By: Cath Crowley
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Published: 30 Aug 2016
ISBN: 9781742612386


This is a love story. It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words. It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie.

They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind. Sometimes you need the poets…

The new novel from the award-winning author of Graffiti Moon.


This beautifully written novel, and a classic story of unrequited love, set around a second-hand bookshop that maintains a Letter Library for people to underline, highlight or leave notes or letters in the pages for strangers or loved ones.

It is the story of Henry, our poet, whose parents own Howling Books. Henry works in the bookshop and nothing much happens in his life. Well, except for two girls. Rachel, his long term best friend, left town three years ago without saying goodbye and hasn’t really communicated with Henry since. And then there’s Amy, who stole Henry’s heart in Year 9 and has been playing with it, like a kitten plays with a ball of wool, ever since.

Henry’s parents are divorced and the shop is the centre of Henry and his Dad’s life. But it’s not making money and developers have moved into the area, and there is huge money is floating around. To make Henry’s life even more complicated, something huge has happened to Rachel and now she’s back. Not only is she back, but she’s working in the bookshop cataloguing the Letter Library before the bookshop is sold. In the end, to sell or not to sell is Henry’s decision. What will he choose?

This is a great ‘finding yourself’ novel with a bunch of superb characters. It’s touching and poignant and I didn’t put it down until it was finished. I loved it.

Written with alternating chapters from both Henry and Rachel, it will be loved by many teens 15+, but particularly those that love books.

Reviewed by Rob