Underwater by Marisa Reichardt


3717924 Underwater by Marisa Reichardt, Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374368869, c2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: (1-5, 5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Realistic Contemporary Fiction

What did you like about the book? Morgan Grant can’t step beyond the threshold of her family’s apartment in southern California. Ever since October 15th she’s been scared. Panic attacks strike and she’s afraid she’s dying. Morgan survived a school shooting but her life will never be the same. Students died and she witnessed more than most, and suffers from a terrible guilt. To top all of this off, her father, former military, is suffering from PTSD after five tours in Afghanistan and is an alcoholic that the family has not seen in a very long time. He’s homeless and living on the streets somewhere.

But all is not lost, Evan Kokua moves from Hawaii into the apartment next door and reminds Morgan of all she is missing out on. Evan and his mom were also affected by the school shooting and have moved to help out Evan’s aunt.

There is a very helpful and understanding psychologist, Brenda, whose twice a week visits to Morgan’s apartment aid her in eventually stepping beyond the doorway. Morgan’s mother and little brother, Ben, round out the full-bodied cast of characters.

The intensity of Morgan’s agoraphobia and the love and patience she finds that help her, give hope to the reader that everyone suffers in their own way; it’s how we move beyond the suffering to survive that matters the most.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of realistic fiction will definitely get into this story.

Who should buy this book? High school and Public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett MA

Date of review: January 18, 2017

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