Words In Deep Blue by Cath CrowleyWords In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words In Deep Blue

byCath Crowley

Hardcover | June 6, 2017

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“One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. . . . I didn’t just read the pages, I lived in them.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
 
A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope—and letters hidden between the pages.
 
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
 
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
 
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
CATH CROWLEY is an award-winning author of young adult novels, including Graffiti Moon and A Little Wanting Song. She lives, writes, and teaches creative writing in Melbourne, Australia. Visit her online at CathCrowley.com.au or find her on Twitter at @CathCrowley
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Title:Words In Deep BlueFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.56 × 5.88 × 1 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1101937645

ISBN - 13:9781101937648

Customer Reviews of Words In Deep Blue

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from great Saying I have mixed feelings on this seems like an understatement. I loved the concept, this truly is a bibliophile's paradise with all the references to other well known books and the second hand bookstore setting. It brilliant conveys the emotions of the characters however I found the characters themselves to be rather uninspired. I definitely have mixed emotions regarding the writing style. It was good in some ways but for the most part I found it scattered and confusing to follow. I feel like the author was trying to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time which lead to that lack of clarity. That being said, I did enjoy it enough to give it a 3 stars. Side note: this cover is so aesthetically pleasing
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic Wonderfully written, it was a pleasure to read. Wish there were more books like these. I love these types of books, they are so full of life. What a sweet little story, I would recommend this to all my friends. I really enjoyed reading this book. What an inspiring book, kudos to the author.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SWOON Get this: so a boy and his family own a bookstore, and in it, they have this little section called the Letter Library, where people leave notes to one another stuck between the pages of special books. *makes an exaggerated swoon expression* It’s so freakin’ romantic. Like does such a thing exist in real life? Because I want to go to there. Anyhoo – years ago, this girl (Rachel) left a note to that boy (Henry) in a book she knew he’d pick up, confessing her love for him before she moved away. That note asked him to call her, but guess what, he never did. (The why includes a jealous girlfriend.) Fast forward to the present — the pair who were once bffs now haven’t spoken in years, both feeling burned by the other for an epic miscommunication. But Rachel is on her way back to town to live with her aunt after her brother tragically drowned, leaving Rachel in a deep depression. Guess where she gets a job. Now the two have to find their way back to each other. Cath Crowley did a wonderful job with this story – her writing that alternates between Henry and Rachel is beautifully poetic, really painting out the sadness and potentials for her characters in a gorgeous light. My only complaint is that the book is pretty slim – this was the kind of book I didn’t want to end. I felt so much for Rachel, and rooted for Henry – as well as Henry’s sister George and the other bookstore employee who likes her, Martin. I enjoyed their company. George has her own heartbreaking story that is just as much a part of the book as Rachel and Henry’s. I’m seriously sad I’m done reading it for the first time, and plan to re-read it sometime.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes quite insightful and overall enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it a lot! Not as good as Graffiti Moon, which I love, but still very enjoyable, especially if you love books!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Crowley's Writing Is Just Not For Me! Words in Deep Blue was supposed to be a literal masterpiece. I mean, I always expected it to be. I wanted it to be WAAAAAY better than Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon, which was a literal TERRIBLE piece of literature. However, this fell somewhere in the middle of my expectations. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't the best read of my life. I felt the poeticness in the writing, the fact that it was written about deep, dark topics like grief and heartbreak, but it lacked something. Crowley is a talented writer, however, I cannot understand the craze behind how her writing is so addicting yet beautiful. I recommend this for lovers of lyrical books, perhaps those written in prose. I really wish that IT COULD HAVE BEEN GOOD - because it looked so GOOD and the cover is gorgeous. This was a good story with a good storyline. I just wish that it turned out to be more action-packed, more contemporary. It felt like I was watching a black-and-white movie for a long time, with some burst of colour in between (during the moments that had a strong romance). This can definitely be classified as a contemporary-romance story, don't get me wrong, but I just felt that the author was trying to get too philosophical with the story sometimes, that it just got annoying and tiring. I read this a while ago, however, I felt that it was PRETTY MEMORABLE. This is a book in an Australian setting about a girl named Rachel, who moved away from her small town, leaving behind her crush and best friend, Henry Jones. Years later, Henry's girlfriend breaks up with him, and Rachel is back in town, with a new secret that she forbids herself to tell. And of course, with contemporary books' predictability, you can guess that a romance bloomed. The romance was cute - I appreciated all of the giddy moments and cute stuff. This book had a cute vibe to it and it was definitely pleasing. It's just that I constantly found myself bored out of my mind. Maybe I needed a heart-racing thriller instead? If you enjoyed Cath Crowley's other books and if you're willing to give a cute, deep romance a try, then go for this. But seriously - beware of the boredom that is involved! *A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It More Than I Thought I Would I went into this looking for a quick read and not really expecting to become overly invested in this particular story. But. I was so surprised at how quickly I fell in love with the characters and how emotional this book made me feel! This one is actually one that will stick with me and I am so glad I read it.
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Beautifully written, couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So beautiful This was such a beautiful book to read! I absolutely loved the world-building and the characters this author created. The quality of her writing made me love every single words of this beautiful beautilful book. This is a book about love, friendship, family, loss but also about books. I finished reading this book with tearful but joyful eyes.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good book... I was so addicted to reading this book that I finished it at 2:00am. It's about a boy named Henry, whose family owns a bookshop. His old friend moves back to town, Rachel, and begins to work at the bookshop with him. The book provokes tears in some parts, and all in all is just a great and fast read.
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fate and the Bookstore Henry belongs to a family that, by his own admission, is totally shit at love. And that's been fine, so far, despite his parents' divorce. They still have their family bookstore in their small Australian town, and Henry's been dating the good-looking and popular Amy for a couple of years and their just about to travel the world together. The problem is, Amy is just a little bit in love with someone else and his parents are considering selling the shop. To complicate things, his childhood friend Rachel moves back to town, and she was more than a little bit in love with Henry before she left. Now, she feels nothing since her brother died. This is a book completely ruled by serendipity, from the way the bookshop came into the family to the "letter library" that they operate where people can leave notes to other people in the pages and margins. Despite being firmly grounded in a contemporary setting, everything feels dictated by fate, because despite Henry's being shit at love (and that dictates the majority of the complicating factors that drive the plot along, really) things work out. What keeps you reading despite knowing how the book will end (fate, remember?) is Cath Crowley's truly charming writing. She does a surprisingly good job of making you care about all her characters, even the one's you never meet like Rachel's brother, Cal. The story itself is told in alternating view-points, with Rachel starting the story with the letter she left for Henry confessing her love for him before she moves away and her life afterwards, and Henry breaking up with Amy two years later. Ostensibly, the protagonists are both Rachel and Henry, but it feels really more like Henry's story at the end of the day.
Date published: 2017-05-24

Read from the Book

Rachel  I open my eyes at midnight to the sound of the ocean and my brother’s breathing. It’s been ten months since Cal drowned, but the dreams still escape. I’m confident in the dreams, liquid with the sea. I’m breathing underwater, eyes open and unstung by salt. I see fish, a school of silver--bellied moons thrumming beneath me. Cal appears, ready to identify, but these aren’t fish we know. “Mackerel,” he says, his words escaping in bubbles that I can hear. But the fish aren’t mackerel. Not bream, not any of the names we offer. They’re pure silver. “An unidentified species,” we say as we watch them fold and unfold around us. The water has the texture of sadness: salt and heat and memory. Cal is in the room when I wake. He’s milky--skinned in the darkness, dripping of ocean. Impossible, but so real I smell salt and apple gum. So real I see the scar on his right foot—-a long--healed cut from glass on the beach. He’s talking about the dream fish: pure silver, unidentified, and gone. The room is dark except for the moonlight. I feel through the air for the dream, but instead I touch the ears of Cal’s Labrador, Woof. He follows me everywhere since the funeral, a long line of black I can’t shake. Usually, he sleeps on the end of my bed or in the doorway of my room, but for the last two nights he’s slept in front of my packed suitcases. I can’t take him with me. “You’re an ocean dog.” I run my finger along his nose. “You’d go mad in the city.” There’s no sleeping after dreams of Cal, so I pull on clothes and climb out the window. The moon is three--quarters empty. The air is as hot as day. I mowed late yesterday, so I collect warm blades of grass on the soles of my feet as I move. Woof and I get to the beach quickly. There’s almost nothing between our house and the water. There’s the road, a small stretch of scrub, and then dunes. The night is all tangle and smell. Salt and tree; smoke from a fire far up the beach. It’s all memory, too. Summer swimming and night walks, hunts for fig shells and blennies and starfish. Farther, toward the lighthouse, there’s the spot where the beaked whale washed ashore: a giant at six meters, the right side of its face pressed against sand, its one visible eye open. There was a crowd of people around it later—-scientists and locals studying and staring. But first there was Mum and Cal and me in the early cold. I was nine years old, and with its long beak it looked to me like it was half sea creature, half bird. I wanted to study the deep water it had come from, the things it might have seen. Cal and I spent the day looking through Mum’s books and on the internet. The beaked whale is considered one of the least understood creatures of the sea, I copied into my journal. They live at depths so deep that the pressure could kill. I don’t believe in ghosts or past lives or time travel or any of the strange things that Cal liked to read about. But every time I stand on the beach, I wish us back—-to the day of the whale, to any day before Cal died. With what I know, I’d be ready. I’d save him. It’s late, but there’ll be people from school out, so I walk farther up to a quiet spot. I dig myself into the dunes, burying my legs past my hips, and stare at the water. It’s shot with moon, silver leaking all over the surface. I’ve tried and tried to stop thinking about the day Cal drowned, but I can’t. I hear his words. I hear his footsteps through the sand. I see him diving: a long, frail arc that disappears into sea.   I’m not sure how long I’ve been here when I see Mum walking over the dunes, her feet struggling to find traction. She sits on one side of me and lights a cigarette, cupping it from the night. She started smoking again after Cal died. I found her and Dad hiding behind the church after the funeral. “Don’t say it, Rach,” she said, and I stood between them and held their free hands, wishing Cal had been there to see the strangeness of our parents smoking. Dad’s a doctor; he’s been working with Doctors Without Borders since the divorce ten years ago. Mum’s a science teacher at the high school in Sea Ridge. They’ve called cigarettes “death sticks” all our lives. We watch the water without talking for a while. I don’t know how Mum feels about the ocean now. She doesn’t go in anymore, but we meet at the edge every night. She taught Cal and me how to swim, how to cup water, how to push it back and control its flow. She told us not to be afraid. “Don’t ever swim alone, though,” she said, and apart from that one time, we didn’t. “So, you’re packed?” Mum asks, and I nod. Tomorrow I leave Sea Ridge for Gracetown, a suburb of Melbourne, the city where my aunt Rose lives. I’ve failed Year 12, and since I don’t plan to try again next year, Rose has gotten me a job in the café at St. Albert’s Hospital, where she’s a doctor. Cal and I grew up in Gracetown. We moved to Sea Ridge three years ago, when I was fifteen. Gran needed help, and we didn’t want her to sell the house or go into a home. We’d stayed with her every holiday, summer and winter, since we were born, so Sea Ridge was like our second home. “Year 12 isn’t everything,” Mum says. Maybe it’s not, but before Cal died, I had my life planned. I got A’s, I was happy. I sat on this exact spot last year and told Cal I wanted to be an ichthyologist, studying fish like the Chimaera, which evolved 400 million years ago. We both tried to imagine a world that went that far back. “I feel like the universe cheated Cal and cheated us along with him,” I say now. Before Cal died, Mum would have explained calmly and logically that the universe was all existing matter and space—-10 billion light--years in diameter, consisting of galaxies and the solar system, stars, and the planets. All of which simply do not have the capacity to cheat a person of anything. Tonight she lights another cigarette. “It did,” she says, and blows smoke at the stars.   Henry  I’m lying next to Amy in the self--help section of Howling Books. We’re alone. It’s ten on Thursday night and I’ll be honest: I’m currently mismanaging a hard--on. The mismanagement isn’t entirely my fault. My body’s working on muscle memory. Usually, this is the time and place that Amy and I kiss. This is the time our hearts breathe hard and she lies next to me, warm--skinned and funny, making jokes about the state of my hair. It’s the time we talk about the future, which was, if you’d asked me fifteen minutes ago, completely bought and paid for. “I want to break up,” she says, and at first I think she’s joking. Less than twelve hours ago, we were kissing in this exact spot. We were doing quite a few other very nice things too, I think, as she elbows me. “Henry?” she says. “Say something.” “Say what?” I ask. “I don’t know. Whatever you’re thinking.” “I’m thinking this is entirely unexpected and a little bit shit.” I struggle into an upright position. “We bought plane tickets. Nonrefundable, nonexchangeable plane tickets for the twelfth of March.” “I know, Henry,” she says. “We leave in ten weeks.” “Calm down,” she says, as though I’m the one who’s sounding unreasonable. Maybe I am sounding unreasonable, but that’s because I spent the last dollar of my savings buying a six--stop--around--the--world ticket. Singapore, Berlin, Rome, London, Helsinki, New York. “We bought travel insurance and got our passports. We bought travel guides and those little blow pillows for the plane.” She bites the right side of her lip, and I try very hard, unsuccessfully, not to think about kissing her. “You said you loved me.” “I do love you,” Amy says, and then she starts italicizing love into all its depressing definitions. “I just don’t think I’m in love with you. I tried, though. I tried really hard.” These must be the most depressing words in the history of love. I tried really hard to love you. I’m not certain of a lot of things, but I’m certain of this—-when I’m old and I have dementia, when my brain has aged to smoke, these are words I will remember. I should ask her to leave. I should say, “You know what? I don’t want to see the homelands of William Shakespeare and Mary Shelley and Friedrich Nietzsche and Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson and Karen Russell with a girl who’s trying very hard to love me.” I should say, “If you don’t love me, then I don’t love you.” But fuck it I do love her and I would like to see those homelands with her and I’m an optimist without a whole lot of dignity, so what I say is “If you change your mind, you know where I live.” In my defense she’s crying and we’ve been friends since Year 9 and in my book that counts for a lot. There’s no other way for her to leave but to climb over me, because the self--help section is in a small room at the back of the shop that most people think is a closet, but it’s just big enough for two people to lie side by side with no space to spare. We do this weird fumbling dance as she gets up, a soft un-tangling wrestle. We kiss before she goes. It’s a long kiss, a good kiss, and while it’s happening I let myself hope that maybe, just maybe, it’s so great that it’s changed her mind. But after it’s done, she stands and straightens her skirt and gives me a small, sad wave. And then she leaves me here, lying on the floor of the self--help section—-a dead man. One with a non-refundable, nonexchangeable ticket to the world.   Eventually I crawl out of the self--help section and make my way to the fiction couch: the long blue velvet daybed that sits in front of the classics shelves. I rarely sleep upstairs anymore. I like the rustle and dust of the bookshop at night. I lie here thinking about Amy. I retrace last week, running back through the hours, trying to work out what changed between us. But I’m the same person I was seven days ago. I’m the same person I was the week before and the week before that. I’m the same person I was all the way back to the morning we met. Amy came from a private school across the river and moved to our side of town when her dad’s accounting firm downsized and he had to shift jobs. They lived in one of the new apartments that had gone up on Green Street, not far from the school. From Amy’s new bedroom, she could hear traffic and the flush of next--door’s toilet. From her old bedroom, she could hear birds. These things I learned before we dated, in snippets of conversations that happened on the way home from parties, in English, in detention, in the library, when she stopped by the bookshop on Sunday afternoons. The first day I met her I knew surface things—-she had long red hair, green eyes, and fair skin. She smelled flowery. She wore long socks. She sat at an empty table and waited for people to sit next to her. They did. I sat in front and listened to the conversation between her and Aaliyah. “Who’s that?” I heard Amy ask. “Henry,” Aaliyah told her. “Funny. Smart. Cute.” I waved above my head at them, without turning around. “An eavesdropper,” Amy added, gently kicking the back of my chair. We didn’t officially get together till the middle of Year 12, but the first time we kissed was in Year 9. It happened after our English class had been studying Ray Bradbury’s short stories. After we read “The Last Night of the World,” the idea caught on that we should all spend a night pretending it was our last and do the things we’d do if an apocalypse was heading our way. Our English teacher heard what we were planning, and the principal told us we couldn’t do it. It sounded dangerous. Our plans went underground. Flyers appeared in lockers that the date was set for the twelfth of December, the last day of school before summer vacation. There’d be a party that night at Justin Kent’s house. make plans, the flyers told us. the end is near. I stayed up late on the night before the end, trying to write the perfect letter to Amy, a letter that’d convince her to spend her last night in the world with me. I walked into school with it in my top pocket, knowing I probably wouldn’t give it to her but hoping that I would. My plan was to spend the last night with friends unless some miracle happened and Amy became a possibility. No one listened in class that day. There were small signs all over the place that things were coming to an end. In our homeroom, someone had turned all the notices on the board upside down. Someone had carved the end into the back of the boys’ toilet door. I opened my locker at lunch to find a piece of paper with one day to go written on it, and I realized that no one had bothered working out the finer details of when the world would actually end: Midnight? Sunrise? I was thinking about that when I turned and saw Amy standing next to me. The note was in my pocket, but I couldn’t give it to her. Instead, I held up the paper—-one day to go—-and asked her what she was planning to do with her last night. She stared at me for a while and eventually said, “I thought you might ask me to spend it with you.” There were several people in the corridor listening, and all of us, me included, couldn’t believe my luck. To give myself maximum living time, I decided that the world should end when the sun came up—-five fifty in the morning, according to the Weather Channel. We met at the bookshop at five fifty in the afternoon to make it an even twelve hours, and from there we walked to Shanghai Dumplings for dinner. Around nine we went to Justin’s party, and when it got too loud, we walked to the Benito Building and took the elevator to the top—-the highest place in Gracetown.

Editorial Reviews

★ "Original, wise, and essential. . . . This love story is an ode to words and life." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review ★ "This poignant tale exquisitely chronicles the journey from hopelessness to learning to live again." —School Library Journal, starred review ★ "...Crowley has built a warm cast of surprising and memorable characters and placed them in universal circumstances that slowly unfold into something extraordinary." —Booklist, starred review "Reading Words in Deep Blue feels a little bit like a slow dance, or falling in love, or swimming in the ocean on a rainy day. It's a stunning reminder of the power of words and books and stories that will leave your heart full and heavy and hungry for more. Cath Crowley is magic." — Krystal Sutherland, author of Our Chemical Hearts "A big-hearted, stunner of a novel. Cath Crowley's gorgeous prose will make you both tear up and swoon. A beautifully honest meditation on grief and love.” —Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes"Words In Deep Blue is beautifully written. Laced with humor and poignancy, tragedy and joy, this story will break your heart and then piece it back together." —Emma Mills, author of First & Then and This Adventure Ends Praise for Graffiti Moon:   “The character development is strong. . . . It’s the kind of night you dream about, but it’s very much grounded in reality.” —Buzzfeed.com   “Laced with humor and sadness, longing and joy, this slice of life is satisfying and hopeful.” —Booklist   “Richly and affectingly expressed. . . . [An] engrossing story with credible complexity.” —Publishers Weekly   An ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book   A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book for Teens       Praise for A Little Wanting Song:  ★ “Give this incredible, satisfying book to fans of Sarah Dessen, Karen Foxlee, Melina Marchetta—actually, give it to any teen girl who longs a little and feels too much. . . . Unforgettable.” —School Library Journal, starred review   “Crowley captures quiet moments with aching beauty and tenderness; her empathy for teen girls recalls Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen.” —Booklist   An ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book