Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Title: Underwater
Author: Marisa Reichardt
Publisher:  Macmillan
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

“Forgiving you will allow me to forgive myself.”

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.
A very slow paced read, Underwater was really different to what I was expecting. From the title alone I was expecting a story about some sort of tragedy involving water but that's not it at all.

The main character is Morgan who has agoraphobia and is suffering with panic attacks and anxiety. The reader is stuck inside Morgan's head as she comes to terms with a mysterious traumatic event that changed her life. The traumatic event in question was heartbreaking as expected and not something I could ever imagine going through. The plot is character focused and very slow in parts as the boring minutiae of Morgan's life as a shut in is repetitively examined.

Water is a central theme as Morgan used to be a talented swimmer for her school's swim team and she lives near the ocean. Her later love interest is also a water baby and loves to surf. It was also raining the day of the mysterious life changing event.

There is a romance in this book which didn't feel particularly realistic either. Dare I say it, but I found the story to be pretty boring. It is a great exploration of mental health issues after a traumatic event but I didn't really find it compelling. Luckily it was under 300 pages as I would have definitely DNF'd it if it was longer.

A pretty average read, can't say I would recommend it as there was really nothing about it that made the read worthwhile for me.

I was given a free copy of the book by the publisher. I was not required to give a review. All opinions stated are my own.

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