Words in Deep Blue Review

Words in Deep Blue fails in the romance department, but managed to keep me reading through to the emotional end.

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Words in Deep Blue was originally published in Australia in 2016. It was re-released and published to the US in June 2017.

Rachel and Henry were the best of friends until Rachel is forced to move away. The night before she moves, Rachel tucks a letter declaring her love for Henry and places it in the Letter Library, a special section in the bookstore Henry’s family owns. However, Henry never mentions the letter or its contents to Rachel leading to the slow dissolution of their friendship. Jump forward several years and Rachel is moving back to town to get away from the loss of brother, Cal, who drowned several months before. At the behest of her worried family, Rachel ends up taking a job at Henry’s family bookstore. The two end up working side by side, in awkward and mostly tense exchanges towards the possibility of second chances.

Despite this being a YA contemporary romance, I didn’t care for the romance in this book. I liked the book enough to give it 3 stars, but it wasn’t because of the relationship between Rachel and Henry. It just didn’t feel real on both sides. Rachel was in love with Henry for years, but she managed to move on. She dated someone else, she loved that individual, she moved on from Henry. So, its hard for me to believe it was so easy to fall back into love with Henry.

On the flip side, Henry never really loved Rachel beyond that of a best friend. Throughout 90 percent of the book, Henry is devastatingly in love with Amy and has been for years. Despite her poor treatment of him, he always welcomes her back with open arms. In fact, at one point literally right after kissing Rachel, Amy waltz’s into his life and suddenly Henry’s like, “Rachel who?” As a side note, Henry is also just an annoying character, he irritates me beyond belief. When switching to his perspective, its supposed to make me feel for him, but I was just more vexed.

So, with these things in mind, there sudden, magical pairing was hard to swallow at the end of the book. I think the author, Cath Crowley, was trying to accomplish too much in too little space; if she had extended the book and spent more time on the pair, there get-together would have been more believable. It seemed that Crowley, depended heavily on the past interactions of the two, something the reader never sees, so it didn’t help the believability of a romantic relationship. I could have believed a return to best friendship, but not romance.

The reason I rated this book as high as I did, was because of the grief Rachel experiences in this book. Or more realistically, the way grief is experienced by a few characters in the story. Oftentimes when I read about grief or loss I can tell if the author has actually experienced it; sometimes they get really flowery in the description of what its like to lose someone you are close to and it feels fake. This isn’t to say that some people can’t feel that way about death, but that isn’t how I experienced it. So, when I read books that describe grief in that way, I struggle to connect.

I would advise, that for people who haven’t experienced loss the way Rachel has that it may be hard to connect with her decisions particularly in the beginning. Why she chooses to stay silent about her suffering may seem ridiculous, but I promise it makes sense.

Another positive for me, was I loved the parallel storyline that occurred in the Letter Library with Henry’s sister, George. Though I didn’t like her character as I found she had the same irritating qualities as her older brother, the letter exchanges showed the best part of her character. Though it made her seem less obnoxious, it didn’t totally redeem her. Nevertheless, I liked reading the letters between George and her mysterious admirer.

Overall, I would recommend this book to read. Would I reread it? No, but I don’t regret reading it in the first place. I rated it 3/5 stars.

The Scandal of it All Review

I’m a sucker for these kinds of mass paperbacks, but this one let me down a little bit. To be fair The Scandal of it All is the second book in The Rogue Files by Sophie Jordan, but I didn’t realize that until I had already purchased it and cracked it open at home. However, based on the reviews I’ve read from others, it would seem that reading the other novel before The Scandal of it All would have only let me down more.

Click to keep reading!

Oops…Sorry.

Hello,

If you haven’t noticed I have been inactive for the past two weeks and for that I am super sorry. Unfortunately, I’ve been ridiculously busy at work and at home. I was in the process of moving (now I’m in the process of unpacking), and the past two weeks have been one of the two most hectic times of the year for my job. Thankfully, things are starting to die down and return to some kind of normalcy at work, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to posting regularly.

Another negative though of the hectic-ness of life is that besides not being able to write or post, I also have had zero time to read or watch anything. These days I get home and fall immediately into bed, so I wouldn’t be expecting longer posts for the next week or so.

Nevertheless, I’m feeling upbeat and am excited to jump back on the wagon of reading regularly! So, please don’t lose faith in me. I’m not planning on disappearing for two years again, I swear!

That Thing We Call A Heart Review

Overall, a fairly weak story, with unlikeable characters and a shoddy romance. On a positive side, presented an often unseen picture of devout Muslims, who break “from the norm.” 3 out of 5 stars.

To preface my review, I’d never heard of this book or any reviews prior to reading the story so I was going in very blind. I saw it on the new books shelf in the YA section, picked it up and brought it home. I don’t have a long winding prologue for this review, this is all I could muster today, so I’m going to jump into the book review.

That Thing We Call a Heart is by Sheba Karim and was published May of this year. The novel follows Shabnam Qureshi during her last summer at home before college. She is at odds with her best friend, Farah, after Farah decided to wear the Muslim headscarf without consulting Shabnam. With a bleak summer ahead of her because of this estrangement, Shabnam is not excited for the season, until she meets Jamie. After he gets Shabnam a job at his Aunt Marianne’s pie shack, Shabnam beings to fall in love with Jamie, likening their relationship to the rose and the nightingale from classic Urdu poetry. As the summer progresses, begins to reconnect with Farah, but she mistrusts Jamie, which increases tension.

Keep on reading!

The Crystal Ribbon Review

The Crystal Ribbon featured a strong, female lead who goes on a journey to find herself and return home. Some of the subject material may be too mature for a middle grade audience despite being rated to them. 4/5 stars. 

This book is one where I fell prey to a beautiful spine and then the gorgeous cover immediately after plucking it from the shelves. I am glad I picked it up as it expanded several horizons I didn’t even know existed.

The Crystal Ribbon takes place in medieval China and follows the story of 11-year-old Jing. She has a difficult life, in her small village of Huanan, where she is picked on by the local children for the similarity her name shares with the towns deity, the Great Huli Jing. Because her family is incredibly poor, when a wealthy family offers to buy her to be the daughter-in-law/nursemaid to their young son, her family jumps at the opportunity. Jing is against this marriage, but her cruel aunt forces her to do it anyway and her father fails to stand against his sister. Jing is sent to live with the new family where she is treated even worse than before. Despite this, Jing promises to return home and the story follows her journey to finding herself and her way back to Huanan.

Keep on reading!

Why I advocate reading diversely

Reading a diverse array of books is important and heres why.

This past year it came to my attention how little diversity I had in the books I was picking out to read. This came to my attention via two ways. The first probably being the most unsurprising place possible: Tumblr and the second through a book tag on YouTube meant for fun. I was catching up on my book tube subscriptions and I came across the lovely Londoner, Lauren (Reads and Daydreams) doing the Diversity Tag and I thought to myself, “hmm, I bet I’ll nail this one” and oh man was it sad. I had almost no books on my shelves that were from an author that existed outside North America. The only exceptions were a few authors from the UK and one from Australia. It was really disappointed and I was even more bothered by the fact that 98% of the books I owned were authored by white men and women.

Keep on reading!

“And I Darken” Review

3 out of 5 stars for Kiersten White’s alternative historical novel; here’s why

I will say this about Kiersten White’s novel, And I Darken, it has a beautiful cover. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a hypocritical reader. I often tout the age-old adage “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” yet here I am, a judger of covers. There were two main reasons I picked up this stunning hardback, the first because it was making its rounds on booktube and the YA reading blog-o’sphere and the second, I love a book with a gorgeous cover.

As mentioned countless times already it seems, I’m a flawed human. I love a book with a nice cover, and the best covers are the books that tend to break my heart. I am so torn over this book. Its like I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I am also invested enough that I want to read the sequel. Ultimately, I ended up giving the book three stars on Goodreads because I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it, so 3 felt like a solid middle ground.

Keep on reading!