Published: December 3rd 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 342 Pages (Paperback)
Buy it: Book Depository
~ Free worldwide shipping ~
Wren Wells is trying to outrun the accident that killed her boyfriend and wrecked her plants to live a normal life. Instead of going to college, she retreats to her father's isolated art studio. There, in the remote northern woods of Maine, she meets Cal Owen, a boy who wears his own hurt like a badge. But when their connection threatens Wren's hardwon isolation, she has to choose: open up her broken heart or join the ghosts who haunt her.
“So this is life. Love. We spend all this time reaching for each other and
mostly we end up hurting each other until it's over.”
If you are looking for an action packed, dramatic/melodramatic or romance-based novel, keep on looking because this one probably isn't what you are looking for.
Lovely, Dark and Deep is exactly like the title. This book is really dark, due to the fact that it deals with grief and the struggle of trying to survive even in times when you think you can't do it anymore. This book is deep because of the topics discussed, the characters, especially Wren who is just such a deep and layered character it's breathtaking. And this book is lovely, but not in a necessarily delightful way, but rather because of the feeling of reality one gets from it.
I've read a lot of books which dealt with loss and grief but many of them failed to capture the actual mindset of someone who is amidst grief and pain and facing the darkness that is life after someone you loved is dead and gone. Lovely, Dark and Deep caught that feeling and mirrored it on point. While reading I really felt like it was me who was going through what Wren was going through. All the things she felt seemed real and realistic. Nothing was overdramatized for sheer dramatic purposes. Everything that happened seemed not like fiction, not like something someone just made up, but rather like the actual thoughts and emotions of a real person grieving.
“If you slip far enough out of your life, time picks up.
Passes in waves instead of notches. One month rolling by, then another.”
As mentioned before, the characters in Lovely, Dark and Deep are perfect. They all seem very real, not flat at all, even those who only show up for a scene or two.
Wren is a fantastic narrator in the sense that she tells you exactly how she feels. She doesn't try to sugarcoat any of her emotions. She feels real, fragile and raw with a beautiful poetic touch and a love for Phillip Larkin. Her personality is beautifully undefined because she herself isn't even sure anymore who she is. You can feel her panic, her confusion and just how lost she is sometimes.
Cal was great. Despite his sickness he was there for Wren. He didn't run away when he saw that she isn't in a good place right now. He stayed no matter what and it was beautiful.
It was beautiful to see how their relationship started to build very slowly and subtly over the course of the book, which was another thing that just made this book feel so realistic. Everything was happening very slowly, at its own pace which was appropriate for the state Wren was in at the begging and the end of the book.
“I came here because it's pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of
quiet-noise you need when there's too much going on in your head. Like
the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet
as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear.”
All in all Lovely, Dark and Deep is a book which focuses in big parts on an inner process going on inside of Wren, it focuses on her trying to deal with life and loss. It's a very poetic and raw book which captures feelings and throughts truthfully. This is easily one of my favorite books of all time and I'm sure I will return to Wren's story more than once in the future.