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Lovely, Dark and Deep

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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 father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.

Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.

342 pages, Hardcover

First published October 16, 2012

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About the author

Amy McNamara

2 books165 followers
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.

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5 stars
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4 stars
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3 stars
752 (22%)
2 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 524 reviews
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
February 28, 2014
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 novel. Maybe you'd think it is after reading book summary, but it is not. There is a love story, there is a new, mysterious boy, but he is not what you might expect. Wren and Cal are "broken souls", running away from their past or future and hiding within the walls of their big houses in the woods. Lovely, Dark and Deep is a story about death and grief, just like Larkin's poem Aubade which Wren reads all over again. We think that death is something that happens to other people, we know we can't escape it, but it's something abstract, almost like a dream. Illness is always possibility, but again we tend to think about it as something that is not happening to us. Both Cal and Wren have to deal with their issues, families and each other.

Realistic prose at its best. I am not exaggerating. This novel has that lyrical feel - Amy McNamara is master of writing about emotions and fighting our inner demons. Her character building is flawless and so convincing that at moments it looks like you are in Wren's head. It is easy to relate with her, especially if you are familiar with depression or grieving process. It's like author managed to describe every single one of your thoughts and feelings - I wish I read this book back at the time when I needed to explain all those things.

Who should read it? Everyone who read and loved The Pact by Jodi Picoult and Twisted by Laure Halse Anderson.. Fans of Jandy Nelson, Melina Marchetta and Jennifer Brown.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,043 followers
August 30, 2014
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 in a car crash that killed her boyfriend Patrick. She moves to her father’s house that located in the woods. There she spends her days running and sleeping. After she meets accidentally meets Cal, everything changes and for the first time in months, she starts to feel alive. Call brings her back from her shell and she opens up to him about the accident. But Call also has his problems and things don’t always go as planned.

Both Wren and Cal are perfect for each other because they both went through similar things and yet they deal with grief in a different way. While Wren locks it all inside and refuses to think about the problem, Call brushes them aside and pretends they aren’t a big part of his life. But they draw strength from each other-Call lets Wren have her space when she feels crowded and Wren pushes more when Call pulls back.

I like the fact that Wren refuses to think about the accident that killed Patrick because she is not ready to go there. Most of the novels dealing with death go through the grieving process from the start to finally accepting the loss but this one just scratches the surface and I liked it because of it, because it was different from the rest.

The writing style is so captivating. I am in love with this beautiful prose. In a way, McNamara’s writing reminds me of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing in The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Maybe it’s because of the woods and winter. If I was an author, THIS is the way I would want to write a book. Profound but calm at the same time. One of the most beautiful debut novels I’ve read. Just beautiful.

You can read this review and much more over at YA Fanatic.
Profile Image for Jen.
258 reviews9 followers
December 16, 2012
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 how lyrical and beautiful the prose was and how great she is in describing the imagery.

No. The writing is weird, choppy and reads like a shopping list.

Maybe, when reading this, you have to be in a 'mood' for this kind of plot. And I definitely wasnt. This fell more than a little flat to me and I wont be recommending it to anyone.
Profile Image for Candy .
626 reviews44 followers
October 16, 2012
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 out and back to pursuing her carefully laid out goals. Her time spent out of touch with society: friends, work, and passion, leave her parents worried and her mind close to shutting down. The aspect of living in the small town that Wren didn’t count on, was finding a reason to emerge from the darkness in which she’s shrouded herself.

Wren is strong, even when she feels like hiding away from the world, but she knows that her misery is something that’s physically and mentally holding her back. Characters that are, at least, partially aware of themselves in such a manner are fascinating to read about. Wren walks herself towards moving on from a tragic accident, though not without help, but she pushes readers toward encouraging her, backtracks toward pitying her, then comes full circle to hopefulness that she’ll finally make real progress.

Cal Owens flows into the novel like a knight in shining armor, almost. He has his own story that I wish McNamara could have explained in more detail, because I wasn’t too familiar with the source of his troubles, but overall he added to the path of hope Wren could choose to ignore or follow. Wren and Cal are drawn together by their similarities and differences when it comes to dealing with grief. Wren draws into herself, vowing to remain silent until she can sort through her issues, while Cal pretends his situation isn’t as grave as it really is. His quick temper contradicts the calm he radiates for Cal, molding him into one of the most realistic characterizations of a love interest I’ve seen in young adult fiction.

McNamara’s style of writing is easygoing, yet packs a wallop of emotion. The writing excellently portrays Wren’s flow of consciousness through a variety of sentence length and structure. The dialogue is straightforward, even when a moment of profundity surrounds the speaking character. Knowing that the characters are saying more with fewer words lends the reader a sense of time. It never feels as though a scene is unnaturally long, or that a person in real life would never say so much at one time.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep sends a riot of emotions through me when I just think about Wren’s story. Reading her story is a comfort and an experience, because it is such a possibility. This is truly a universal story that will not only entertain readers who love a sad story that pushes its protagonist toward happiness, but also speaks to the many people affected by grief and other strong emotions.

*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Also posted on Lovey Dovey Books
Profile Image for Tanja (Tanychy).
589 reviews258 followers
April 21, 2014
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 gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Profile Image for hayden.
1,062 reviews736 followers
March 15, 2015
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, but relatable, as I am a teenager. Beautiful quotes here and there, none of which I recorded. (Of course.)

In this book, I saw potential in her writing. This story was well-spun, but lacked something to me. Intrigue, I think. It flowed well. It was written well. It featured semi-interesting characters. It just never hooked me. It never begged me to turn its pages.

I am now very interested in reading McNamara's poetry.
Profile Image for tonya..
227 reviews242 followers
January 23, 2013
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 writing itself is nothing short of breathtaking.

However, for all its loveliness, the depth of the story's darkness make it a painful and heart-heavy read.

Wren Wells wants to disappear. After a devastating accident that kills her boyfriend, but leaves her unscathed, she abandons her college plans, and moves to the woods of Maine to live with her father. She seeks the quiet and the dark, and most of all, the solitude. Somewhere she doesn't have to speak. Away from her mother's prodding, and the sad eyes that worry and wonder.

"I came here because it’s pine dark and the ocean’s 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 place that could swallow me if I need it to."

But even in the quiet of the woods, and the space her father gives her, she can't escape the guilt, and the grief. Every thing reminds her of Patrick. Every breath is a reminder that she is alive when he is not. And does she deserve to be? After what she did?

After weeks of sleeping days away, and waking groggy and unrested, Wren's father finally forces her to do something productive with her time. She begins working part time at the library in town, and acting as an assistant to Cal Owens, a young man with secrets and grief of his own.

Though she is reluctant to let him in, Cal quickly becomes a integral part of Wren's new life--the one she's finally beginning to make for herself. Through her relationship with Cal, she begins to discovery who she is now, and how different she is from the Wren that was.

I found the stark portrayal of Wren's grief very realistic, if painful to read. McNamara pulls no punches in describing Wren's emotional state. I appreciated the accuracy, as well as Wren eventually seeking psychiatric help, which is not, in my experience, often seen in YA.

Though Cal is the catalyst for much of Wren's recovery, he is the element of the story that worked the least for me. I liked his character quite a bit, and enjoyed his and Wren's dynamic, but I felt their romance developed too quickly. Wren, grief-stricken, barely functional, and mostly mute, is attracted to him from the first moment they meet. Likewise, though Wren was not at all polite or inviting during their first meeting, Cal is insistent and unrealistically adamant about getting her to spend more time with him.

I found the romance element too prevalent and unrealistic for a story so otherwise focused on grief. I could have done without it entirely, and would have appreciated Cal's character more if he'd remained a friend with possibility, rather than a full-fledged love interest whilst Wren was so broken.

That being said, Lovely, Dark and Deep was a beautifully crafted story of overcoming grief, and rediscovering yourself after tragedy.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews519 followers
July 26, 2014
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 wasn't safe for him to go on driving a car, why he thought he would not resume his studies in fall: If he had lost his interest in architecture?

I stopped reading at 21%, and I don't think I will pick it up again. But I am confident that this is the right story for a lot of readers: Dead boyfriends, small-towns, broken friendships, famous dads and gorgeous, terminally ill hunks are an attractive combination, I believe.
Profile Image for Serendipity Reviews.
560 reviews332 followers
November 19, 2012
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 revolves around the two main characters, Wren and Cal, as their lives intertwine. These two characters appear to be damaged by life, like two young fledgling birds each with a broken wing. The budding relationship is seen as disastrous by some of the people closest to them, but it is obvious they are just the right antidote for the pain that burns inside them. They may not be able to fly solo, but together they manage a beautiful flight.
Wren's is suffering a loss that is so severe, her family are concerned she will never recover. Her pain oozes out of the pages like an open wound constantly weeping as life hits her again and again with memories of the past. I found myself getting so annoyed with her mother, as she constantly pushed her to return to normality. I wanted to shout at her. Does she not realise that grief is a personal journey, not a race to normality and happiness? Grief takes everyone in different ways and cannot be rushed to relieve the awkwardness of others. This book shows how people can often expect too much from people and should learn to deal with their own issues before they invest unwanted time in others.
As Wren's relationship with Cal begins to develop, I felt like I was watching a broken glass in reverse, slowly sticking back together, but in a disjointed way - it will never look the same but it will be able to function normally.
The ending really finalised my love for this book as Wren's existence changed the lives of the people around her. She wanted to hide, be invisible, yet she unknowingly pulled everyone in around her, to love her, to change their own destinies, to become a family. You watch as she changes and becomes stronger - her fight with Meredith, the final break with the past. I've had quite a long discussion about the ending of the book with Casey from Dark Readers, who was struggling to feel comfortable with it. The way I saw it was that finally she was learning to cope with life. She could deal with responsibility again, which she would never have been able to do at the beginning of the book. Her broken wing had finally mended, albeit a little crooked.
This book is the most emotional book I've read all year. It creeps into your heart and silently steals it away. It left me speechless. The words from the song, How To Save A Life by The Fray were instantly brought to my mind. As well as Jenn Crowel's book, Necessary Madness, which ripped my heart out years ago when it debuted. Amy McNamara has the same grasp of human emotion and frailty within this book, that made me cry so much while reading it. I wonder whether the author has felt grief like this because it is so realistic, it would be hard to believe she hadn't.
If you have experienced the cycle of grief as depicted in this book, then be warned you will remember and you will cry. This is a stunning debut that will touch your heart and stay within your memory.
Profile Image for Brianna.
102 reviews7 followers
March 28, 2018
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 difficult in the sense that because I could relate it did stir up emotions and memories in me of times where I felt just like her. It wasn't a plot driven book, but it resembled real life. In real life there isn't a perfect leading man to save you from your life. You surround yourself with like minded people who make you feel less alone in your thoughts.

Cal and Wren are two of the most real characters I've ever read. The writing is absolutely stunning and imaginative. The description of where she lives reminds me of home up here in Washington.
Profile Image for Sophie.
702 reviews139 followers
January 3, 2013
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 conjures up images in a way that a regularly written script of dialogue and hasty descriptions can't. One of the first things that clued me into the prose was the quote on the front jacket flap:

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 still can't believe she compared herself to a headstone. She's basically saying her life is a cemetery. This should have been enough of a clue that I was about to venture into depression-land, but apparently it wasn't enough to drive me away.

The entire time I was reading, I kept imagining myself in this silent forest, the kind of forest you find in the east. The trees have heavy snow-covered boughs, and the only sound is silence. Other times, it seemed that this book had submerged me like a rock in the ocean, where everything is muffled but in clarity. This is the world that Wren seems to move through. After her car accident, when she sees her boyfriend die before her eyes, she's lost and can't seem to find meaning in normalcy anymore. The grief in this book is potent, and I had to take breaks from the book because there were times when I thought it would take me under and not let go.

Wren is a tormented character; she takes midnight jogs in the forest and basically wanders around, oblivious to everything around her. It wasn't so bad in the beginning, but as the book went on, I found it really hard to like her. There's an amount of grief that i can deal with, but the way she treated the people around her seemed too harsh. Her decisions were so childish, especially when she decides that she hates Nick, that I couldn't feel sorry for her. She hates quickly and falls in love equally quickly. Cal remains two-dimensional; although his illness gives him character, I never felt like I truly understood him or what he and Wren found in each other beyond their mutual knowledge of what grief feels like.

What I did like, besides the writing, were the side characters, like her father, Mary, and Zara. Although there's not enough exploration into each, their personalities are warm and offset the coldness that seems to surround Wren. When they appear in the book, despite Wren's sulky responses to their attempts to help, they seem to be beacons of hope and recovery. The normalcy they provide becomes more frequent, and I think McNamara did a good job of inserting them into Wren's life slowly but surely. I would've liked her to come to terms with her mother in some sort of way, but I guess the point of that and what happens to her and Meredith are both evidence that there are some circumstances in life that change everything, and there's not much we can do to change it back.

Lovely, Dark and Deep is a heavy novel, but it doesn't have enough momentum and is weighed down by that same heaviness. As I mentioned in my introduction, it's 350 pages of teenage angst. The end didn't seem like an end because the story cuts off, and maybe McNamara intends for us to imagine the rest of Wren's life, now that she's learned to care about others again. At any rate, the story just seems like one prolonged moment, and I have a hard time finding a plot in it. It could have been cut down a lot more so that the sadness was more profound and seemed less like it was dragging on. Also, the fragmented sentences sometimes interrupted the flow of things, especially since the rest of the writing was poetic and smooth.

Well, that's that. I'm exhausted from this book. Time for some Julia Quinn!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for giving me a chance to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,745 reviews1,306 followers
January 3, 2013
(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 mother phones 3 times a day, but she doesn’t always answer, and she wants nothing more than to be simply left alone.

One morning whilst on her bike rather than running, she is almost mowed down by a car, and the car’s driver – Cal, gives her a lift back to her father’s house. It seems that no one wants to leave her alone though, and Cal tries to strike up a friendship with her, which she finds incredibly difficult at first.

Eventually, Cal and Wren’s relationship blossoms, and he feels like the only fresh air she can breathe, but while she continues to make poor decisions, her life isn’t her own, and everyone else will continue to invade her privacy.
Can Wren find the light at the end of the tunnel? Is Cal the answer for her? And will her life ever go back to ‘normal’?

This book was such a real life example of what depression is like, how it sucks you down and holds you fast, how you want nothing more than to curl up and die, or to simply disappear altogether. Wren is severely depressed during this story whether she admits that that is what is happening to her or not. She takes sleeping pills to get the world to shut up for a while, she ignores her phone ringing because she doesn’t want to talk to anybody, and she constantly goes out running to escape from what is going on in her head.

Wren’s relationships with her family and friends are strained, mainly because there is nothing coming from Wren, no input from her side of the relationship. Wren is like a big black hole that just sucks all the love offered her inside and makes no impression. She’s just incapable of behaving normally due to how emotionally numb she feels, and she’s incapable of getting her life back on track when she feels this way.

This book was beautifully written, and just sucked me in right from the start. I really felt for Wren and empathised with her and the awful way she felt, whilst at the same time struggling to see a way out for her.
When I looked back at the storyline, at times it seemed that there wasn’t much happening, but I think the point was to just feel how Wren was feeling, and to understand things from her point of view.
The other characters in the book were all important, but to Wren just seemed to nag at her, as they tried to pull her out of her pit of despair.

The most annoying character for me was the psychiatrist that Wren’s mother convinced her to see, who came out with the annoying psychiatrist lines of ‘how did that make you feel?’ and ‘what did you hope to gain by doing that?’, and then asked if a certain thing that Wren did (can’t say what to avoid spoilers) was done on purpose because her mother and her hadn’t agreed on which college she should go to?! I really hated him in that moment – what a divot! I can’t say that I really liked Wren’s ex-best-friend either, who just didn’t have the capability to deal with what Wren was going through.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the ending to this book, mainly because it seemed to come upon me very suddenly, and I felt there was still ground to be covered. The ending did give the vague impression that maybe Wren might find a way to think more positively, but just didn’t give me the closure I needed which was a shame.

Overall; a realistic book about despair and depression, but the ending lacked something for me.
8 out of 10.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews707 followers
March 4, 2013
“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 tatters from all these sad ones. I don't mind the latter though because it's reads like this that make up for all those hours up at night. And I'm not even sure I liked the protagonist!!! Also, nothing actually happens save seeing Wren work through her grief her way.

And what may look like her running away wasn’t actually her doing so. It’s her being her as she time and again insisted. A lot like COME SEE ABOUT ME, Wren/Mamie’s overcome by loss and unsure about how to go on (or if she even wants to.) One thing she is certain, though, it’s her not wanting all these expectations of “how to be” from others. But pile on eventual realizations on her part about what others are going though on her behalf/because of her… and there’s no reason to like her, but there’s really no reason to dislike her either. She’s sad; they’re sad, and I was sad for her. There’s a whole lot of sad in this one, so sad in fact, that it’s left my heart/ my brain/ MY HEART(!!) stuttering.

Except I didn’t even like Wren because every single negative thing she’s called out on is true. There’s a selfishness to her actions, but it’s a necessary kind of selfishness. The way she separates herself form the rest as well as the way they react as a result, well… all of those things? You can’t actually say she’s unaware because she becomes so eventually. But what she does (and doesn’t do), that’s what’s got her stuck. So even though I didn’t love her, I got her; I got every one of them in fact: her wanting to be, her mother and father wanting her to move on (but getting the message across in such contrary ways,) even the friend who’s confused about Wren’s choices because they’re all written so clearly… imperfections, especially.

Then there's Cal. I could talk and talk and talk about the guy. About her getting pulled into someone else's nightmare, as well as her talk of "ruined people" but get this: there's this balance between the two because he's been where she's at (is still there, in fact)... and I just loved that bit.

773 reviews2 followers
January 20, 2013
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 make a bit of sense that she doesn't get upset when Cal drives fast or when people are drinking. Those were things that caused the accident in the first place.

There seems to be a great deal of parental neglect in the story. As a mom who worries about her own child committing suicide, I was surprised that Wrens mom lets her daughter go live with an ex-husband that she knows puts his art above all else. You don't get the feeling that any of the adults feel guilty for allowing a bunch of teens to party at the beach without any supervision. There are plenty of other aspects of the story that should give the adults reason to feel guilt but we never really see that expressed.

Wren is so self-absorbed I can't respect her for the way she treats everyone. Not talking to people can be really cruel especially toward a best friend. She doesn't seem to think about the baby at all. Maybe that is something I'd find out about if I could slog through the rest of the book. She wallows in self-pity for 'wrecking' her own so-called perfect life, but what about everyone else's life?

I might have liked the book more if the chapters were written from different perspectives by the other players in the story. The MS theme was interesting but it would have been better if we could have gotten into Cal's mind to see how he was coping. In some ways he seemed too mature for a college boy. As a parent, I would never leave my college age son to live on his own without help if he was frequently debilitated by MS symptoms. Cal is out in snow country where he could be left without phone service, power or heat. If he wasn’t rich, owning several cars and a fantastic house we wouldn’t go along with believing the situation was even plausible. What does he see in Wren? They are a sad combination. It doesn’t make for a very enlightening book.

Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books309 followers
December 6, 2012
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 graduation, putting art school on hold. As the novel opens, she meets Cal (who I adore), a college student on hiatus thanks to some serious . As her relationship with Cal sparks and grows, Wren begins to find a happier place, a sense of peace she can’t find with anyone else.

But Wren’s recovery is far from easy. Despite the small surges of happiness Cal brings, she goes through periods of selective silence, runs obsessively during the frigid Northeast winter, and makes some pretty damaging life choices. It might have been easy to become frustrated with Wren — sometimes I did want her get it together already — but she’s so self-aware and honest about her grief, I mostly just longed to make her a big bowl of hot soup and give her a tight hug. Amy McNamara has a beautiful but precise way of describing pain and sorrow. Her carefully chosen words let the reader feel the emotion behind them, and that, more than anything, helped me empathize with Wren.

“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.”
― Amy McNamara, Lovely, Dark and Deep

Lovely, Dark and Deep has a cast of supporting characters who are mesmerizing in their own right. I particularly enjoyed John, Wren’s kind artist father, and Mary, a colorful RISD student in town for a fellowship. Lucy, the local librarian, made me feel all happy and warm, and even cocky Nick, another fellowship student, brought a smile to my face a few times. So… if you like books that are character-driven and complex and gorgeously written, books that ask deep questions, yet don’t all the answers, I highly recommend Lovely, Dark and Deep.
Profile Image for Paula.
415 reviews52 followers
November 26, 2016
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 story along, to write a romance that just shortly shows grief. No, this story was about grief. It was about guilt and sadness. It was about loss and fear. It was so raw and honest, I could feel Wren's despair down to my bones.
Yes, there was romance, there was love once Wren met Cal. But it wasn't at the forefront of the story. It wasn't the focus of it. The focus was Wren and how she hurt, how she cried and wanted to give up and how she finally started to find her footing, redefine herself and decided to keep on going despite the pain. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time.

There were many moments when I was able to really relate to what she was feeling and was sobbing like a baby. This book truly made me feel. And it gave me hope. It made me believe in love. This is a gem of a book that I wish more people would read.

5 not-broken-only-chipped stars.
Profile Image for Zoe and the Edge.
674 reviews65 followers
February 17, 2015
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 they have fluffy days and sometimes they have days when they just don't fit well. It was refreshing to see a couple who isn't always in perfect sync with each other. Even other characters don't know how to behave and I loved them the more for it.

She stretches out on the couch. Puts her head in my lap. Bites me on the arm. Makes puppy eyes.

I mean, who does that?

Wren has not experienced the worst that you can throw at a heroine. I'm not saying that to belittle her, only that she has some terrible coping mechanisms. She is not a strong character, and that's okay. While my usual preference is heroines who kick ass to the moon and back, I liked Wren. And fortunately, she has a strong support system that really looks out for her. They are all so patient with her.
Wren has isolated herself from all human contact. When she does bump into people, she's awkward as hell and not very nice at all. She has a tendency to overreact majorly. She also disassociates often. She's put her life on hold in favour of sitting around staring into space and trying to forget. In her dazed state she's not very good company but Cal doesn't mind. He's very gentle with her. I think part of his interest in her at first is him wanting to fix her. He's wealthy, and a couple of years older than her and suffers from MS. He tries not to be sensitive about his condition, and usually fails miserably.

I really enjoyed this book's gentle ambling pace.

Sexual Content: Fade to black
Profile Image for Fiona.
116 reviews
July 10, 2016
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.


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 and it's not the same. Like when Cal creeps into her life and she kind of likes it. And when this happened:
"You're not a complication." I lean into him. "You're the only air I can stand to breathe."

It's not a fast paced book and I think that made it really good - I was a spectator in Wren's life but also sort of living it as she was and good books make you think like that. It's a roller coaster following Wren, and I really cannot imagine what she's going through - like all the survivor's guilt and the overwhelmingness of life, and I think a lot of people in the story were not fully able to comprehend what was happening, but Wren would explain it in her head and it made sense to me as the reader. It wasn't healthy but we semi-understood why, so I think the story was really well done.
Profile Image for Erin Bowman.
Author 15 books1,936 followers
January 2, 2013
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 father, Mary (a RISD student on fellowship and working with him), and of course, Cal (a boy taking some time off from college for his own reasons). Cal walks into Wren’s life when she wants nothing more than to be alone but doesn’t realize quite how much she needs someone. He’s struggling with his own demons and their story of healing each other is both heart-wrenching and honest. This is a story of loss and grief and recovery, and the sometimes stilted, blunt voice, balanced with gorgeous moments of insight and prose are the icing on the cake. If you like Nina LaCour’s work, specifically HOLD STILL, I think you’ll enjoy this one!

Originally posted here.
Profile Image for Emily Crowe.
355 reviews129 followers
July 24, 2017
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 examples of bad writing. I opened the book at random and here are some examples I found:

"If he picks me up, I'll have no way out. I'll be stuck at his house. My palms are clammy."

"I sip my latte. The milk's scalding. My tongue will be wrecked for a day or two."

"I step out the door a second. Music's blasting in the studio. Mary's working. The sun's high and huge in the sky. Its own triumph. Good for the sun."

"Winter sets in. The trees sag with snow. Icicles dangle from eaves and boughs."

Profile Image for Marissa.
77 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Andrea.
360 reviews32 followers
November 19, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Maria C.
327 reviews4 followers
September 12, 2013
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..
Profile Image for Kai.
407 reviews128 followers
December 22, 2012
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 suddenly find yourself into. How do you cope?

Mamie almost had it all. She was almost done with high school, ready to grow up, ready to leave the town she grew up in, ready to leave everything behind and start anew. She was talented, bubbly and fun. And then things went wrong that one night. The next thing she knew, her boyfriend was dead, and though she's still breathing, she was a shell of who she was before the accident. Now she's Wren, holed up on her father's snowy cabin somewhere far away from her life as Mamie, trying to figure out what to do with her life after all of it.

This is one of the most difficult books I've read this year. I've read a variety of tearjerkers and heart breakers like this one, but I'm always amazed when a book has something new to offer. I was literally holding my breath with the intensity of the emotions I'm feeling while I'm reading this book. I couldn't breathe, like there was a weight on my chest that can't be lifted. Though I will admit I had a hard time connecting with Wren at times. We all have experienced loss at one point in our lives, but I haven't experienced something as devastating as hers. How does she deal? How will I deal with her emotions and actions?

Lovely, Dark and Deep put me through the ups and downs in the lives of people who have lost something, and no matter how hard they try, they could never get it back. Those whose life was abruptly cut short by a tragedy, those tested by the challenges life has given them. Those who were left to grieve and live with the loss. Wren is one of those, and when her life collided with Cal, everything was just amplified. If Wren's life was a wreck, Cal's was slowly becoming difficult with what he had to cope with. How can these two broken people even try to make something out of a relationship? It took a while for me to be convinced because, like everyone else in the story, they were like a ticking time bomb together. Wren wanted to escape, and Cal had no other choice but to hold on to what he has left in his life. The author had to strip down both of their personalities bare and let the readers see all the dark, ugly thoughts and emotions both of them had. There were times where I had to wonder what good both of them would do to each other, but what can they do? It's the only way Wren knew how to deal with her what she has lost, and Cal had to face a future he wasn't sure he'll have. Their relationship in the eyes of many was wrong, but what I liked about it the most is even though they seem out to destroy each other when their own issues take over, they understand each other the best because they are familiar with what they are going through, and they were each other's anchors then, pushing away the nightmares and the darkness surrounding them. I just had to cheer for the both of them.

Amy McNamara's characters just sucked out my emotions dry. Heavy and intense, I had to stop a few times to make sense of the emotions and feelings each characters presents. It was a riot of both pleasant and unpleasant feelings that attacks the readers in every page. Wren wasn't just dealing with the fall out of her relationship with her friends, but her family as well. Everything was, literally, falling apart. And it was up to her to see through it and believe that she will be better. That with time, she will learn to live with it, because it will never go away.

My only complain is this: what happens next? What of Patrick's family? Just one letter from his sister saying "I wish I hadn't met you", was enough? Was that it? What happened between Wren and Meredith, I couldn't understand what kind of friendship they had. Was Meredith somehow responsible for all the wrongs that Wren did when she was still Mamie? It felt like her friendship with Meredith was streaked with dissatisfaction and pretentiousness, that she became the kind of Mamie she was back then, one she didn't like, because of Meredith's actions, which she wasn't always happy with. It's a twisted kind of friendship, really.

Lovely, Dark and Deep is nerve wracking, and it will rub your emotions raw. It will touch base with the heaviest, most difficult of emotions you have, and it will take you through a harrowing journey of Wren's life, the good, the bad, the ugly, and maybe, just maybe, the better times when it finally comes. It's the kind of book where you miss being happy, but it's also the kind that is just worth a read. How do you deal with death? What does it mean to be alive? Amy Mcnamara's poignant story telling gave life to this one of a kind book.

There's a certain beauty to be had in such a sad story. It's sad, yet hopeful.
Profile Image for Joanne.
1,026 reviews149 followers
December 20, 2012
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.

After seeing this beautiful cover, and reading the promising synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. It just screams "awesome"! But now, having read it, I can say it wasn't my cup of tea.

Wren has been spending time at her father's house in the middle of the woods, in the middle of nowhere. She has wanted to escape everything that reminded her of the crash that caused her boyfriend's death, the crash that she was in. She is drowning in depression, overcome with grief and guilt, and is trying to work her own way out of it - alone, in the quiet. This is a little hard to do when no-one will leave her be, especially her mother. Then a chance meeting with Cal stirs feelings inside of her she thought long dead. Feelings she doesn't want. Struggling to come to terms with what happened while everyone else is telling her how she should grieve, as well as unwanted attention and reminders of the past from Cal almost get too much to bear. Will Wren come out on the other side with Cal at her side, or will she sink even further?

I have been reading Lovely, Dark and Deep for two weeks. I struggled so much with this book it took me forever to get through it. I couldn't connect to the story; I didn't care about the characters so couldn't get emotionally invested in it. You may possibly think that Wren's intense depression brought me down or maybe annoyed me because there was never any real relief from it, but no. That would require some emotion from me. The most I felt was irritation that it wasn't finished yet.

That sounds so harsh, but it's how I felt when reading. I can't exactly say why either. I've already said I didn't care about the characters. I think that might be because some of what Wren was feeling felt repetitive - but that's understandable because she's grieving, that doesn't fade away over night. Perhaps it was the pace; nothing major really happens in this book, so it's all really one level. Perhaps it was because there didn't seem to be much depth to most of the characters, really, apart from Wren's feelings. It's like she was so wrapped up in what she's feeling, that we don't get to see much about the other characters and their interests. Or maybe it was that I felt no chemistry between the Wren and Cal at all. I was hoping their relationship would be the light among the dark, but I just didn't feel it. The first time Cal and Wren kiss, we get this:
'He runs his fingers across my lips. Puts a warm hand on either side of my face and pulls me closer. I close my eyes. His mouth is on mine.
"You're talking again," he says, after a while.'

That's it. Really. Cal makes comments at times about how she turns him on, but you never really feel it. It never gets heated, there's no passion, nor could I feel the love.

The whole book just fell kind of flat to me, and it's because of this that it took me so long to read this book; I just couldn't find the motivation to pick it up again after I put it down. There were so many more interesting things to do than read. It has to be said, that once reading, the pages turned quite easily, and some of the lines and imagery is really quite poetic and beautiful, but on the whole, it just didn't do it for me, unfortunately. There were people who said they would put a book down if they were struggling as much as I was with this one, but I was hoping that maybe I would love it when I got to the end. Then I did. I have the achievement of finishing a book I didn't really enjoy, but nothing else.

Some people have really enjoyed this book, so don't base your decision on whether you'll read Lovely, Dark and Deep on my review alone. Check out a few others. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it more than I did.
Profile Image for Lena ♫ ♪ .
278 reviews36 followers
October 26, 2012
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. Use to is the key phrase here, my friends.

Now, instead of going to college, she's living with her dad. Her dad, the artist, who lives in a reclusive area and doesn't exactly know how to be a dad. That's okay. All Wren wants to do is be by herself. Her friends try to keep in contact with her. Call her. See how she's doing. Wren doesn't want any of those things. She wants to escape. She wants to run.

One night, while she's riding her bike, she's literally ran off the road by Cal Owens. Though she insists that she's fine, Cal can't help but want to help her. The thing is, he's suffering from his own problems as well. What neither of them expected to find was comfort in each other.

Wren, of all things, is just a girl who has suffered far too much pain to deal with. She's lost and though the best thing for her to do is confide in her love ones, she decides to keep it all in. She feels the pain and guilt of her loss every second of every day. I really admired how the author wrote Wren's story. It's not easy to depict that sort of all-consuming torment and yet she did. You can literally feel Wren's agony leaping off the pages and even though it's uncomfortable, you can't help but keep reading.

While I enjoyed Wren's character, I must admit I enjoyed Cal's story more. Even after everything he's been through, he still has this warming heart that just somehow comforts you. He's hurting from his own misery, but still puts Wren ahead of his own pain. The selfless characters are usually my favorite ones, so it's no surprise that in this novel, Cal was my favorite.

Now, if you didn't notice, I wrote part of this review using short, somewhat tousled sentences. The reason I did this was because the author does this quite a few times in the novel. I think the reason for this is because she wanted to show Wren's thought process. Wren wasn't seeing the world in beautiful colors, but rather seeing it in black, white, and grey. Though I understand why the author decided to do this, I can't help but feel like it took a bit away from the story. At times, it even became a bit distracting. I would've loved to see this elegant writing to go along with Wren and Cal's world.

Also, to be honest, it did take me a while to get into the story. After some time, I just wanted Wren to live and stop suffering in her own pool of self pity. About a hundred pages or so later, the story finally took off. I rushed to finish it and luxuriated in it's artistry.

Overall, LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is an emotional book I relished in. While it's not the best book I've read, it's still a splendid one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone out there looking for a touching novel with a lot of heart.
Profile Image for Kim.
163 reviews69 followers
June 3, 2015
More of my reviews can be found at my YA blog.

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.

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 lot of lamenting, of hitting a wall and not being able to get around it, and just ... depression. High moments. Low moments. The plot isn't why you'd read this book.

It took about a 100 pages for me to really get into something aside from the writing. By around page 150, I thought the story could wrap up nicely. The book is around 350 pages, so it doesn't. It just keeps going. There a lulls were the writing is all that kept the book in my hands, then there's action that makes me actually interested in the outcome. The story dragged near the end. I thought there were parts that could have been cut altogether to make it tighter and more ... eventful.

They make the book worth while.
WREN is the main character, she's fragile, broken, and self-centered. She's not the most original character. I can think of a few other MCs just like her -- Claire from EMILY'S DRESS & OTHER MISSING THINGS or What's-her-name (I want to say ... Anne?) from REVOLUTION by Donnelly. They were both whirling from a lose, by mega-sad.

CAL is probably my favorite character in the story. He's unique, special, and always interesting. I felt for him and respected his strength.

MARY is my other favorite. She's such a unique, weird, artistic character that can drag even gloomy Wren out of herself. I was so sad when she left the story.

WREN'S DAD was someone I had a like-loath relationship with. Sometimes he was awesome, other times he'd say things that weren't so awesome -- borderline sexist remarks. Over all, I liked him.

WREN'S MOM was a bitch. I couldn't stand her. I was just hoping someone would punch her.

MEREDITH was ... ughhhhh inducing.

Even if I didn't like the characters, the fact that McNamara could make me feel so extreme about them was great.

This was another reason to read the story. Wren and Cal's weird little dance. I felt it more from Cal's side, and wanted it to work out for his sake. I knew that it was probably Wren's only chance of becoming someone again. Plus, it was a tragic romance and I love those. There's some hope that somehow everything will magically work out but ... with his sickness, you know it can't last forever.

Completely and utterly the biggest reason I read this book. It was powerful and beautiful all at once. It made an otherwise already-been-there-done-that story different and lovely. Just like the title says, the writing is lovely, dark, and deep. McNamara has a talent for describing depression without being blatant about what it all means. How one moment Wren can have so much energy and the next she can't get herself out of bed.

This book is going to stick with me.
Profile Image for Emma .
2,506 reviews353 followers
November 20, 2012
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 felt this reflected the two different aspects of Wren’s life – the life before her accident and that after. The names themselves conjure powerful imagery to along with the different personality traits Wren exhibits. Mamie being the carefree, confident party loving girl while Wren being the little, timid bird the name suggests.

Following a car accident that kills her boyfriend Wren retreats into herself, she hides away physically and withdraws emotionally to the point she becomes an elective mute. The events surrounding the accident are not initially fully revealed but always a presence in the background. Due to the unfolding of the plot Wren is a little hard to understand in the beginning, the extent that she tortures herself with guilt is overwhelming. She does appear immature and self-absorbed at times. This is the first bad thing that has ever happened to her; the cliche of not knowing what you have until its gone is very well defined here. Wren becomes very pessimistic in her outlook, surrounding herself with guilt, loss and pain.

The imagery within the narrative is very symbolic pairing Winter with Death in the imagination. The narrative is very emotional, the use of metaphor simply stunning.

The use of poetry within the story added depth to the emotions Wren was dealing with. Her ability to relate to poetry reminded me of how my 12 year old’s ability to weave emotions into poetry. I read Larkin’s Aubade while reading the book as it is referenced a lot, I would urge you to do the same as it is an explosive addition to the sentiments in the plot.

The developing relationship with Cal provides a way for Wren to focus on something other than herself. Being able to help Cal is a cathartic experience for her. The portrayal of depression following bereavement is brutally realistic, painfully so if you have been through the same thing. Vividly showing just how self-esteem crumbles being replaced with blame, shame and guilt. It’s a viscous cycle that takes great effort to break out of. Cal provides that opening to move on for Wren.

Defining moments in life come not from all the good but from events that cause us intolerable pain. It is these moments that alter our perception. It is how we deal with these moments and learn from the altered perception that remains with us always and ultimately defines who we are. It is this aspect that translates heart-wrenchingly within Lovely, Dark and Deep making it not only beautifully written but emotionally powerful.
Profile Image for Nicole.
637 reviews263 followers
November 6, 2012
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 present terms. "The snow falls softly" sounds more...poetic, I guess than "The snow fell softly". And I just love how the words seem to flow more like that. So seeing that this was in present tense? Well my expectations went a bit higher and I was a bit worried that it wouldn't quite reach my expectations.

I loved the characters. they weren't necessarily far from perfect, but they had feelings that you could fell with them. They had the reactions some of us would have. Wren was such a real character, you guys. She went through so much, and even though she could be considered " self-centered", everyone has to admit, we'd probably do the same or at least something similar. And that's what I loved! the author captured these emotions, these actions, so perfectly, in my opinion. And that was...that was wonderful, for lack of a better word.
Cal, was, on the other hand, not perfect, per say, but very very close. He did react like some people would too, but...he's like, a mix of all the kind reactions. Nothing he did was ever really mean or even slightly annoying. He was just a character you had to fall in love with, sweet and so understanding, so I guess I can't complain there!

The romance was something I was iffy about. For someone who was heartbroken about her old-ex-now-dead-boyfriend, she fell in love pretty quickly. I guess I would've liked the romance to slow down a bit instead of going as quickly as it did. I expected Wren to feel denial at her feelings, honestly, so when she didn't...well, it surprised me for sure. I'm still deciding if that was a good or bad surprise.

The plot the plot the plot the plot. Lovelovelovelovelove. It wasn't like, full of twists or anything, but it told the story of a broken girl who was looking for her place in the world again. Seriously. What's not to love? The plot was just so emotional and while I didn't cry, Lovely, Dark, and Deep definitely pulled a few heartstrings. It was just...too good for words honestly. It's something you have to read to get!

The best thing was that it didn't have a happy ending after all, no matter what I thought. There's nothing perfect about the world, and there was nothing perfect about how this book ended. Am i allowed to use the word real again? No? How about believable? This story was so believable in so many ways, good and bad. I would've liked a happy ending (I'm a sucker for HEA's) but the way it ended...well, it was infinitely better. LOVE
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