Release Date: October 16, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.
Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.
Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara showed up on my doorstep quite unexpectedly and I was very excited to see it. So excited that I ignored the review books I was supposed to be reading and started this one right away. I definitely made the right choice. I think it’s going to be hard for me to express just how much I loved this book and just how beautiful it is.
Lovely, Dark and Deep is about a very damaged girl. Wren is struggling just to make it through the day. She has isolated herself deep in the icy Maine woods to escape the memories of the accident and to grieve in her own way. The pacing of the book is one of those wonderfully slow ones. Wren is so broken throughout most of the story, but we get to watch her make her new path through the world. It’s like watching someone learn to live again. Even though Wren is in this unfathomable dark place I couldn’t help but love her. Sometimes I had such a strong urge to hug her.
Wren’s relationship with Cal felt a little sudden to me at first, but it didn’t take me long to warm up to it. After I put a little more thought into it the suddenness seemed very realistic to me. They were both at rock bottom and they needed each other so much. I loved the way their problems contrasted. Wren’s were mental and Cal’s were physical, but the fit together like a puzzle piece. There were times when Cal’s actions made me so impatient, but overall I loved their connect so much.
Melancholy is a word I would use to describe Lovely, Dark and Deep, but please don’t be put off by that. The story is also hopeful and uplifting. The people that surround Wren were so incredibly warm. They were honestly some of the best secondary characters I’ve ever read. Then there’s Amy McNamara’s extraordinary writing. Her style is very unique. Evey word felt like it was thoughtfully placed and every page was infused with beauty.
Lovely, Dark and Deep is one of those stories that will stick with me for a long time to come. I can’t recommend it enough. I also want to mention that I can’t think of a better example of publishers getting a cover right. That cover captures all the feelings inside.