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Lovely, Dark and Deep

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,896 ratings  ·  481 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
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Hardcover, 342 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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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
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Emer
“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. I wake up in the morning, get into clothes and out on my bike before I can think about anything. It's a place that could swallow me if I need it to.”

How do we each deal with tragedy? With grief and loss?
Is there a right l
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Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) 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
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Lovey Dovey Books
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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/James
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
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tonya.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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hayden
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
McNamara writes in short sentences. Like this. A word here. A phrase there. Sometimes, there are long sentences that are poetic. Tranquil. Beautiful. Other times, not. It's all very brisk. It's something I'm not very used to as a reader, but it was refreshing. A breath of wintry air.

Not gonna lie, the main reason I picked this up was the cover. Its fresh-off-Tumblr look, serene and snowy. I snagged it up at a bookstore. Used. Half-priced. Paperback.

I don't regret reading it. Teenage angst galore
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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
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Serendipity Reviews
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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Brianna
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Sarah
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
(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
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Isamlq
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aaw-yeah
“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 ta
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Wisteriouswoman
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Katy Upperman
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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Paula
This book is just like its title: Lovely, Dark and Deep.
Amy McNamara created an incredibly captivating story. One that is very atmospheric, that captures and throws you into Wren's life until you are fully immersed in it.
It's not a light read and it's not fluffy and sweet. Most of the time it has a very melancholic and depressing quality but what do you expect after all that Wren went through. I actually loved that about this book. McNamara didn't use the grief as a plot device to bring the sto
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Kai
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 sud
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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
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Fiona
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read, ya-novels
It took me a long time to finish this book, in part because I was working a lot but in part because it was so heavy.

TEARS

I thought to myself while I was reading it - how can this author get into the head of someone who's going through all this unless they'd gone through it themselves? SO MANY FEELS and none at the same time. I felt like I could sort of understand what Wren was going through even though I'd never felt the same things and it made my heart hurt. Like when Wren's friend comes back
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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
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Marissa
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'll keep this short and simple. Read this book. Like now. Beautifully written and a wonderful storyline. I truly felt Wren's grief, and all other emotions. I was fully immersed in the story. It broke my heart, a few times made me laugh and in the end made me smile.
READ IT!
Rabidreading
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
Andrea
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, ya
3.5 stars

Sometimes I was mad at Wren. I wanted to shake her up, yell at her to move on. But other times I understood her completely. I'm dealing with grief as well, so who am I to judge. We all deal with it differently.
Maria C
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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..
Jess
Well, that was angsty as fuck. Beautifully written angst.
Kim
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
More of my reviews can be found at my YA blog.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
The writing is worth reading. Not a whole lot happens at the start and you can tell that's going to be the atmosphere of the book -- Wren thinking about how depressed she is and possibly not doing anything about it. But the writing, the skill McNamara has, is worth reading regardless.

THE PLOT:
There's not one. Aside from Wren being wrecked and trying to unravel herself and get better. There's not a lot of forward motion. There's a lo
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Lena ♫ ♪
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, oct12
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
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Emma
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Powerful & poignant

Let me start by saying that the title is just absolutely perfect for this book, perfect, perfect, perfect. It reflects the powerful and poignant narrative superbly. I would also like to say how beautiful the font was and the chapter headings really added to the depth of emotion within the words.

Told in first person narrative from Mamie/Wren’s perspective. She has 2 names one from her mother and one from her father, who are divorced and very different personalities. I also
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Nicole Wang
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. Just absolutely wowness. Lovely, Dark, and Deep is actually the perfect words to describe it--minus the deep and adding emotional. This is definitely an amazing book to debut with and that cover is just plain gorgeous in my opinion! Seriously. WHAT is with all these beautiful covers, and premises that I just can't resist?

The writing was so, so, SO stunning. I think it's because McNara decided to use present tense, unlike most books which use past. Personally, I love it when people use pres
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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.
“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.” 56 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.” 38 likes
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