Words in Deep Blue
Before badkittyuno disappeared off Cannonball again (I can say that because I’ve come back) she read and reviewed Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. It sounded right up my alley so I downloaded the narrated-by-Australians (this may have added a star) audiobook from Overdrive and promptly fell in love.
The night before Rachel Sweetie moved away from her hometown she left a note for her best friend, Henry, confessing her years long crush on him. Unfortunately Henry’s not-quite girlfriend, Amy, saw the note and made sure he never got it. Rachel thought his lack of reaction meant he didn’t feel the same way so she let the distance between them physically push the apart emotionally and it has been years since they’ve talked.
Flash forward- Henry is recovering from a broken heart (Amy became a real girl friend but at the start of the novel they have broken up), his parents are getting a divorce and they are selling the family bookstore. Meanwhile Rachel is grieving the death of her younger brother and her parents have sent her back to her hometown to live her with aunt for a while since she failed to graduate high school. Her aunt has gotten her a job helping catalog at the Henry’s family’s bookstore before its sale so after years apart the former friends are stuck working together.
“You can’t patch up someone forgetting about you. For the rest of your life you’ll always be worrying that they’ll forget about you the same way they did before.”
Crowley is a talent YA writer; the story of Henry and Rachel seemed believable and I was more emotionally invested than I care to admit. I loved the description of the Letters Library, where patrons wrote notes to other patrons in old copies of books that weren’t for sale, and would love to find a store where that was real. I also really liked the supporting characters- Lola, George and Martin were on par with John Green best friends, which is high praise.
Following my love for Words in Deep Blue I downloaded Graffiti Moon which was equally wonderful.
Lucy is in love with a mysterious graffiti artist named Shadow who leaves beautiful murals throughout their hometown including one she believes is of her. Following the end of highschool Lucy and her two best friends, Jazz and Daisy, are determined to have a night to remember. Daisy’s boyfriend, Dylan, happens to know Shadow and his accomplice, Poet, so Lucy agrees to spend the evening with Dylan and his two friends Ed and Leo. Unfortunately a few years ago Lucy had an awful date with Ed that ended in a broken nose but Ed recently broke up with his girlfriend so he is more focused on his broken heart than the past.
“I can’t believe you’re still mad at me,” Ed says.
“You grabbed my arse.”
“You broke my nose.”
Ed dropped out of school and has been helping his mother pay the rent and bills so she could go back to college. Unfortunately they are struggling to make ends meet and the three boys actually have a plan to rob the school after they’re done hanging out with the girls. Lucy and Ed end up getting separated from the group and if you have ever read a work of YA fiction you know that Ed is Shadow. Naturally he doesn’t want Lucy to know his secret because she has spent the evening gushing about the mysterious artist.
“I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall. I look at this painting and think about how everyone has some secret inside, something sleeping like that yellow bird.”
Graffiti Moon is not as good as Words in Deep Blue but it was still pretty great. The whole novel takes place during the course of one night and I could see it translating well into a Netflix romcom a la To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.