Review: Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Posted on April 3, 2015 by Melanie | 0 Comments

Review: Girl Underwater by Claire KellsGirl Underwater by Claire Kells
Published by Dutton Books on March 31st, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
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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.

I honestly can’t pinpoint how I actually feel about this book. I feel like I’m all over the place on the love/hate spectrum with this one because I loved most of it, but then I got to the ending and after reading it I was left feeling disappointed and possibly confused.This book is about Avery, a college swimmer who goes home for Thanksgiving when her plane crashes over the Rocky’s. The story flashes back and forth between the crash/immediate aftermath of the crash and the present where Avery is dealing with  post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the crash. Avery is one of 5 survivors, the five others being Collin, a fellow swimmer/teammate and 3 little boys. They all play a role in Avery’s recovery and emotional healing process. There is a romance between Avery and Collin but for most of the story it’s uncertain. Also, Avery has Lee her college boyfriend, so there’s that little detail.

I’d say that everything about the crash and what Avery experienced after the crash was written very well, and with all the aviation incidents happening today this story seemed more real then I imagine it would have otherwise. I felt pretty in tune with what Avery was experiencing and how she acted/reacted made total sense to me for the majority of the story. The ending however seemed to spin things off track and I got a little confused. I was disappointed that a story that was so good throughout had a confusing ending that I would comfortably call dull. I wanted more.

Overall, the premise was intriguing and promising, but by the end I felt disappointed and underwhelmed. If the ending were executed better I might give this one a 4.5.

One StarOne StarOne Star

About Claire Kells

Claire Kells was born outside Philadelphia and has lived in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco since graduating from Princeton University in 2005. An English major, she didn’ t start writing fiction until her first year of medical school. Now a second-year resident, she spends her free time writing stories about love, loss, and adventure.

GIRL UNDERWATER is her first novel.


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