Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

In this episode, Jen and Diem review ‘Wor9781743289570ds in Deep Blue’ by Cath Crowley by giving you, dear listeners, 10 reasons why we love the book.

Thanks Pan Macmillan for sending us a review copy of ‘Words in Deep Blue’.

Below are bits and pieces from our review. However, do give the podcast episode a listen. It’s way better.


10 things we love about Words in Deep Blue and they are why you should read it

  1. Howling books

Jen: ‘Books! Obviously we like books!’

Diem: ‘We like books and I want Howling Books to be a real place. It sounds like such a cozy warm place ‘cause there’s a café next door and I think if Howling Books existed I’d just hang out there all the time.’


Diem: ‘The Letter Library is a part of Howling Books and I thought it was just gorgeous. I really loved it.’

Jen: ‘Basically, it’s a section of the bookstore where there are heaps of books. Sometimes there are like multiple copies of the same books. And people come in and they leave notes. They leave notes and letters and sticky notes and different things. They can write in the books…You can go in and you can read all of those. And you can have a conversation with someone…You get to connect with someone.’


Jen: ‘Diem and I use to read the same books and we’d leave sticky notes and notes and things inside the books. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why we loved Words in Deep Blue so much. Because we could relate to it a lot more.’

Diem: ‘It’s like we’re reading it together.’

  1. Bibliophiles

Diem: ‘This book is full of bibliophiles, full of readers, full of people who love reading and love books. And different kinds of bibliophiles… and Henry is a boy who reads [Diem’s note: heart eyes for daysssss].

‘Words in Deep Blue is a book for readers. Pretty much. Readers will really connect with this book and go yeah, this is it. This is why we read.’

  1. The characters

Diem: ‘I love Henry. Even though, he…’

Jen: ‘He’s so pathetic.’


Diem: ‘I love Rachel, and I love Cal. Cal, the brother who drowned in the sea that he loved. Cal is gorgeous, so-’

Jen: ‘That’s another thing! The Letter Library allows for people who are gone to sort of interact with people in the current day as well.

Diem; ‘Even though we never actually meet Cal, as in he’s not alive. He lives through the letters and books and the memories of the living. Of Rachel, and everything else.’

  1. The cover, the layout of the book, the typography

Diem: ‘How gorgeous…Whenever I look at the cover I just discover something new and because I’ve read the book. It’s like “oh that fits in so well”’

Jen: ‘It’s so beautiful.’

Diem: ‘You just need to buy a copy of this book. You want to own this book. You want a physical copy. You don’t want an ebook.’

Jen: ‘This is a book you want a physical copy of. Ebooks won’t do it justice.’

  1. The references to other writers/authors and books

Diem: ‘Like we said, this book is for bibliophiles. And this is a book for bookworms.’

Jen: ‘Little references to authors and books.’

Diem: ‘I need to reread it and write it all down. Heaps of references to John Green and The Fault in Our Stars…There’s a reference to Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell. And they are IRL BFFs. They are a girl gang. They are writing a book together as well. WHICH IS REALLY EXCITING. WOOO!

Jen: ‘YAY!’

Diem: ‘I thought that was super fun. That as a lovely, y’know, nod. And you should listen to Unladylike podcast because there’s an episode on friendship-‘

Jen: ‘And they’re in it as well.’

Diem: ‘Also, another young adult book was Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar…it wasn’t just a line. It was a whole paragraph.’

  1. Cath’s writing

Diem: ‘We love Cath’s writing.’

Jen: ‘It’s so gorgeous.’

Diem: ‘It’s like Graffiti Moon, which is the last book that she wrote. So if you haven’t read Graffiti Moon, what are you doing? Read Graffiti Moon! And if you have read Graffiti Moon, and you loved it to bits. You will love Words in Deep Blue heaps and even more…I’ve been pretty much waiting for Words in Deep Blue since I finished Graffiti Moon when it was first published. And it’s so beautiful and it’s so heartbreaking.’

Jen: ‘Just how everything is tied in together.’

Diem: ‘We don’t have the words in our vocabulary to describe how beautiful it is.’

‘I wanted to devour it but I also wanted to mull over the words so I can take everything in and reading this out loud would have been beautiful.’

  1. The Melbourne setting

Diem: ‘It’s very Melbourne! There’s talk of ‘over the river’ and ‘the other side of the river’, different sides of the river. Y’know, the north and the south. Just the vibe, you can really feel it.’

  1. The idea of coping with grief and moving on

Diem: ‘I thought that was really well done, and we’re not going to say much else on it. I don’t think we can.’

Jen: ‘There’s not much we can say.’

Diem: “It’s beautiful and heartbreaking.’

Jen: ‘There are different types of grief that they have to deal with. Obviously, with Rachel and her brother and Henry and his parents’ separation.’

  1. The letters

Diem: ‘Letters play a huge role in this novel as well. And I love letters. I love reading letters in books.’

Jen: ‘Just the conversation and the relationship between the different characters through the letters. A lot of the time the characters don’t talk to each other; they write letters to each other. And it’s lovely.’

  1. It’s a love story

Diem: ‘It’s a love story between the readers and the book. It’s a love story with friends. That’s a love story. And family. And it’s also, of course, romantic relationships. It’s a love story’

Jen: ‘You do feel really warm and fuzzy and nice inside after you finish reading it. You do feel a bit sad but it’s so gorgeous. Guys, you have to read this!’

Diem: ‘You really need to read this and we love this so much.’

Discussion to come. 

Show notes

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

The Tome Travellers

Unladylike Podcast: Episode 2-On Friendship

Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Check out the rest of the blog tour. 

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