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Underwater Paperback – 7 Apr 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (7 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447287363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447287360
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A modern gem for the modern world… (Lancashire Evening Post)

Book Description

The most compelling book you'll read this year

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Morgan's life changes irrevocably on October 15th. She makes one small decision that day, a little act of kindness to someone who perhaps didn't deserve it or for whom it came too late. After that her life stops being about having fun with friends, falling in love or competitive swimming. It becomes a daily battle against fear and panic attacks, a constant struggle with guilt. She battles with the need to turn to her emergency pills and has to read the list whenever things start to get too much:
1. Breathe.
2. You are ok.
3. You are not dying.

Underwater was a bit of an Impulse purchase from this year's YALC after I fell in love with the beautiful cover design and had my curiosity piqued by the summary - and boy am I glad I did buy it.

A beautifully written portrayal of a young girl struggling to cope with life after a tragedy that destroyed the very foundations of her typical teenage life. The narrative was so raw and so real that I felt myself choking up at parts and had to take small breaks because I just felt so much emotion for Morgan. As a main character she was brilliant, she wasn't shallow or whiney, not even with everything she was having to deal with. She was driven and determined and truly inspirational.

Some people may read the summary for this and think that it is another story of damaged girl meets cute boy and miraculously gets better after he 'saves' her just by loving her, but that's not what happens at all. Evan is more like the spark that lights Morgan's dormant flame and then everything else is all her. She embarks on this difficult journey of self-recovery that isn't without its setbacks but that felt utterly real and authentic right up to the end.

Marisa Reichardt has written a spectacular portrayal of a girl trying her hardest to get the balance back in her world and finally let her life start moving again. I adored it until the very last word.
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Format: Paperback
As soon as I’d finished reading this novel, I wrote a teeny tiny review on Goodreads that read: “Oh my goodness, this book!❤❤❤ new favourite of the year so far.”

Not the most eloquent of reviews, but my point is that I never, ever do that, which should give you an indication of just how much I really loved this novel. This is one of those books that I can’t tell you much about because it would definitely spoil it, but trust me when I say that I’d recommend it to everyone.

The family Underwater centres around is one of the most beautiful families I’ve ever read about. Morgan’s little brother Ben is a key character in this novel, playing a major part in Morgan’s journey to recovery, so it was an absolute joy to read about their relationship.

Then there’s Evan, who is so incredibly supportive it’ll make your heart swell. He’s patient and understanding, and I loved getting to know him as Morgan did.

I suffer from anxiety myself, although on a much, much smaller scale than Morgan. But that’s why I found it utterly reassuring whilst reading Underwater to know that there are people out there who can fully understand that feeling of anxiety that I know all too well. It’s so important for sufferers of anxiety and other mental health issues to know that they’re not alone.

It’s equally important for those who’ve never suffered with anxiety to read books like this one, as it will help them understand such a complex illness and potentially help others overcome it. Mental health has always been somewhat of a taboo subject, but that needs to change, and it’s people like Marisa Reidchart who’re making that happen.
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Format: Paperback
Morgan is a teenager suffering from agoraphobia, a phobia she has only contracted within the last half a year when she experienced a school shooting at her high school. Since that day, she has been unable to leave the house for fear that someone else, out there in the big, wide world, will do the exact same thing. She can’t handle loud noises, or being unable to see what is inside another person’s bag without wondering if there will be another shoot-out.

Underwater is a novel that focuses on themes within society that are prevalent as of now. With American gun crime at an all time high, and mass school shootings increasing each year – Underwater really brings it closer to home by focusing on the after-effects, reminding the audience that the shooter isn’t the only one who has the problems, but that it directly effects everyone else involved.

I really loved the character of Morgan; she’s very relatable and three-dimensional and presents a clear reflection of reality in her emotions, feelings, and actions. She is the epitome of milennials; she is unable to accept compliments due to being body-conscious and understanding that she is different to all the other girls, and she easily crushes on the guy next door. Later in the novel, there is a texting session between the two which I found relatable – remembering all those times as a teenager when you would text your feelings to the guy you liked scared of how he would take it. It clearly shows the sides of introverts and those suffering anxiety and I found that I identified with her. I knew what it felt like to feel anxious about leaving the house to meet people, anxious to make new friends, anxious to expose all my feelings and emotions to someone you had only just met.
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