Lovely, Dark and Deep
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Lovely, Dark and Deep

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,387 ratings  ·  280 reviews
A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.

Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her fath...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini TaylorReached by Ally CondieDeity by Jennifer L. ArmentroutBlack City by Elizabeth  RichardsUndeadly by Michele Vail
November 2012
11th out of 67 books — 132 voters
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamaraThe Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterAsunder by Jodi MeadowsA Million Suns by Beth RevisRapture by Lauren Kate
most beautiful covers
1st out of 170 books — 26 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Glass
Review from Ja čitam, a ti?

Why didn't I write down all those amazing quotes? I've made same mistake - again. I pick up a book, realize it will be one of the epic kind, devour it in a day and I think my friends probably made an effort to save all the good quotes. They didn't! Lovely, Dark and Deep is a book that you should read with pen and paper. Amy McNamara managed to write a really powerful story that will leave you wanting more.

Broken people, woods and Phillip Larkin. This is not a romance n...more
Candace (Lovey Dovey Books)
Debut author, Amy McNamara’s, stunning portrait of a young woman’s grief in the most extreme stage shall touch the heart of every reader. Lovely, Dark, and Deep’s Wren Wells may be a pseudo-recluse living in a secluded area in Maine with her father, but she lays her pain on the table for any who bother to see. The death of Wren’s boyfriend, Patrick, and the many factors that surround his death, sends her life off-course. Living with her sculpting father, Wren hopes to get herself straightened ou...more
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi
I don't think I'll write a review as my girl Glass already did it perfectly, so I'll just share one of my favorite poems which the title is taken from (I assume).

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He g
...more
tonya.
3.5 stars. This review also appears on The Midnight Garden.

Lovely, Dark and Deep is certainly accurately named. The prose is absolutely lovely, at times bordering on poetic (which is no surprise given McNamara has her MFA in poetry). There is a rhythm to the words, a cadence that so deftly draws the exact shape of Wren's mental state. Short staccato sentences, and long streams of consciousness give the words a voice and a mood all their own, pulling the reader right into Wren's story. The writin...more
oliviasbooks
The writing definitely shows skill and the heroine has a certain realistic flavor, but I noticed quickly that "Lovely, Dark and Deep" is one of those grief-centered books, which are too depressing for me.

After a while I couldn't stand Mamie/Wren's prickly leave-me-alone-I'm-fine-mantra anymore, and I tsked and growled, when I saw that she was so blinded by cloaking herself in her own pain that she had the nerve to thoughtlessly ask a guy sick with MS, walking on crutches and admitting that it w...more
Zemira Warner
There are book that make you laugh at loud, in love or simply be thankful for opening your eyes every morning even if your life is far from being perfect. I would rather read a dark and gripping story because they truly make me feel alive. When you’re happy you don’t think about every aspect of your life, just about that one thing that makes it all good.

This book is perfect for a snowy day because it’s happening during December/January. We follow Wren through her grieving process after she was i...more
Serendipity Reviews
I 've sat here for half an hour, trying to put into words how wonderful this book is, but I feel like everything I write just doesn't do it justice. The urge to just shout 'Read It' is overwhelming but I know that won't be enough to tempt you. So I shall try my best to show you just how beautiful this book is while handing you a box of Kleenex in readiness.
This stunning debut novel is a quiet, contemplative story completely driven by the awesome characters that are held within it. The book revo...more
Isamlq
“The facts won’t change… but you will.”

I do this thing where I pick up one book after another of the same kind. A couple of days ago it was all YA action adventure stuff that had me excited but tired. A bit later I'd shifted to a string of mindless sexy reads (emphasis on the ' mindless' which effectively cancelled out my enjoyment of the sexy.) And now? I'm reading books that rip at my heart, so at this rate, my brain will be mush (from all the sexy-brainless reads) and my heart will be in tat...more
Brianna
Without giving anything away, I feel that a lot of people who rated this book low ratings have never dealt with blinding grief. I know exactly what it's like to turn into yourself and kind of be selfish with other people's emotions. The pain you feel, the emptiness and the heartache, it's overwhelming, making it almost impossible to even have sympathy or empathy for others. The way she described how she felt was almost an exact parallel to how I felt when my mom passed away.

This book was difficu...more
Sophie
This review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.

Before this book, if someone had approached me and said that it was possible to write a 350 page novel that basically revolves around a teenage girl angsting in a forest, I would've called bullshit. But this book proved me wrong. Apparently, teenagers can have a lot of angst. Enough to fill 350 pages. I don't want to blaspheme Lovely, Dark and Deep though, because at its heart, it's a beautifully written book. The writing is poetic and conjure...more
Kai (Amaterasu Reads)
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads :

How do you deal with grief? When you wake up everyday, alive, with the knowledge that the person you once love is already dead and yet you're here. Breathing. Why you? Why not him? Why did he have to die? Where do you get the answers to all your questions? When something you want is just right before your eyes, so close to achieving it, and then in a split second, it was gone, and your life is a wreck, and you don't know how to get out of the dark place you sudd...more
Katy Upperman
Lovely, Dark, and Deep is all of those things: Lovely prose that tells the story of a girl in a very dark place, and the deep relationships she forms as she struggles to find light again. This novel is mature and literary and full of romance that rings so true. It’s a hard read thanks to its difficult themes of loss, guilt, and obligation, but a hopeful read too. I couldn’t put it down.

Because of the car crash that killed her boyfriend and wrecked her life, Wren is taking a “gap year” after grad...more
Will
Only person that didnt think this was super awesome or what?
:/

The first section of this book is incredibly boring and dull. Nothing happens - it's just a lot of 'woe is me; look at all the snow, etc'

and then she meets a guy and its insta-love. Or at the very least, their connection came out of nowhere. They barely have a conversation and she's suddenly thinking they have some sort of connection going on. mmkay...

I've read other peoples 4/5 star reviews mentioning that the author's writing and ho...more
Zoe and the Edge
I don’t know why I can’t get it together and be normal. Stop hurting everyone else.

I love the title. Hardly anything happens in this book but I was riveted. Before I knew it, it was over. The funny thing about this book is that the characters are so clumsy and hopeless, and yet I felt so endeared to them. Cal and Wren don't share the smooth chemistry and flow of your usual fictional couples. But the realism is good. I liked that they don't have a cliched process of falling in love. Sometimes the...more
Wisteriouswoman
I have mixed feelings about this book. So mixed I didn't finish it. The first part I liked because there was a bit of mystery and I know what it is like to be depressed.

I especially liked the poetry of it--the short sentences worked for me. At least in the beginning. But the story didn't flow well enough to make me want to read it instead of doing something more productive. Like cleaning house.

Wren seems to be suffering from PTSD which is understandable under the circumstances. So it doesn't m...more
Addie R.
2.5/5

Review also on my blog

--
I have very mixed feelings on Lovely, Dark and Deep. Mostly because it just took me a while to grow on and get used to certain aspects of the book. Things I didn’t like in the beginning, I ended up enjoying at some other time. And there’s just things that I didn’t quite get with this book.

In the beginning, we get that Wren is depressed over her breakup and death of her ex Patrick. She was anxious, lost and lonely and struggled to move on. I could relate with having d...more
~Shay~
Review coming soon... SOOOO GOOD!

UPDATE

See my full review at Shaytasticbooks <>Like my Facebook Page

This just happened to find its way on to my shelf because of the beautiful cover. Come on. Look at it. I didn't even really know what it was about when I bought it but I'm sure glad I did. It was a real roller-coaster of a ride filled with intense emotion and heart break with an ending that will leave you begging for more.

When faced with dark times, Wren ships herself off to live with her...more
Lena ♫ ♪
LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP offers everything the title suggests it will: A lovely setting, a dark past, all wrapped into a deep story. Though I must admit, what originally drew me to the novel was it's breathtaking cover. Gorgeous, isn't it? What I wasn't prepared for was the depth and overall intensity of this novel.

Wren use to be a lot of things. She use to go by a different name. She use to live with her mom. She use to have a boyfriend before a tragic car accident left her uninjured and him dead...more
Emily Crowe
Another YA book that I had high expectations for that mostly just fell flat. Partly because it's written in the first person, present tense (or the "present pernicious," as my friend Rob calls it), it makes the character much less sympathetic and more self-absorbed than your typical teen narrator, even one who has survived tragedy and is filled with guilt.

The short, choppy sentences are probably supposed to indicate Wren's delicate and uncertain frame of mind, but they mostly just serve as exam...more
Erin Bowman
Boasting poetic, emotional prose, McNamara tells the story of Wren, a girl taking a gap year off between high school and college after a bought of tragedy strikes in her life. She’s moved to Maine to live with her father, and while surrounded by a snowy New England winter, begins to stitch her life back together.

Wren is rather damaged in this novel and is often not entirely likeable, but she managed to grow on me. Most other characters in this novel, however, I loved on first read. Her artistic...more
Sarah
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
18-year-old Wren (formerly Mamie) is having a rough time of it. She was in a car accident with her boyfriend Patrick, in which he died, but she didn’t. She wasn’t driving, but she still blames herself for the accident.

Changing her name to Wren (something her dad always called her as a nick-name), she moves in with her dad in an isolated house overlooking the sea, and spends her days in solitude, running or sleeping, or simply watching her life go by. Her...more
Stephanie A.
Beautiful, poetic, moving novel about grief and the struggle to simply exist post-loss, especially when you were in the middle of trying to escape from what you lost before it happened. Loved the hidden-away setting and the eccentric but intriguing community of artists, but it was the cautiously spun new love story for which I fell head over heels.

Probably on account of the hurt/comfort aspect with him having MS (although it works both ways, with him being instantly drawn to what he recognizes...more
Kate
When I first saw this book in Barnes & Noble, I was taken in by the beautiful cover. The jacket flap didn't give me a whole lot to go on regarding what this book was about, so I stood there and read the first chapter. Still no clue what the whole book was going to be about, but it sounded dark and a little creepy. I was hoping for a creepy, paranormal-ish kind of story. Here's what it's really about:

Mamie, aka Wren, has been living with her artist father since she was in a car accident that...more
Lindsay Smith
Wavering between 4 and 5 stars.

This book is HARD. It's a slow, crushing read, but there's so much meat to it that you have to keep turning the page. Wren is not a lovable protagonist. She is our lens (fitting, since she's a photographer, or was before the accident) on the nigh-inescapable morass of depression. If you've ever gone through a deep bout of depression or grieving, you will see yourself flayed out in this book. The way Wren so desperately wants to be left completely alone, yet no matt...more
Kim Purcell
This book is one of my favorites of 2012, a truly brilliant portrayal of depression and how one gets out of it. The protagonist, Wren, falls into a deep state of depression after her boyfriend is killed in a car accident beside her. They had just fought and she feels it's her fault. She stops speaking for a while and lives in a hazy fog, unclear of what she's doing, and unable to interact in a "normal" way. She feels like she's on a precipice, always in danger of making a mistake. I really loved...more
Janice • The Demon Librarian
An emotionally heavy read, for sure, but it felt....honest. Real. The author didn't attempt to pretty up the grief process and I appreciated that. I liked the characters, too. They each came with a lot of baggage and yet, I found it very easy to connect with them.

3.5 stars
Maria C
Once I started I couldn't put it down.. The author describes something so difficult in such a lovely way, that I couldn't give it less that 5 stars..
Miss
The name of this book tells it all: this book is lovely, dark and deep.
Beautiful.
Review to come...
Jess
Well, that was angsty as fuck. Beautifully written angst.
Ang
If there is one thing I have to say about this book it is this: Amy McNamara gets it. This book is deep and it is lovely and it is dark. Most importantly, it is honest.

If you want to read a happy-go-lucky book than you're looking in the wrong place. Wren is not going to give you a hopeful outlook on life. Instead, she shows you what it's like to suffer with this personal illness. While the depression stems from the death of her boyfriend and the accident, it is still very much true to anyone who...more
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Amy McNamara is the author Lovely, Dark, and Deep (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) and a manuscript of poems, the new head chronometrist. Her poems appear in a wide variety of literary journals and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is married to the artist Doug McNamara and they live in Brooklyn with their two children.
More about Amy McNamara...

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“I came here because it's pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of quiet-noise you need when there's too much going on in your head. Like the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear.” 40 likes
“So this is life. Love. We spend all this time reaching for each other and mostly we end up hurting each other until it's over.” 30 likes
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