Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley

Hi everybody, this week’s review post is a teen book. I selected this book and it’s cover for a number of reasons. Mostly because the font used evoked emotions within me that made me think this would be a modern classic… I guess I’ll need you to decide if I’m right or wrong…

dark blue cover with small blue bird flying across letters. letters seem to be cut out from pages of book which read Words in deep blue. Cath Crowley at bottom edge in orange letters.
An interesting teen read

Title: Words in deep blue: a love story

Author: Cath Crowley

Genre: Fiction – contemporary (Australia)

Publication details: Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd; 2016

ISBN: 9781742612386   (Paperback)

What this book is about: This is a love 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 away. 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.

My review: Despite the subtitle of ‘a love story’, I found this teen read quite interesting. Told from the viewpoints of Henry and Rachel it gives a slightly disjointed story but in reality I guess that’s what life is. Centred around Henry’s family’s bookshop, this unique love story takes us from heartbreak to an eventful closure. I enjoyed the inclusion of the text of letters that had been left inserted between the pages of books, and the discussion of literary works. The strands of both Henry’s sister and our main characters weave a fascinating pattern before unravelling to an ending that I never saw coming!! No wonder it has won awards!! This book, for me, is better suited for older teens as it deals with some serious themes.  

My rating: 4 ⭐

Additional notes: This title has won the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Young Adult Fiction, the Australian Independent Booksellers Indie Book Award for Book of the Year Young Adult, and the Queensland Literary Award for Griffiths University Young Adult Book in 2017. It has also gained nominations for several more!! 

Quotes I liked

“….I don’t believe that the future gives us signs. I think that we look back and read the past with the present in our eyes. I think that’s what you’re doing. Maybe you need to look forward, and start reading the future.”

in a letter from Henry to Rachel

“The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight-filled, deep blue, and the darkness.”

Rachel at the end

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