Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt


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.

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

I’ve read novels in the past about school shootings, but this book was unlike anything I’ve picked up before. Underwater offers the unique perspective of a school-shooting survivor suffering from severe PTSD. The narrative was beautifully done with a level of authenticity I rarely see in the genre.

The heart of the novel lies with Morgan and her journey of getting back all that she has lost since surviving a school shooting that left many of her classmates dead. She gets to the point that she’s unable to leave the house from fear of the outside. The book starts months after the shooting when Morgan meets her new neighbor Evan.

Evan and Morgan’s romance is light and sweet and I liked how he was the catalyst to get her to heal from the tragedy. Their relationship felt very realistic and I enjoyed how Evan was able to call her on her B.S. My only complaint is that I would have liked less romance and more about Morgan’s life before the shooting.

There was so much emotion in between the pages of Underwater. Not many authors can keep my interest with so little action going on, but Reichardt managed to make me feel so much that I didn’t find myself bored or skimming pages to get to the meat of the story. I loved how the author made Morgan’s journey to finding herself again meaningful and believable.

If you’re looking for a YA contemporary with a lot of heart, then you must read Underwater.

Rating; 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book for review!


  1. I must add this to my TBR pile. Great review!

  2. A light and sweet romance sounds great