Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

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Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

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Category: Teens
Rating: 2/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: A tedious read full of unlikeable characters. I recommend you steer clear.
Buy? No Borrow? No
Pages: 352 Date: November 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471116186

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After the death of her boyfriend in a car accident which she survives, Wren Wells retreats to live with her artist father in his studio in the woods of Maine. While she wants to be alone, she doesn't bargain for meeting Cal Owen, also damaged, and falling for him.

There are times my summaries are kept short because I don't want to give away what happens in the book. This one, on the other hand, is short because barely anything does happen. The title, taken from a Robert Frost poem, is somewhat misleading - it's not lovely and it's nowhere near as deep as it seems to think it is. It is, to be fair, incredibly dark.

I didn't mind the first quarter or so - the setting of an isolated New England small town is developed well - but the tediousness of virtually nothing happening coupled with my inability to like any of the characters at all made this one which I wish I hadn't bothered reading. I appreciate Wren and Cal both have good reasons to be miserable, but just because characters are tragic doesn't necessarily make them interesting, and neither appear to have any good points whatsoever - the only positive thing about them falling for each other seems to be that no-one else will get stuck with either of them. (And given that everyone else we meet is nearly as lacking in good points, that's perhaps not even that positive anyway!) The supporting cast are pretty much one-note characters – Wren’s dad is a typical fictional artist more interested in his work than in anything else, her mum is either overbearing and trying too hard to be a good mother or an evil woman who has absolutely no compassion for her daughter, depending on your point of view. Personally she made my skin crawl, but I’m not sure whether everyone will have quite that strong a reaction to her.

All in all, this is an interesting enough idea for a book which had me looking forward to it once I'd read the blurb, but is a real let-down.

For much better tales of grieving teenagers which had a really powerful impact on me, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson are two of my favourite books of recent years.

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Buy Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara at


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