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Underwater, by Marisa Reichardt

underwaterReview by Sal Meehan

Have you ever felt so bad that you feel trapped and can’t even leave your couch? Morgan, the main character in Underwater, is only 17 years old but feels so trapped that she can’t breathe like being underwater. Last year, on October 15th, Morgan’s life changed forever after she unknowingly helped someone who turned out to be a murderer. After October 15, Morgan went from attending class, being on the swim team, and hanging out with friends, to never leaving her apartment. Morgan knows her family understands why she is feeling the way she does, but Morgan can’t tell them if, and when, she will get better. How can one small decision to help someone result in a life where you feel like you can’t breathe?
After some time, however, Morgan learns to breathe again after meeting Evan, her new neighbor. Evan, a surf-loving Hawaiian, reminds her of her swimming days and how great it is to hang out with friends. Evan helps Morgan understand how embracing small positives, like taking a few steps outside of her apartment, can help you learn to live again. But even with these small steps, Evan helps Morgan realize that the only way she is ever going to get her life back is to have the courage to face the past. Will Morgan ever get better? Or, will she be trapped underwater forever?
I rated this book five stars because the author deals with some hard issues that kids have to face. I can’t imagine going through the terrible tragedy at Morgan’s school but can understand how Morgan blamed herself although it was not her fault. I also loved how the author describes the connection between Morgan and Evan, and how they fell in love even though they are having rough times. This book makes you believe in hoping for something better even when you are in a dark place in your life. I really hope you read this amazing book.

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