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!

Legend of the Blue Sea Review

Altogether, I loved Legend of the Blue Sea. The characters were well established and the chemistry between the leads both as their Dynasty and Modern characters was palpable; the pair were well-casted. There were some weak spots, but not enough to damage the story for me. I would rate it 4.8/5 stars. 

 

“Everything is repeating.”

Legend of the Blue Sea has two parallel storylines, one set during the Joseon Era and the other in the modern world. A major theme of the show is history repeating itself and the desperate attempt to keep this from happening. In the Era timeline, the newly appointed townhead, Dam Ryeong, releases a mermaid who was captured by the local innkeeper back into the ocean. Before the mermaid, Se-hwa, swims away, she turns around and reaches her hand to Dam Ryeong, “which he briefly holds.” This connection sets off their intertwined destiny for both storylines.

In the present world, Joon-Jae is a conman, who works with Nam-Doo and Tae-oh. After completing a large con, the three separate on vacation, where Joon-Jae heads to a seaside resort. It is here, where mermaid, Shim-Cheong, is caught up in a tidal wave and washed ashore, and breaks into Joon-Jae’s hotel room. Despite Joon-Jae’s attempt to get rid of Cheong, she refuses to leave his side.

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!

“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!

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!