Author: Cath Crowley
Published: June 6, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
Description from Amazon:
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.
Well that certainly was a doozy of an emotional roller coaster! I don’t think I’ve cried like that during a book since Wonder! And it started from the very first page. Rachel exudes a hopelessness that I have never experienced in my life. Her brother died very suddenly in the place that they both felt confident and comfortable, the ocean. So now that she both hates and loves her home by the sea, she decides to move back to her hometown to live with her aunt to hopefully get through her grief. Even aside from Cal’s death, the boy that she confessed her love for through a letter, completely ignored her and stayed with someone else. I was sad while reading all this! It actually put me in a weepy mood!
Henry, unfortunately started out as an annoying teenager who thinks he actually knows what love is and that his whole world has ended because his high school girlfriend dumped him yet again. That is the only reason I gave this book 4 stars. His insistence that Amy is absolutely his soulmate while she claims that she loves him, but also loves someone else, got really irritating really fast!
What I loved about this book was the appreciation of secondhand books and bookstores! Being able to find the lives and memories of others in the pages of used books is such a beautiful thought and Crowley captures it perfectly! Watching Rachel work through her grief in the midst of the memories from so many people brought tears to my eyes. George, Henry’s sister, is the one who tore my heart out of my chest and stomped on it! I can’t give much more detail without giving away the ending of the story, but I had tears coursing down my cheeks because of the regret and love that George has to live with. I wish I could put into words all the things that I felt while reading this book! Overall, this was a quick read, but an emotional one. There is some language and some adult themes, but definitely ok for older teens. I would recommend this to book to anyone who has lost someone, or wants a beautiful story of love, or just wants an interesting read.