Friday, December 30, 2016

Girl Underwater

Girl Underwater
Claire Kells
Girl Underwater

Genre: Fiction

Summary (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.

Review: This novel was less about how Avery and her companions survive a terrible plane crash in the winter in the Rockies, and more about how Avery handles her survival, how she learns to be a part of her regular world again.  I'm always a sucker for a good disaster book (or movie!) so I would have appreciated having more detail around the plane crash and the survivors' ordeal in the wilderness.  But I enjoyed learning more about the competitive swimming world and watching the relationship between Avery and Colin develop.  The novel is beautifully written, with stunning descriptions, realistic characters and lively dialogue.  It was easy to read, while at the same time completely heart breaking.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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