Deeper: A Novel (Caroline & West Book 1)
<— 5 stars for this one my friends. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!! I was SO involved, so into it, that I didn’t even realize how long it was (over 400 pages!!). Bev and MichelleS LOVED and recommended it promising a 5-star read, and boy did it deliver!
It wasn’t drawn out, or repetitive. Everything in this story had it’s place. It’s purpose. And it allowed me to truly get to know these characters and fully indulge in all sorts of emotional angst (but ALL within reason). The heartwarming scenes, the kindle-throwing moments, the realizations. The despair, the strength. The growth. I experienced it all, and I “got” them.
I looked, and I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes.
I could actually feel it – the solid ground of my life, cracking open.
And just LOOK at how many in our crew loved it, too!
Maryse: Wow I am loving this book, you guys. The writing is incredible, the internal dialogue and actual dialogue, realistic, and the emotions, so sincere. I totally believe this story. Totally feeling this story. And may I just say that the steamy detail in Deeper is *whoooooooooo fans self* I haven’t skipped one single scene. Just perfect scenes at the perfect time, in the perfect amount of detail, in the perfect amount of realism. 😀 Okay back to my book!!!
Jessica: Holy crap I loved this book. And book 2… wait for it. Holy angst. Better than the first!
Bobbi: Book 2 shredded me so just wait.. So good but good grief one part almost made me sick with heartbreak.
Lime: I finished this last week–a friend on Twitter rec’d it. Amazeballs (and very hot!)
Anjanette: I’m reading it right now and her writing is impeccable.
Maryse: It is! It truly is. I’m so into this story. I’m thinking 5-star into it, but I still have to finish… 😉 God I just can’t stop highlighting everything! His thoughts, his reasoning… Just.. Perfect.
Sadie: I’m about a quarter of the way in to Deeper! So I struggled to connect with the first few chapters – ask Cori who has been like a drill sgt getting me to read this one – it must have been my mood last night though because I got to the first chapter in his POV today and I’m IN! Really like how he is so flawed and something about his voice hooked me. Look forward to getting back to it tonight. Glad you are loving it Maryse!
Anjanette: I finished ladies and I’m in such a book slump !!! Book 2 is out but I’m trying to justify spending on it !!! I feel like I’m not done with these two characters !!!
Sadie: k I am really into this book. Cori here is your public acknowledgement. the texting, the bakery, west…I’m loving it all.
Stacey: I loved this book! I loved it so DEEP that I immediately bought Harder and loved that one, too. Such an incredible story with beautiful writing. Heart-wrenching and just…PERFECT! And I may like it just a little bit more because the heroine’s hometown is the same small town I lived in for almost 20 years. Made me grin every time I saw it.
Amy: I stayed up until 1:00 this morning to finish Deeper and then had to take some Nyquil to knock me out ’cause I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And that ending?? I felt it. Like, *really* felt it. Thennnnn, I read the first chapter of Harder that was at the end of Deeper…gah!!
Jean: …I love Deeper! 85% and trying to read at my desk to finish. I was grinning like an idiot around the 74% mark… Definitely a fav for the year! Love Caroline and West! Shout out to bev for this awesome recommendation!
Sadie: I stayed up waaay too late reading and wish I didn’t have to work today so I could finish. I love West!
MichelleS: Maryse – totally agree about the steam factor in Deeper. I read all the scenes. Never skimmed. They were so subtly sexy (the open mouth kiss to her jaw in the library – woo-ee-mama). The sexy interaction reminded me of After Hours (where I also never skimmed). So glad Bev recommended this book. So glad you picked it up, too.
Right there with you Sadie.
I fell hard for West, believed his issues, and just the entire underlying message of the story. Of course there’s an important and beautifully explored issue, but all of the character interactions (family, friends… enemies), the connections and relief via new friendships and her own personal cognizance and growth… simply outstanding!! The writing? Amazing! Clever, hilarious, honest. Raw. And because of that, I WAS (or… at least while I was reading this book), I WAS Caroline.
So what’s it about? It’s pretty straight forward. Or at least, told in a way, that the story is just… so simple. Not complicated. Not twisted. Not twisty-turny. No surprise gotchas!!! Just real and yet terrifying in it’s own personal way. But the feel of the characters, their lives, and their growth is so far from simple. They’re deep, but they’re us.
You need to see this, it said.
And then, immediately after, I’m so sorry.
I clicked the link.
I think part of me knew even then. Because the thing about being a good girl is, you spend your whole life developing a finely honed radar for detecting anything that could potentially cause people to love you less.
Girls like me – or, I guess, girls like the one I was last August – we eat approval. We live for it.
So when we do something dumb – or, say, when we do something really monumentally idiotic – we know.
Serious, studious, people-pleaser, and all-around “good girl” Caroline starts college with a bang. Doing well, perfectly in line with her life goals (and those of her father) she’s on a roll. Making friends, even developing a small harmless crush with her dorm neighbor (bad boy “West”). And after amicably breaking up with her 3 year boyfriend (who’s also attending the same college), she soon discovers that *someone* has released scandalous photos of her and said boyfriend. It was a one-time act of “people-pleasing” her boyfriend since she felt a certain disconnect with him, and just… wanted to make him happy.
Mind you… only “parts” of him are visible. But she’s recognizable loud and clear.
She would know, and I would have to face her.
I thought about how it wouldn’t be just Bridget. It would be everybody.
That’s when it hit me that I would never be okay again.
And EVERYTHING she’s ever worked for, believed in, and is headed towards comes to a grinding halt. Faced with a whole new reputation and the online harassment and bullying and messages…
It was them. The men.
They follow me around. Their voices. Their vile opinions, now an endless stream of negative commentary on my life.
…and well. Her entire life changes. But worse. Her entire self-esteem crumbles.
But she gets by with a little help from her friends. Well, her roommate to be exact, but when she finds her next-door neighbor crush, beating up her ex… (she gets a little accidental nose-punch in the process), but she soon discovers that she’s not as alone as she thought.
“I’ll say you’re not hurt.”
But I am hurt. Inside me, under my rib cage, hiding somewhere deep beneath my lungs, there’s raw, sliced-open flesh that won’t close up. It hurts all the time. My tender nose and the dull throb in my head have nothing on that pain.
And therein lies this gorgeous story. Except it’s not all about her. Because “West” has his own deep story to tell. Thing is, he’s not telling it. He’s there for her, but insists on a certain amount of distance, and boy does this author let that play out.
I see what he’s doing. Every now and then, West throws some half-teasing comment out to remind me I’m not his girlfriend. He smiles as he tells me something that means, You’re not important to me. We’re not friends.
He pulls me closer with one hand and smashes an imaginary fist into my face with the other.
I know why he does it. He doesn’t want me to get close.
I don’t know why.
But I see. I understand.
We’re a mess, West and me.
Yes. YES. THEY. ARE!!!
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! An incredibly slow burn, a budding friendship with someone that insists they are not “friends” just… *shrug* whatever. 😉
I shouldn’t keep trying to scale these walls he puts up. I’m a terrible climber.
WOW!!!!!!!!! I mean… come on?!! How deep is that? How TRUE is that? How much is that thought us? You’ve been there before, right? I have.
AND I LOVED IT! And it just keeps going. Keeps getting better and better and building and tearing my heart out, and making me swoon, and freaking me OUT!!!!!
I knooooowwww, I know…. it kind of sounds like many of the fun but similar “new adult” reads that we’ve read before. Sure, the theme is similar, the personal “issues” that the characters have to overcome, and the life changes… all of that emotional “depth”. But trust me. THIS ONE is done just right. At least it was… pretty perfect, for me. I forgot I was reading, because I was living with them. Yelling with them. Laughing with them. Doubting with them. Insecure with them. Crying with them. Hurting and healing with them.
One step after another, hour after hour, day after day, until it gets better.
If I keep going, eventually it has to get better.
Confident with them. Courageous with them.
And I never wanted it to end. And YAY ME!! I don’t have to say goodbye yet. Book #2 is out, and I’m hearing even better than the first!! MY WEEK has been made!! ‘Cause I’m heading right on into it as soon as I finish this review. 😀 Now… off I go to start Harder: A Novel (Caroline & West Book 2)!!! *happy dance* 😀
P.S. COOL TIDBIT That just made me go… NO. WAY!!!! Bev mentioned:
“Robin York is Ruthie Knox and hope she does more in this genre, hopefully a pair of certain friends.”
And skip this thought by West (below) if you haven’t read the book yet, but OMG I even read this part to my husband, it was just soo…. WOW.
I’d shied away from deeper, but I never gave much thought to the alternative.
Nothing, or deeper.
My choice to make.
What kind of dipsh!t chooses nothing?