Vicky Who Reads's Reviews > Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
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2.5 stars

This was a cute book and a very quick read, so I sped through it in a couple of hours.

I was in one of those rare moods, looking for a love story, when I began this and it did well in that aspect.

The romance was cute and it was entertaining. It's cliché in the aspect that it's got heavy unrequited love and a girl pining over a guy who doesn't see her, but it was also done much better than countless other novels because of how there weren't any huge overreactions or unnecessary drama. The characters were pretty withdrawn in that aspect.

Despite their withdrawn-characteristics being a positive when talking about clichés, it also ended up being a negative for me with regard to the actual characters.

They felt very two dimensional and I wanted more to them.

I liked how Rachel was dealing with grief over the death of her brother, which I found to be a very interesting subplot. It added a little more depth to her and gave her some more justification for her tight-lipped nature, but her character still felt kind of lacking as I didn't get much out of who Rachel was. I couldn't really relate to her and I felt like although the subplot of grief was included, it also felt underdone (more on that later), especially with the emotional aspects of it.

I know Rachel mentioned how she felt dead inside, but it was like she was dead inside for the entire novel. I wanted an emotional outburst or something that made her character more dynamic. Instead it was just mild burst of emotion when involving Henry.

Henry was pretty bland. I wasn't a huge fan of him and I didn't really like him very much. I like that he wasn't a super huge d-bag, but he also needed to get his priorities straight and was very blind for the whole of the novel. I got frustrated a lot not because Henry and Rachel weren't together, but because Henry was clearly pining over a toxic relationship.

My favorite character was actually Henry's little sister, George, who is a teenager and goes through a lot more dynamic character change than any of the other characters (in my opinion). She's dealing with the loss of messages with the pen-pal she fell in love with (who is actually dead--this isn't a spoiler) while also falling in love with her coworker. I mean, how fun of a plot does that sound like? I thoroughly enjoyed George's own subplot and found it entertaining and endearing.

I had a huge problem with the antagonists in this novel, though.

They were villains, through and through, and this was why I didn't like them. This is a contemporary romance and honestly there shouldn't be pure black (as in not-morally grey) villainous characters.

There were two main villains, Greg and Amy.

Amy was the better of the two, so we'll start with her first.

In this novel, Amy is the girlfriend/jealous ex-girlfriend of Henry. She can be conniving and is toxic for Henry and everything I didn't want to see. She was made out to be the "other woman." Luckily, there wasn't any blatant girl on girl hate (I don't think that would have made it's way past edits) but I felt like the way her character was created and placed and used, she was very much the jealous girlfriend, despite no real confrontations happening. I didn't like what she represented, and I feel like Crowley tried to make her less of this character and more human by mentioning how she "didn't like being alone" or something like that, but overall she felt very much like an antagonist to me, and I didn't like that.

Crowley didn't even try to make Greg a complex character--he was an antagonist through and through. Greg is a bully to Henry and the guy Amy dates when she wants Henry to pine over her. He does cruel things to Henry (view spoiler) and never gets any more to his character besides being a big, bad, perfect-looking bully. He felt the most two dimensional of all the characters and I just really didn't like how flat and background-less he was.

The plot is entertaining and the writing is easy to read, I'll give the book that. It's quick and paced well and the letters in between chapters are really cute to read.

But it was also pretty white-washed, which is a lot more common in romance contemporaries than it is in non-romance contemporaries, unfortunately. I might have passed over indication of other races and sexualities, but other than two mentions of one of the minor characters having two moms, it was pretty barren of non-white non-heterosexual people.

This is a story about a bookstore romance--how could I not love it?! Well, overall, this wasn't a bad book but I felt like it had some flaws that pushed it on the lower side of the spectrum compared to my initial rating as a 3.5. If you're just looking for a romance that is interesting and fulfills your own desires, go right ahead and read this. But if you're looking for more layered characters and plots, I'd suggest to go elsewhere.

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Reading Progress

January 20, 2018 – Started Reading
January 20, 2018 – Shelved
January 20, 2018 –
page 174
January 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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