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Underwater: A Novel

Review

Underwater: A Novel

From Marisa Reichardt, author of the blog “Young Adultish,” comes UNDERWATER, a unique and deeply moving story about a teenage girl learning to cope in the wake of tragedy.

Before October 15th, Morgan Grant was a normal teenager. She was on the swim team. She went to parties on the weekends. She was part of a group of best friends who shared everything.

After October 15th, Morgan can’t even leave her house. What happened that day was something she never could have imagined, and the fact that she feels partly responsible for the events only makes it harder for her to face the outside world. Now, Morgan takes all of her classes online, spending her time alone in her family’s apartment all day until her mother and younger brother return. She’s not proud that this is her life now, but she’s resigned to passing the time on her couch day in and day out because it’s better than the alternative --- going outside, where something like that day in October could happen again. Morgan is content to stay inside her apartment, where she’s safe…until Evan Kokua, a boy her age, moves into the apartment next door. Evan represents everything Morgan is missing out on. Evan loves the water just as much as she does, and he’s starting school nearby. He’s also starting to make Morgan reconsider the world beyond her front door.

UNDERWATER is raw and moving, with a message that is genuine: tragedy might change our lives, but we can’t let it ruin them forever.

UNDERWATER is raw and moving, with a message that is genuine: tragedy might change our lives, but we can’t let it ruin them forever. Reichardt spins this tale with a natural and sincere voice. Her protagonist Morgan is a narrator that readers pull for, empathize with and come to love; her views are authentic and fresh, and her journey is a much-needed reminder for those of us that have dealt or are dealing with tough situations (no matter the scale) and are stronger for it.

Morgan’s relationships with her family, her friends and Evan are accurate representations of the imperfect but indispensable support we find in others. Nevertheless, it’s possible the most poignant part of the novel is the strength that Morgan finds within herself. The plotline unfolds perfectly, never straying from its path or becoming dull, and Reichardt infuses what, in another case, could have been an overwhelmingly heavy tale with the celebration of wit, hope and love.

UNDERWATER is a story about forgiveness, about starting again and about recognizing that, even when something horrible happens, the most important thing we can do is to keep going. Morgan’s story is believable, touching and gives us an understanding that no matter how alone we feel, things will get better. UNDERWATER is an extraordinary story that will teach, entertain and strike a chord in adults and young adults alike, and its remarkable characters and plot make it one that will stay with you.

Reviewed by Laura T., Teen Board member on January 15, 2016

Underwater: A Novel
by Marisa Reichardt

  • Publication Date: January 10, 2017
  • Genres: Dating, Family Life, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • ISBN-10: 1250104416
  • ISBN-13: 9781250104410