Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
First Line: “I open my eyes at midnight to the sound of the ocean and my brother’s breathing.”
Okay so this review has a bit of a funny story to it. I got this book as an advanced reader copy about two months ago and the second I read what it was about I knew I wanted to read it. For some reason, lost loves that come back are one of my favorite things to read about. Anyway, I looked at when it was supposed to be published and the cover said June 2017, so I decided I had to wait to read and review it until the publication date was closer.
So two weeks ago, I went back to this book because I wanted to read some cheesy young adult romance and I googled if the publication date had changed.
Google told me it was published last year.
BUT when I went to write this blog post, I googled it again and it says it is still set to be published on June 6th, 2017.
So I have no idea what is happening with this book but here’s the review!
This book took some time to get into. That’s the only reason it’s not rated 5/5 stars. I didn’t get caught up in that “Ohmysweetgoodness I can’t put this book down” feeling until close to the end, so if you’re not a slow beginning kind of person this book might not be for you. I, on the other hand, am a sucker for character development and usually a slow beginning means realistically slow (but intriguing) character development and that’s what this book has.
It also has a beautiful focus on books and words and what people leave behind. The bookstore where the two main characters, Rachel and Henry, work holds a collection of books that stay in the shop permanently that people can write letters or underline lines in. This “Letter Library” reminds everyone that, every time you read a book, a part of you stays with it forever. Even if you don’t write in it.
I adored the way Cath Crowley wrote about words. I think it takes a lot of skill to describe words with, well, words (and obviously I don’t have this skill)! The book is so easy to read but also very moving at certain parts. Not to mention funny.
This book is the perfect mix of characters, storyline, and meaning. It’ll make you want to write all over your favorite books. It’ll make you want a secondhand bookstore like Howling Books near you. It’ll help you understand loss just a little bit more. And it’ll remind you that “Sometimes science isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the poets.”