Teen Review: Words in Deep Blue
Review by Xena, age 17
From the beginning I could just tell I would love this book. The last time I felt this way about a book was when I read Alex, Approximately. It's that feeling when you're so connected to the writing and you don't want to stop reading. It feels like the book is a part of you and you can't function without it in your hands.
Words in Deep Blue made me cry, laugh, and smile. It's about second chances and finding love. How books and words can heal us. It's deep and raw and emotional. It demonstrates the unexpectedness of life. How death changes people and how to find your way back. But it also shows that we should try to live every moment like it's our last because one day it will be.
The writing is fabulous; smooth and has a good flow. The characters are fleshed out well and made tangible. Even the side characters are so present and actually add to the story. I love that Henry is portrayed as a hopeless romantic. This is something you don't tend to see in male characters and I find it to be very refreshing. More males need to be represented in this light without being totally melodramatic and unrealistic.
I love the whole concept of the Letter Library. In fact, the book I borrowed from the library had some underlining and notes scribbled in it which isn't allowed but I liked seeing what someone else liked about the book!
I also like that the ending is very realistic but also hopeful. Things happen, life happens and it's not always perfect. But as Henry's dad says, "Sometimes, the end begins."
Overall, this is a lovely little gem of a book that I finished in record time. I would recommend it if you love contemporary fiction!
Quotes I Loved:
Page 146-147: "I think that I would try to be brave. Be myself and talk about the things that people might be afraid to talk about. Death is something we shy away from, except in literature or television, when we tend to stare right at it."
Page 151: "Dear Rachel, I think you've got your schemes the wrong way around. Life is the big scheme; death is a little one at the end."
Page 186: "Henry points out the way the water reflects on the grass, the blackbird singing at night, the shadows of the buildings. It's like he's picking up parts of the world and showing them to me, saying, see? It's beautiful."
Page 191: "'Sometimes science isn't enough. Sometimes you need the poets,' he says, and it's in this moment, this exact moment, that I fall in love with him again."
Page 200: "But I don't believe that the future gives the signs. I think 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."
Page 258: "Thoughts pass between us. We are the books we read and the things we love. Cal is the ocean and the letters he left. Our ghosts hide in the things we leave behind."
Page 260: "You say that the ocean is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen, and the thing that terrifies you the most. This describes how it was for me to fall in love with Elena. Perhaps all things that are worthwhile are terrifying? I sold our florist shop as soon as she died, but I couldn't stay away. Go back to the ocean, Rachel. It's a part of you, and so is Cal."
Page 267: "The bookstore is a building, but it's not only the building. It is the books inside. People are not only their bodies. And if there is no hope of saving the things we love in their original form, we must save them however we can."
Page 269: "The past is with me; the future is unlocked and changeable. Ours for the imagining, spreading out before us. Sunlight-filled, deep blue, and the darkness."