After seeing this beautiful cover, and reading the promising synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. It just screams "awesome"! But now, having read it, I can say it wasn't my cup of tea.
Wren has been spending time at her father's house in the middle of the woods, in the middle of nowhere. She has wanted to escape everything that reminded her of the crash that caused her boyfriend's death, the crash that she was in. She is drowning in depression, overcome with grief and guilt, and is trying to work her own way out of it - alone, in the quiet. This is a little hard to do when no-one will leave her be, especially her mother. Then a chance meeting with Cal stirs feelings inside of her she thought long dead. Feelings she doesn't want. Struggling to come to terms with what happened while everyone else is telling her how she should grieve, as well as unwanted attention and reminders of the past from Cal almost get too much to bear. Will Wren come out on the other side with Cal at her side, or will she sink even further?
You may have noticed that I haven't reviewed a book in a while. The last thing about a book I read was a recommendation, and that was two weeks ago. The reason is because I have been reading Lovely, Dark and Deep for two weeks. I struggled so much with this book it took me forever to get through it. I couldn't connect to the story; I didn't care about the characters so couldn't get emotionally invested in it. You may possibly think that Wren's intense depression brought me down or maybe annoyed me because there was never any real relief from it, but no. That would require some emotion from me. The most I felt was irritation that it wasn't finished yet.
That sounds so harsh, but it's how I felt when reading. I can't exactly say why either. I've already said I didn't care about the characters. I think that might be because some of what Wren was feeling felt repetitive - but that's understandable because she's grieving, that doesn't fade away over night. Perhaps it was the pace; nothing major really happens in this book, so it's all really one level. Perhaps it was because there didn't seem to be much depth to most of the characters, really, apart from Wren's feelings. It's like she was so wrapped up in what she's feeling, that we don't get to see much about the other characters and their interests. Or maybe it was that I felt no chemistry between the Wren and Cal at all. I was hoping their relationship would be the light among the dark, but I just didn't feel it. The first time Cal and Wren kiss, we get this:
'He runs his fingers across my lips. Puts a warm hand on either side of my face and pulls me closer. I close my eyes. His mouth is on mine.That's it. Really. Cal makes comments at times about how she turns him on, but you never really feel it. It never gets heated, there's no passion, nor could I feel the love.
"You're talking again," he says, after a while.' (p105)
The whole book just fell kind of flat to me, and it's because of this that it took me so long to read this book; I just couldn't find the motivation to pick it up again after I put it down. There were so many more interesting things to do than read. It has to be said, that once reading, the pages turned quite easily, and some of the lines and imagery is really quite poetic and beautiful, but on the whole, it just didn't do it for me, unfortunately. There were people who said they would put a book down if they were struggling as much as I was with this one, but I was hoping that maybe I would love it when I got to the end. Then I did. I have the achievement of finishing a book I didn't really enjoy, but nothing else.
Some people have really enjoyed this book, so don't base your decision on whether you'll read Lovely, Dark and Deep on my review alone. Check out a few others, I've linked to a few below. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it more than I did.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's Books for sending me a review copy.
Published: 8th November 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
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