by Marisa Reichardt
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Publication Date: January 12th 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
Source: For Review
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“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.
Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on. (Goodreads)
When I first discovered Underwater by Marisa Reichardt, I knew this was a book I would have to read. I purposely avoided any reviews of the book before I started it, as I wanted to go into the book with a completely clear mind. I'm glad I did. I had an inkling of what happened throughout the story, but the mystery as of what happened kept me turning the pages. I really enjoyed this book.
When we first meet Morgan in the story, she is confined to her house, not on purpose, but by her choice alone. After the horrible events that took place on October 15th, she finds that she can no longer safely be outside her house, and chooses to stay in her apartment at all times, where she knows she can be safe. From there she attends online school and generally avoids the world. Until Evan moves in next door, and reminds her of the life she used to have.
It was really easy to relate to Morgan throughout the story, and to be honest, I probably would have reacted the same way to the events that she experienced. I think a lot of people would. But eventually, you would miss being in the world, and would want to get back to it. In order for Morgan to do that, she not only needed to learn to forgive, not only herself, but others as well. And doing this was not an easy experience for her.
There were so many great secondary characters in the story, all of them great supporters of Morgan's. Her mom, while she was having a rough time of it as well, was always there when Morgan needed her. Also, her therapist, Brenda, was pretty awesome. Her brother, Ben, completely stole my heart, and had to be the best little brother of all time. And then there's Evan, who shows up and changes Morgan's world forever. So many great characters.
I'm not going to go into many details about the storyline for the book, because it would totally give the story away, but the event that happened that made Morgan the way she was, was completely horrific, and unfortunately, all to realistic. That being said, while this event took place, it doesn't overwhelm the novel. The novel is more about what happens after. It was really interesting to read it all through Morgan's eyes.
Overall; I do believe Marisa Reichardt has a winner on her hands with this debut novel! I enjoyed reading Morgan's story, and I'm really, really looking forward to reading more by this author in the future! Add this to your TBR today!