Review: Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Wunderkind PR
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness.

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.

my rambles

Special thanks to Wunderkind PR for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

When I got the email asking me if I would like to read and review Girl Underwater I was really excited. It seemed just like the kind of book that I would love. The synopsis was awesome, and I was completely sold. I went on Goodreads to check it out and saw that it had a high rating, but scattered among them were some really negative reviews. While I completely disagree with giving this book a low rating (as I really enjoyed it), those reviews helped me know what to expect from Girl Underwater. The synopsis may give you the impression that this is more of a survival story. While that aspect is a part of the story, the bulk of it is about the relationship between the main character, Avery, and Colin.

Having known ahead of time that the story was largely going to be a romance with a side of survival and action allowed me to enjoy the book for all that it was. I went in expecting an emotional PTSD romance, and that’s what I got!

The chapters in Girl Underwater alternate between the past and the present, which created a story that was fast paced and entertaining. It also created a sense of mystery surrounding what Avery kept from the reader that happened between her and Colin after the plane crash.

The book was a very emotional read, more so that I was expecting. Avery battles severe PTSD after the accident along with struggling to come to terms with her emotions regarding the little boys she helped keep alive, and of course Colin.

At first I found Avery and Colin’s relationship to be a little confusing. I wasn’t exactly sure why they acted the way they did with each other due to the alternating chapters of past and present, but it’s clarified as you read further into the book. I was really rooting for the two of them to make it through their hardships together!

The ending was left open, but the epilogue clears things up and left me very happy and satisfied. I liked how we could use our imagination to fill in the blanks from where the book left off and where the epilogue wraps up.

While Girl Underwater is classified as New Adult, I found it to read much like Young Adult, and could definitely cross over. I strongly enjoyed this book. It was fast paced, emotional, while still action-packed and sometimes sexy! Girl Underwater is everything I look for in a great read!


One thought on “Review: Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

  1. Okay your ending paragraph totally has me sold! I do believe I saw this one around just last week – very curious about it!

    Lovely review, Emily <33

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