Thursday, March 6, 2014
Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep
Book: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy Mcnamara
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
I'd never heard of Lovely, Dark and Deep until I'd come across it from an ARCycling session and chose it because it sounded interesting with a gorgeous cover. Lovely, Dark and Deep is a book about grief, struggling to move on after a tragic incident, and learning to find yourself again. It's a hugely emotional and slightly painful read because Wren deals with her grief and (non warranted) guilt in one of the worst ways possible. She clings to it, she lets it consume her to the point where she has no healthy relationships with anyone or a healthy relationship with herself yet doesn't seem to care. The whole story is about Wren's attempts, or lack there of, to accept what had happened to her and her boyfriend Patrick and try to move on with her life. Mcnamara has a truly lovely and enchanting writing style that draws you in and gives you a perfect picture of everything that's going on. She does a fantastic job pulling at your heartstrings and getting you to really feel what Wren is feeling along with what she's going through. I could truly feel how depressed Wren was, how much she just wanted things to end. It was just so tragic and heart breaking to read because I could truly understand that Wren felt these powerful yet awful emotions, that she thought these terrible thoughts, and nobody knew how to help her or even truly wanted to. Sometimes I felt that Wren's depression and grief were a tad bit overplayed, like one minute she'd be fine and actually trying to be like a normal person would but then all of a sudden someone said something or she saw something random and she had this full on emotional attack that eventually lead her to fall back into that deep depression. This happened a whole lot and while I got why it happened for the most part, I just didn't understand why it had to happen so often. I get that depressed people can be unstable sometimes, especially with how they feel or react to things, but I felt this was just a bit on the extreme side of things.
I found it really difficult to like Wren because throughout Lovely, Dark and Deep we don't get to see any of Wren's personality. It's all pain, grief, and guilt. We didn't get to see any of who Wren really is, even in her flashbacks because they all focused on that one terrible moment in her past. It's not to say that I disliked her or anything, I just felt nothing for her. She was depressed, lonely, in her own world, and didn't want to live on. She was like that through out the whole book. I wanted to help her desperately, I would've wanted to be her friend and help her move on but I couldn't obviously. I never really got to know who she was except for this depressed, miserable girl that in her mind had no one. On a personal level, I felt nothing for her which was entirely disappointing.
The pace was a little too slow for my liking, things tended to drag on sometimes and whenever we took a step forward in recovery or in a way to move on with the plot we end up taking two steps back, leaving us where we started again. Mcnamara did an amazing job writing this story about grief, guilt, and tragic losses. She does an amazing job of giving us that feel of grief, almost like we were feeling it ourselves and going through what Wren goes through. I was immediately drawn into the story by Mcnamara's captivating writing and I couldn't put the book down. It's a truly heart breaking, heart wrenching read that isn't really for everyone nor is it an any day kind of read. Sometimes I felt the grief and depression was a bit over done at times and a tad bit over used but I still really enjoyed reading Lovely, Dark and Deep. I honestly had no real feelings for Wren because she never improved during the book, she was constantly depressed and grieving. Whenever I thought she was getting better, something would happen and she'd get even worse. I have no idea what she's truly like or who she was before, but I really wish we would've been able to get to know who she was underneath all that pain. I didn't dislike her but I didn't like her either. I think the title Lovely, Dark and Deep truly speaks for what this story is about. I adore the cover too. It's so gorgeous, though I'm not a fan of the fact they put the title in a random white box because it takes away from the gorgeous coloring and of the tree.
I give Lovely, Dark and Deep a 3 out of 5 star rating. While I really enjoyed reading it, I didn't fall in love with it nor did I really feel a whole lot of personal emotion towards Lovely, Dark and Deep. I truly felt the emotions that Wren was feeling and the feeling that Mcnamara was trying to portray in her writing, but I personally felt nothing towards the story. Nothing but sadness really because this truly is a deep and sort of depressing story. I would recommend this to people who like reading things like that, who like stories about grief and loss. It's not an every day read nor is it a story for everyone so don't pick this up if you just want to try a story like this out. Thanks for reading!