Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Teenagers Rachel and Henry find their way back to each other while working in an old bookstore full of secrets and crushes, love letters and memories, grief and hope.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2017]
Edition: First American edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101937648
Branch Call Number: FIC Crowl
Characteristics: 269 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

RDPL_Teens Oct 10, 2018

I really enjoyed this YA (bordering on New Adult) book set in Australia largely in a used bookshop complete with a 'Letter Library' where people can leave notes to one another in the books. It's a coming-of-age tale dealing with unrequited Love, as well as grief and friendship, and the fact that it incorporates lots of books into the story is great too.

Sep 15, 2018

Very sweet, very compassionate.

Jul 31, 2018

This was a great book that addressed many issues facing today's teens. Some of the main issues were family relationships, death of a sibling, teen relationships (who is right for someone and who is not), teen bullying, teens being stuck on themselves, etc. I really enjoyed reading the book (read in less than 24 hours) and getting to know the characters. I loved Rachel and Henry, their relationship as friends, how they support each other and told each other how it was to a point. I cannot believe how much Rachel held in emotionally and how she held herself together. Henry is a typical teenage boy thinking about girls and the future. I fell in love with the bookshop and the letter library. It would be amazing to be able to read letters that have been left in books. George held a front that finally cracked toward the end. What they did with the books from the letter library was just great. It would have been fun to find one of those books in a bookshop somewhere. A couple of my favorite quotes: "We are the books we read and the things we love" and “The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight filled, deep blue, and the darkness.”

May 30, 2018

I absolutely loved this book. The storytelling was fantastic, I loved the way Cath Crowley intertwined snippets of messages, poems and books. Furthermore, I found the plot quite refreshing. I’ve never read anything with a plot quite like this book. “Words in Deep Blue” is not solely a romance novel; it also sheds light on what it’s like to lose a loved one. The real emotions of pain and grief remind us that sometimes life can take an unexpected turn. I highly recommend this book to anyone lookings for an expressive, meaningful read. As for age suitability I would recommend ages 14+ as there is mature language in this novel. Rating: 4.5/5
- @goldendog of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

JCLMeganK Jan 24, 2018

This is a beautiful novel about overcoming tragedy, accepting change, and the power of words. The author is Australian, so when they talk about summer, the pages are dated in what we in the United States know as winter. She also uses some Australian vocabulary, which was fun to see. I really enjoyed this novel, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys the classic YA novel that deals with overcoming obstacles, but is also looking for something a bit deeper.

ArapahoeKati Aug 25, 2017

Just a beautiful novel about love, grief and the power of words and human connection.

Aug 14, 2017

Poignant, funny, and relational. Simply, a beautiful YA novel for the consummate book lover.

ArapahoeStaff1 Jul 13, 2017

While this book is a little moody and over the top, I love a good romance story. The main characters are both dealing with some rough stuff, but when they are introduced back into one another's lives, it's as if they've never been apart. It doesn't hurt that they are both book lovers!

Jun 20, 2017

3.5 stars
This is a hard one to review.
Things I loved: Henry and Rachel's love of books; their letter writing; the bookshop; their deep discussions of poetry and literature; their friendship; her grief over Cal; the final letter from Frederic -- wow, it was beautiful.
Things I didn't love: She was really awful to him in the beginning; Amy; Greg; the overabundance of Fbombs -- like, on every page -- I grew so weary of reading that word.

TSCPL_LissaS Apr 26, 2017

100% this.

This is a must read for librarians, book sellers and readers.

And also a wonderful teen romance.

It reminds me of a story Arlo Guthrie tells in concert about historical places holding a special sense of all the people who have been there, and songs holding a special sense of all the people who have sung them. It is perfect and lovely and a blessing to extend this to books in such a beautifully told story.

*Edit* After writing this review above - I posted a picture of the crepes I was cooking on the stove to my social media with this commentary:

When authors imagine readers finishing their books, tears streaming down their faces, rushing to write reviews on Goodreads to express their emotion and appreciation for the work of art the writer has put into the world....

I can only assume they don't imagine the reader is reading at dawn on their phone screen, squinting through the tears and then typing the review with frantic flying thumbs in their pajamas, at the stove, between flipping crepes on the skillet while their kids play noisily in the next room and the coffee brews.

Make time for reading. It doesn't have to be the perfect time. Reading fiction is amazing and empathetic and transformative. Make time for reading.

*so far I've only flipped one crepe onto the floor

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

RDPL_Teens Oct 10, 2018

RDPL_Teens thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add Notices

RDPL_Teens Oct 10, 2018

Coarse Language: Not used extraneously, but there is some language younger readers should be mindful of.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top