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January 10, 2016

Review: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Author: Marisa Reichardt
Published On: 1/12/16
Publisher: Farrer Straus Giroux
Page Count: 288

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
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.

Cover: 5/5
   I love it this cover. I think it represents Morgan`s struggle perfectly. The couch underwater is both lives of Morgan; the before and the after.

   Morgan: She doesn't go to school and can't walk over the threshold of her own house. Evan brings out the                          Morgan that her mom and brother still see. I loved watching her grow. The fears she has draw you in and you start to root for her to make it to the door and down the front steps. Morgan is the girl you hope you never have to be but one you can learn from.

   Evan: He seems like a typical cliché surfer guy from Hawaii but then he starts to grow on the reader and Morgan.

We spend a majority of the book trying to figure out what traumatic event causes Morgan to not leave her house. This book not only describes what it's like to be trapped in cage you put yourself in but also teaches acceptance. Evan helps Morgan and shows different struggles from the same event and how he handles it. 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5
   Overall I loved this book. The characters were a little rough but it made them relate-able. I was rooting for Morgan the whole time to forgive herself and walk out. I finished in roughly 3 days but most of my reading was on the drive and flight to Texas. 

Goodies: Hope you enjoyed my review. Below is an Interview with Author Marisa Reichardt. :)

Do you relate to your MC?
Absolutely. In many ways, the main character in Underwater, Morgan Grant, was borne out of my own personal struggles with anxiety. The other thing I have in common with Morgan is my love for the water, whether ocean or pool. It’s amazing what jumping in the water can do for me on a bad day. Most of all, I relate to Morgan’s desire to be better even when it feels like so much, internally and externally, is working against her.

What or who got you into writing?
Teachers got me into writing. I’ve always written and have found encouragement from teachers as far back as elementary school. I had English and journalism teachers in high school who were really supportive of my writing and told me I should pursue writing after high school. I majored in creative writing in college and found more supportive professors and then even more in grad school. So teachers. They’ve been super influential and important throughout my life.

Did you listen to a playlist while writing?
For Underwater, I really needed things to be silent while I was working. I would close the blinds, turn down the noise, and just try to get into this space I needed to be in for writing Morgan, a character who didn’t leave her small apartment. I did, however, have a playlist I would listen to while I was working out. That is usually my time to figure out plot points, character traits, and story resolutions so having the right music to go along with those moments was really helpful. One of the songs I listened to a lot, so much so that it’s become kind of a theme song for the book, was “Carry On” by Fun.

What book would you suggest to be on the lookout for besides yours?
The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker is fantastic. I’ve read it twice now and it’s so good. I can’t wait for it to be out in the world because not only is it an amazing and well-written story, it’s an important one.

Outside your book who would you “Ship” your MC with?
Ooh! What a fun question. I feel like Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl would be good for Morgan in the same way he was good for Cath. He could gently coax Morgan out of her comfort zone while being totally supportive, loyal, funny, and swoony. Gotta have the swoony!

Thank you Marisa for the review copy and the chance to interview you. 

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  1. I loved this one! I loved seeing the little pieces of the tragedy come through, and I really loved seeing Morgan's journey to recovery. I know it's still early, but I'm thinking that this might be the best debut of 2016!

  2. Wonderful review, Ashley! I just finished underwater and I absolutely loved it. The characters felt very real to me as well. :)


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