Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Review: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
288 Pages

“Forgiving you will allow me to forgive myself.”

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. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Why can’t I be happy to be alive instead of afraid of living.
Sadly, this is the world that we live in. Morgan lives in fear each day. Trapped in the prison of both her mind and her apartment, she can't even muscle up the courage to step outside. All because of that one faithful day. That one day at school where everything changed. A student came in with a gun.

We've all seen the stories on the news and one of the first things that rums through my mind is 'those poor people'. Well here, Reichardt gives us a glimpse of what happens after. How do people rebuild after their world is shattered? Can they rebuild? Can they survive?

This book was hard to read in some ways because there were a lot of times where I just wanted to shake Morgan. To wake her up from this stupor that she's been living in for months. But then I would pause and remember what she went through or the author would throw in another memory of that day that had me reassessing my opinion of her. Everyone deals in their own way. Morgan constantly saw how other people who were also there that day were able to move on and continue living, but she just couldn't. All because of one secret that she was holding onto. You know that old saying secrets kill? Well, this one was slowly killing her.
It turned out I wasn't dying on the outside. I was only dying on the inside, where nobody could see.

Luckily she had people in her corner who wanted to help. Her mother, brother, therapist, and the new boy next door. Her brother was the cutest thing in the world and all he wanted was for his sister to come see him in his school play. A little request that most would think nothing of, but to Morgan it gave her purpose but also crippling fear. I had little issues with the love interest, Evan. He was extremely pushy knowing her situation and would ignore her when things didn't go his way with her which I thought was extremely childish but he was a teenage boy so maybe that's normal?

The reason for the three stars was that this book moves extremely slow. At times it was a little boring and the only thing that kept me reading was to find out her secret. But aside from that, I think the mental state was well represented here. I went to an author signing with Reichardt and she talked a little about the research she did and how she spoke with therapists about the aftermath of this kind of trauma and that shows. So while it was a slow read, it wasn't a bad read.

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