Underwater by Marisa Reichardt #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway @The_FFBC

Underwater
by Marisa Reichardt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Release Date: January 12th 2016

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.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Underwater is a brilliant book. The plot is not only great but written in a way that keeps the book moving. You get invested in both Morgan’s character as well to what has happened to her. It felt like a short book but I think it was more that I read it so fast.

My husband is not necessarily a YA fan and when I explained the plot to him he was like wow that is a great premise. We start off with a girl named Morgan who is suffering from PTSD and can not leave her house. We don’t know from the beginning what caused this, instead we are left a breadcrumb trail that we follow while reading. All the information comes to light naturally. I wanted to know what had happened but I also didn’t feel like I was being tortured with keeping the information just out of reach. It made the plot progress at a great pace and kept me in the story from beginning to finish of the book.

I like Morgan as a character. We see such a strong family bond between her brother and her mom. I liked how involved her mom is in her recovery, not just some mome that flits away. Every step Morgan takes her mom is right there cheering her on. We also see of some her mom’s own struggles. We also have Brenda, Morgan’s therapist, who helps her take the steps she needs to find her way to recovery. We get more backstory from all the characters which is also something I really loved about the book.

When Evan enters Morgan’s life, he gives her the kind of hope I think only an outsider can give. I loved that their story was sweet but didn’t take over the story. It’s not just about Evan and Morgan finding each other it’s Morgan finding herself because of it.

PTSD is death with in multiple ways. We know Morgan is suffering from it because of the event that happened at her school. Which she has a very specific survivor's guilt about. Her dad is in the military and has been deployed multiple times. Too many times and now suffers from PTSD as well. So on top of Morgan’s own issues her family also has her dad to deal with. It really shows the difference between someone who wants help and someone who isn’t ready for help yet.

Underwater is a great debut from Marisa Reichardt. It was definitely that book I was not expecting and I completely loved. This is one that should be picked up and not missed.


I'm a SoCal native and high school writing instructor. I currently live in Los Angeles and can usually be found huddled over my laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean.

My debut YA contemporary novel, UNDERWATER, will be out 1/12/16 from Macmillan/FSG and 4/7/16 Macmillan Children's UK.

I love all books and all genres. While I do keep track of all the books I've read here, I generally don't do ratings or reviews.

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About Jen S

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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