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Girl Underwater Hardcover – March 31, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Avery is the youngest in a family of athletes from Boston. She's a sophomore at Stanford when the plane she's taking home from school crashes in the Rocky Mountains. She is one of the only survivors, along with Colin (a teammate) and three young boys. They spend five days huddled in the wilderness, facing severe cold, snow storms, and a bear attack. Both Avery and Colin are uniquely qualified to survive—Avery's father is an ER doctor who taught her the basics, even taking her along to the ER on Saturdays to work by his side as she was growing up. Colin has a preternatural calm and optimism, as well as strength and a way with kids. But something happens on the fifth day that makes Avery so ashamed she cannot visit the boys or Colin after their rescue. She even lies to the media. Kells's choice to alternate chapters between the event and its aftermath effectively ramps up the suspense concerning the details of the tragedy and Avery's subsequent struggle with PTSD. Avery is a strong, if flawed, character, and teens will love her deeply emotional, at times angsty, story. There is a strong bond between Colin and Avery that brings a will-they or won't-they element to their relationship. Colin is a truly good person, and readers looking for a humble hero will swoon. VERDICT With the pacing of a thriller and the heart of a romance, the novel steers readers through one young woman's survival of a devastating tragedy.—Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Praise for Girl Underwater
“Your first must-read beach book of the summer.” -- Oprah.com
“The riveting drama is sure to keep readers up into the night devouring each and every twist and harrowing scene.” -- RT Reviews
“A romantic thriller full of raw and conflicting emotions…a roller coaster full of frustrating, exciting, heartwarming and heart-wrenching moments that leave surprises at every turn.” --Deseret News
"As a former competitive swimmer and the recipient of a medical degree, first-novelist Kells amply demonstrates her technical knowledge, lending realism to the story...The story ably demonstrates that survival is not just physical, but also mental and emotional." -- Booklist
"Skillfully interspersing flashbacks with current events, debut novelist Kells has written an absorbing tale that will grip anyone who enjoys survival stories or psychological dramas." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"Kells's visceral story is quite memorable and eminently readable." -- Publishers Weekly
"With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells' assured debut is a winner." -- Kirkus
"What if the most devastating moment of your life was also the beginning of something beautiful? Girl Underwater is a compelling coming-of-age love story that will have you rooting for its teen narrator, a girl who survives a disaster, and finds herself trapped between a traumatic past and a fragile future. Trust me--dive in!" –Jodi Picoult, New York Times Bestselling author of The Storyteller and Between the Lines
“A powerful love story embedded in an action-packed tale of survival. Even as the characters are fighting for their lives, it’s impossible to turn away from the breathtaking range of emotion they reveal.” –Tracey Garvis-Graves, author of On the Island and Covet
Top customer reviews
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This book will obviously be compared to the Twilight and Hunger Games series. They all feature a female lead character caught between two romantic interests, struggling with both internal and external conflicts and threats to their survival. They're also fun stories that make great reads. Girl Underwater breaks from the other two in some important ways.
First, it's realistic. There's no sci-fi creatures or illogical dystopian future. The scenario could actually happen. This puts a good amount more weight on the author's shoulders to keep things credible, and Kells delivers. She doesn't invent a new order of beings or silly technology to get out of a plot hole. Secondly, the heroine isn't just a confused teenager but a competitive athlete and interesting girl. She's someone young people can look up to and older people can hope to see in their kids. She has her flaws but she also has a multitude of strengths that make you appreciate the depth of her character.
Hollywood execs: buy the rights now. This book would make a great film. Readers: Snatch this book up and have fun with it. Then anxiously wait for the followup. There could be a sequel, but I'd much rather see what else Ms. Kells can imagine. I can imagine that this could be a sleeper hit that everyone comes back to read after the second or third book smashes records. So get in on the ground floor of this remarkable author's storytelling. People who don't like to have fun: you need not apply.
Very surprised to read at the end that this is a first book for the author. I look forward to seeing more!
POSSIBLE SPOILER: I found the responses of the main character, Avery, to be constantly annoying and too perplexing to be taken seriously while Colin, her maybe mate, is written as an unbelievable specimen of perfection in every way; subsequently, Lee, her hang around boyfriend could only come across as a bit of a buffoon, especially as contrasted with the hunk, Colin. These typecast characters only lend to further lack of credibility.
The character development of the five survivors was well done. The three little boys, Tim, Liam and Aayu are endearing, and I especially liked Collin and was rooting for him throughout the book. Avery's character was complex and, although I mostly rooted for her, there were times, when I just wanted to shake her!
I hated the character of Lee, but I think the author wants you to hate him. For me, he serves no purpose, and the book would be just as good -- if not better -- without the Avery/Lee storyline.
I would definitely read another book by this author.
Most recent customer reviews
I cried many times during this read.Read more