Title: Lovely, Dark and Deep
Author: Amy McNamara
Published: October 16th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"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. Somehwere 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."
First line: "Be careful what you wish for."
Thoughts: LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP offers everything the title suggests it will: A lovely setting, a dark past, all wrapped into a deep story. Though I must admit, what originally drew me to the novel was it's breathtaking cover. Gorgeous, isn't it? What I wasn't prepared for was the depth and overall intensity of this novel.
Wren use to be a lot of things. She use to go by a different name. She use to live with her mom. She use to have a boyfriend before a tragic car accident left her uninjured and him dead. Use to is the key phrase here, my friends.
Now, instead of going to college, she's living with her dad. Her dad, the artist, who lives in a reclusive area and doesn't exactly know how to be a dad. That's okay. All Wren wants to do is be by herself. Her friends try to keep in contact with her. Call her. See how she's doing. Wren doesn't want any of those things. She wants to escape. She wants to run.
One night, while she's riding her bike, she's literally ran off the road by Cal Owens. Though she insists that she's fine, Cal can't help but want to help her. The thing is, he's suffering from his own problems as well. What neither of them expected to find was comfort in each other.
Wren, of all things, is just a girl who has suffered far too much pain to deal with. She's lost and though the best thing for her to do is confide in her love ones, she decides to keep it all in. She feels the pain and guilt of her loss every second of every day. I really admired how the author wrote Wren's story. It's not easy to depict that sort of all-consuming torment and yet she did. You can literally feel Wren's agony leaping off the pages and even though it's uncomfortable, you can't help but keep reading.
While I enjoyed Wren's character, I must admit I enjoyed Cal's story more. Even after everything he's been through, he still has this warming heart that just somehow comforts you. He's hurting from his own misery, but still puts Wren ahead of his own pain. The selfless characters are usually my favorite ones, so it's no surprise that in this novel, Cal was my favorite.
Now, if you didn't notice, I wrote part of this review using short, somewhat tousled sentences. The reason I did this was because the author does this quite a few times in the novel. I think the reason for this is because she wanted to show Wren's thought process. Wren wasn't seeing the world in beautiful colors, but rather seeing it in black, white, and grey. Though I understand why the author decided to do this, I can't help but feel like it took a bit away from the story. At times, it even became a bit distracting. I would've loved to see this elegant writing to go along with Wren and Cal's world.
Also, to be honest, it did take me a while to get into the story. After some time, I just wanted Wren to live and stop suffering in her own pool of self pity. About a hundred pages or so later, the story finally took off. I rushed to finish it and luxuriated in it's artistry.
Overall, LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is an emotional book I relished in. While it's not the best book I've read, it's still a splendid one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone out there looking for a touching novel with a lot of heart.