Published in 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Goodreads:
Love lives between the lines.
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, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.
Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.
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.
I was given a selection of books to review for work and told to pick one. Instantly, the cover to this book jumped out at me and I was instantly moved by the blurb on the back, so I chose this.
I started it the next day and was instantly in awe. The layout was and is absolutely beautiful, the writing captivating. It jumps between Henry and Rachel’s perspectives, as well as letters which are found in various books in the bookstore. The setting to this book was perfection, the bookstore and the stories inside held so much symbolism for the plot, what had happened, what was to come, and what the characters had gone through.
Both Henry and Rachel went through their own angst through the story, and from the narrative the reader definitely got a tragic feel and I felt so sad for Rachel throughout, she was missing her brother greatly and his death impacted her so much, she had definitely changed, Henry hadn’t heard from her in some time, but when their paths cross, he knows how absent she is, there’s very little of the Rachel that was his best friend and she doesn’t tell anyone about her brother, she hardly talks to him.
I feel this book was definitely about both characters’ journies, but there were some great side characters that featured in this book too. Henry’s family, especially, they all had their things to deal with, and there was definitely a great amount of mystery as George (Henry’s sister) tried to figure out who was writing the secret letters under the mysterious pen name. I honestly didn’t know who it could’ve been but there was a tiny clue offered to the reader, and it clicked and the tragic irony was unlike anything I’d read in a YA contemporary fiction book before.
There were so many bookish moments a book lover can appreciate, whether it’s the letters being shown that are found in the Howling Library section, and from what books and pages they were from, to the open book discussions that were in this book. Henry’s family had regular book group meetings and I thought that was so sweet.
Definitely a book that will stay with me for some time, it had lots of light moments too, it washonestly a unique, precious read, and I recommend it to all!
And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂