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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

How do you deal with grief? When you wake up everyday, alive, with the knowledge that the person you once love is already dead and yet you're here. Breathing. Why you? Why not him? Why did he have to die? Where do you get the answers to all your questions? When something you want is just right before your eyes, so close to achieving it, and then in a split second, it was gone, and your life is a wreck, and you don't know how to get out of the dark place you suddenly find yourself into. How do you cope?

Title: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
Pages: 352
Release Date: November 8th 2012
Published by: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Source: Publisher (Thanks Ksenia!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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 with her friends as planned, Wren retreats to her father's isolated 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. And 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.

Mamie almost had it all. She was almost done with high school, ready to grow up, ready to leave the town she grew up in, ready to leave everything behind and start anew. She was talented, bubbly and fun. And then things went wrong that one night. The next thing she knew, her boyfriend was dead, and though she's still breathing, she was a shell of who she was before the accident. Now she's Wren, holed up on her father's snowy cabin somewhere far away from her life as Mamie, trying to figure out what to do with her life after all of it.

This is one of the most difficult books I've read this year. I've read a variety of tearjerkers and heart breakers like this one, but I'm always amazed when a book has something new to offer. I was literally holding my breath with the intensity of the emotions I'm feeling while I'm reading this book. I couldn't breathe, like there was a weight on my chest that can't be lifted. Though I will admit I had a hard time connecting with Wren at times. We all have experienced loss at one point in our lives, but I haven't experienced something as devastating as hers. How does she deal? How will I deal with her emotions and actions?

Lovely, Dark and Deep put me through the ups and downs in the lives of people who have lost something, and no matter how hard they try, they could never get it back. Those whose life was abruptly cut short by a tragedy, those tested by the challenges life has given them. Those who were left to grieve and live with the loss. Wren is one of those, and when her life collided with Cal, everything was just amplified. If Wren's life was a wreck, Cal's was slowly becoming difficult with what he had to cope with. How can these two broken people even try to make something out of a relationship? It took a while for me to be convinced because, like everyone else in the story, they were like a ticking time bomb together. Wren wanted to escape, and Cal had no other choice but to hold on to what he has left in his life. The author had to strip down both of their personalities bare and let the readers see all the dark, ugly thoughts and emotions both of them had. There were times where I had to wonder what good both of them would do to each other, but what can they do? It's the only way Wren knew how to deal with her what she has lost, and Cal had to face a future he wasn't sure he'll have. Their relationship in the eyes of many was wrong, but what I liked about it the most is even though they seem out to destroy each other when their own issues take over, they understand each other the best because they are familiar with what they are going through, and they were each other's anchors then, pushing away the nightmares and the darkness surrounding them. I just had to cheer for the both of them.

Amy McNamara's characters just sucked out my emotions dry. Heavy and intense, I had to stop a few times to make sense of the emotions and feelings each characters presents. It was a riot of both pleasant and unpleasant feelings that attacks the readers in every page. Wren wasn't just dealing with the fall out of her relationship with her friends, but her family as well. Everything was, literally, falling apart. And it was up to her to see through it and believe that she will be better. That with time, she will learn to live with it, because it will never go away.

My only complain is this: what happens next? What of Patrick's family? Just one letter from his sister saying "I wish I hadn't met you", was enough? Was that it? What happened between Wren and Meredith, I couldn't understand what kind of friendship they had. Was Meredith somehow responsible for all the wrongs that Wren did when she was still Mamie? It felt like her friendship with Meredith was streaked with dissatisfaction and pretentiousness, that she became the kind of Mamie she was back then, one she didn't like, because of Meredith's actions, which she wasn't always happy with. It's a twisted kind of friendship, really.

Lovely, Dark and Deep is nerve wracking, and it will rub your emotions raw. It will touch base with the heaviest, most difficult of emotions you have, and it will take you through a harrowing journey of Wren's life, the good, the bad, the ugly, and maybe, just maybe, the better times when it finally comes. It's the kind of book where you miss being happy, but it's also the kind that is just worth a read. How do you deal with death? What does it mean to be alive? Amy Mcnamara's poignant story telling gave life to this one of a kind book.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
There's a certain beauty to be had in such a sad story. It's sad, yet hopeful.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
It's the perfect visual for Wren's location, maybe even her life. Cold and desolate.


  1. wow, this book sounds so good. I can only imagine how she went through with it. I will definitely add this on my list. Great review Kai x

    Maligayang Pasko :)


    1. It's a bit heavy, but it's really worth the read. It's not something that will cheer you up though, so you might want to read it when you're in the mood for emotional YA contemps :)

      Thanks for the comment!


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