a great addition to the YA genre, and fans of contemporary stories are sure to enjoy its powerful and emotional message.


58 thoughts on “Words in Deep Blue

    1. It is definitely super amazing and emotional. 🙂 I hope you end up liking it as much as I did if you decide to read it!

  1. I’ve read a few of Cath Crowley’s books, and they were just as thoughtful and moving as this one sounds. Clearly I need to pick up Words in Deep Blue! Rachel sounds like a very realistic protagonist, and I’m intrigued by the bookstore angle. Contemporaries haven’t been on my radar that much lately, but the next time I’m in the mood for one I may check this out.

    1. Oh, you’ve reminded me I need to check out her other books now too! Haha, thanks for the reminder. 😉 I hope you like this one as much as her other books. It was phenomenal. Definitely give it a try when you get back in to a contemporary mood.

    1. If you’re a huge fan of contemporary books, this is going to be right up your alley. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

  2. I’m so excited to read this since I love this author’s debut SO MUCH but I’m worried that there’s going to be a fair amount of love triangle angst in this. Still, I’m glad you enjoyed this and your review has definitely made me a lot more excited to read this! Gorgeous review!!

    1. Thank you Keertana! There’s a little bit of love triangle angst, but it’s pretty much in the background for the most part. I’m curious to see what you think of it if you end up reading it. And oh! You’ve reminded me I need to pick up the author’s debut now too haha.

  3. OMG YES THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS EVER! I read it last year because it was published earlier in Australia and I was blown away by how well written and moving it was. Love the US cover so much too and thanks for sharing Zoe!

  4. Ahhh I LOVE this book (surprise) And I swear setting a book in a bookstore is like the best way to get a bookworm to fall in love with the story!! Henry and Rachel are the BEST and I seriously can’t love them enough. This makes me want to reread it so bad!!

  5. Fabulous review for a book which has been on my TBR for a while. It sounds like my kind of book and I’m glad to hear it’s not rushed and it’s beautifully written. As readers it’s not like we need to be told about the power of books and words but I always appreciate seeing that fact in books so I will look forward to seeing that in this one.

  6. Yay, I’m so glad you liked this Zoe! <3 I was also really touched by the importance of words that the book focuses on and the exploration of grief and closure. (All the feels!) the only thing I was disappointed with was Henry and that romantic progression. He was sooo slow at seeing what was in front of him! Awesome review. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Aila! I am so glad to see you enjoyed this as much as I did. 🙂 And I agree…Henry was such a typical teenage guy in that regard. 😉

    1. Thank you so much Hannah! <3 It's always so cool to read books about books and bookstores, isn't it? xD I'm glad you enjoyed this too. 🙂

  7. Wonderful review, Zoe! I love books about books and bookstores, and I’m glad they played such a prominent role in the story. It’s nice that both the characters and the romance are realistic, and that this ended up being such an emotional read 🙂

    1. It’s always so cool to read books about books and bookstores, isn’t it? xD I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did if you end up reading it Sophie. 🙂

  8. Awesome review! I hope that I enjoy this one too. It sounds like it’s going to be a winner, and I’ve had it on the shelves for a bit more than a month. I’m excited to delve into this one! Thanks for sharing those lovely quotes. 🙂

  9. Oh boy, I have an ARC of this guy sitting around. I’ve had it for months because I saw that Jennifer Niven blurbed it and I am quite the fan of some Niven. After I read the synopsis though, I’ve been putting it off like crazy because the theme of grief and loss that runs through it. I lost a family member to a tragic death a couple years ago, and I’m a little afraid of reading this because I don’t want it to throw me back into the dark place I was in after that happened. When I find the resolve to puff out my feathers, I think I’m going to pick this one up because it sounds like something I can relate to a lot, and those quotes already have me sold.
    Lovely review, Zoe.

  10. I don’t think there is enough book love in YA books! I actually read more books where characters say they don’t like reading than books about characters who love reading. Books are so important and powerful, and I love the idea of a story that really explores this. It does sound like this book deals with some heavy topics, but there is definitely a place for those in the YA world. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book in general so I think I should probably pick it up one day! Lovely review <3

  11. This story sounds so great! There are a lot of themes to it that I would love to see pulled off well. Currently looking for another contemporary where the characters don’t immediately become romantically involved, (who am I kidding, I’m always looking for that), and this seems like it’s worth a shot. I also like the idea of a major part of the setting being a bookstore 😀 great post!

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