Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley Book Review

My Rating = (4.7)

Goodreads blurb

“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 and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.”

I got sent a copy of this book though Netgalley – which I recently have become a member of – so I want to say thank you to the publisher for sending this to me.

I loved this book so so much; I nearly gave it 5 stars but I don’t know what or why but something made be not and so instead I gave it 4.7 stars. I loved the setting of the book – as it is set in a bookstore that Henry’s family owns and is a book about how he rekindles his friendship with his long lost best friend Rachel, who moved away three years ago. It really reminded me of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – but a YA version of it – and I am not saying that as a negative comment as I loved that book too. That being said this book was so unique, as it tells you more than just one story. You get to read the main plot, which is explained on the blurb, but then you also get to read the stories that are between the lines of the books in the Letter Library. The Letter Library is a section of books – in the bookstore – that you are not able to buy. In this section of the bookstore, customers can read the books and then can circle words or sentences that they like on certain pages in certain books. As well as this, they can write notes in the margins and can leave letters for others who are yet to read the books.

I also liked how there were so many different books mentioned in this book – but I mean it was set in a bookstore so you would hope that the author would include some book titles in the book. The only criticism I have about the books that were mentioned, is that the books were all classic or older books, bar two John Green books which were mentioned, and this made me a bit disheartened as I would have liked there to be more mentions of children’s, YA and other more modern books in there. However this is just a small thing I would have liked in the book.

I went into this book thinking it would be a cute, fluffy contemporary. However, as I read more and more of the book I realised how wrong I was. This book was so powerful and moving; I couldn’t put it down.

We see Rachel as she struggles to come to terms with her brother Cal’s death, while trying to rekindle her friendships with her childhood friends. I think that this shone light on the very powerful message – that those who love and know us the most will always be there for us know matter what has happened in the past or the distance we have had between each other. This book has such a powerful message about how you should never judge someone, as you never know what they’re going through and how they are really feeling.

I am not going to say much more about this book – as it would ruin the story as I think that this books is a book you need to go into not knowing much about it; this is what I did.

Spoiler zone


I loved the idea of the Letter Library and how we got to see little conversations and interactions between the different characters and couples in the book. I also love how we got to read strangers thoughts and conversations on certain passages in the books that were in the Letter Library; I thought this was a really clever thing to incorporate into the book. This is quite similar to the idea behind the book S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst, which I haven’t read yet but from what I have heard does a similar thing but instead for the whole book.

I love the way we got to read the conversations between the parents – as it made you hope that they would get back together although they didn’t in the end. I also loved the letter from Frederick to Rachel at the end, and how we got the the sub-plot of him trying to find the copy of the book that he lost. In the letter, he says that when his wife died he said that he had ‘lost’ his wife, and that he came to hate the expression. I thought that this was really accurate – as when someone dies they aren’t ‘lost’ like a set of house keys or a phone, yet it is a term we use so much when someone we love dies as a way to go round the words – they have died.

I really felt that although we never met Cal as a character, we still got to know him really well and that it was like he was still alive. I loved how Cal was George’s letter sender, and shone a new light on grief as George never got to love him the way she wanted to and because she got really excited when she realised who the sender was.

I thought that this would be just about the love story of Rachel and Henry; however it’s also so much more than that. We see the love story and relationship between two secret lovers – that in the end we find out our George and Cal – who write each other love letters in the Letter Library, we get to have an insight about that the relationship of Henry’s parents who are in the stages of getting a divorce and the relationship between Rachel and Henry that blossoms over time.


So that’s my thoughts and opinions on Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley, don’t forget to like and comment this post if you have any questions.

Thank you again Netgalley for sending me this book.

If you haven’t read this book already go and read it if you like contemporaries that are gripping and very emotional and impactful. But if you have read it – please comment your thoughts and opinions in the comments telling me your favourite moments in the book and what you thought of it as a whole. Thank you for reading my book review – and I will see you again in the next wonderful world I visit. Until then I would appreciate it if you went checked out my other posts and followed my blog.

I hope you are having a lovely day!


Lost in Words


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