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.

Accidents Happen

‘Tis the season for excuses right now. Unfortunately, right when I thought things were dying down at work things started going crazy at home. This past week I have been largely incapacitated thanks to a failure to properly read labels. Here’s my issue: I can read books with the finest tooth comb, but when it comes to packaging labels my eyes glaze over and I hope for the best.

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!

NOT For the First Time

I don’t generally reread books. At least not in their entirety. When it comes to me re-reading something, it consists of me pulling the book from the shelf and reading my favorite sections(s) then quickly returning it to its designated spot. I don’t often sit down and take a book I’ve already completed for a second or third spin.

I’m not sure when I got to a point where I stopped re-reading things but I don’t remember a time where I was ever really interested in doing it in the first place. If I wanted to deep dive into the psychology of it, I could probably explain it away. Keep on reading!

Casino Royale Review

Fleming knows how to build characters and the world, but oh man is Bond a huge annoying fun-suck.

Oh,

Suddenly it’s all coming back to me why I never wrote very much on this blog and it’s because I’m absolute shit at writing reviews. Nevertheless, I’m gonna give it the old college try and then maybe one day it won’t be such a pain in the arse to write these.

Lets start with the basic, I read Casino Royale on a whim. It’s like one of the those things where you read the book because the author is well-known and when someone asks, you want to be able to say you’ve read it. For example, a million and ten years ago I read Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut because I wanted to say I’d read Vonnegut. But, I didn’t want to seem like one of those pretentious people who reads Slaughterhouse Five on a coffee shop patio to let everyone know they’re the kind of person who reads Slaughterhouse Five, so I read a lesser known work. Is it more pretentious that I thought so much about it?? Probably, but I’ll live with the knowledge that it was a couple years ago and I’ve grown since then.

Keep on reading!

Wow, it’s been a while

Oh,

I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. I’m pretty sure it was in 2016 for glories sake. To be fair, I did forget this blog existed for a while, but never fear I’m back and better than ever.

For some updates:

I’m still reading, but just not as much. And currently all but a precious few of my books are locked up in a plastic bin, until I stop moving around every few months. Unfortunately, my lifestyle doesn’t call for that at this moment in time, so it’s gonna be a hot minute before I see them again.

Now, since one of my last blog posts was my “2016 bookish resolutions” I figured I’d update you to keep you in the know.

Keep on reading!