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.
©2015 Claire Kells (P)2015 Penguin Audio
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"I couldn't put it down!"
I was surprised by how this book grabbed me into the story. I started and finished the book in less than 24 hours (in the middle of the work week)! The narrator was great and the story was interwoven well. The story was really believable and Claire Kells did a great job of creating a story around the subject of PTSD.
I'm very pleased I purchased this one.
The back story is excellent and there are portions of this audiobook that are really good. It's just unfortunate that getting to those portions involves wading through long, tedious, overly detailed sections of text that made me long for the printed page where I could skim through such detritus. I found it unfortunate because I really liked the concept and the author's knowledge of the high level competitive swim world appears sound. As much as I liked the idea of this selection I can't recommend it.
"Sounded like a true story"
This is my first review of a book although I've been listening to Audible for over 10 years.
I listened to it over a weekend and found many reasons I should get in my car to listen (my favorite place for books). The narrator was so earnest and I felt like she was telling her own story. I'm familiar with the coast locations but not the one where most of the book took place.
I loved the children's voices and those of the major male characters. The story was kept interesting also by repeatedly going from the past to near present.
I highly recommend this book.
"Good writing...good story...weak romance"
As a romance, I wouldn't rate this highly at all. I was very disappointed. I do like that it was clean.
However, the story was interesting. It was sad. The writing was very good, but there were a few plot holes and I didn't love Avery, the main character.
"Terrific debut novel"
This is probably categorized as young adult, but this older reader really enjoyed it. It is a compelling story that explores the ramifications of choices made under extreme pressure, and the characters' actions and reactions feel plausible. The narrator is excellent. Throughout the story, the author plays with time, continually going backward and forward to different events. I can see why she chose to do this, but some might find it aggravating. I do think in retrospect that the novel would be weaker if told linearly.
"Like a story that should be in the 50's"
Reminded me of the cat and mouse games girls used to play with boys.... We had a name for them.... The story kept you going.... Wanting to more about what happened out there.... In the meantime a semi romance novel.... Didn't think it was going to be a chik flik novel but it was worth the read driving to and from work which is sort of chasing the black line.... narrator excellent!!!!
The narrator was excellent but then I've listened to her before and she is a favorite.
Well, any good listen that leaves you with a "book hangover", you know, you can't listen to another for a few days because nothing would be that good... this was that book.
I liked her voices for the "little boys" and Colin too.
Absolutely - I had to know what was going to happen next - for once I was thankful for a ton of laundry that needed done!
I rarely review but this was such an unexpected story - it had its rough spots but overall was a great story with great narration - what a concept this was!
"Excellent book...wish it was longer!"
I really liked this book. The only part tht was kinda frustrating was when Avery left to go back to Boston and her relationship with Colin, for me, was left on a WTF status!
I loved the different voices tht Julia W. provided (especially the Boston ones) .
i also wish tht the book could have been longer...
"Here's a GOOD One!"
If you like adventures & love stories, this one's for you! Give it a try!
"Romantic story of strength and survival"
Girl Underwater is a beautifully written, well paced debut novel and I loved it from the opening chapter to the ending chapter plus everything in between. When college student Avery's red-eye flight from San Francisco to Boston crashes in the Rockies, she and swim teammate Colin must work together to survive until they can be rescued. The chapters alternate between Avery's struggle to return to her life after the crash, and her story of surviving in the wilderness with Colin. The author weaves these story lines together perfectly so that the reader gradually comes to understand the relationship between Avery and Colin, and why Avery is so traumatized and withdrawn in the months following the crash.
The book is romantic, suspenseful, and never gratuitously gory or sappy. I loved how realistic the main characters were, from Avery's father to the child, Tim. The word choices, the metaphors and descriptive paragraphs in the novel were a pleasure to read. Claire Kells is hugely talented in her ability to make the reader feel exactly what it's like to dive into a pool of water, go running on a frigidly cold Boston morning or fight tears due to insecurities- the reader effortless sinks into Avery's world. I loved loved loved this book!!
Oh, and Julia Whelan, my favorite female narrator, was brilliant again. Her Boston accent and Hawaiin accent were subtle yet believable.
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