Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 304

An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness. 

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.
My Thoughts:
I was very disappointed in this book. I had high hopes for it, because the plot sounds incredible. I was sooo interested in reading based on the plot. 

Unfortunately, the plot write-up is about the best this book gets. It starts off relatively well and continues to be decent up until the crash and then the characterization goes to hell. I'm not sure if Kells has ever met a real 3 year old, but the little boys Avery saved are definitely not 3-4 year old boys. Even Tim's characterization is pushing it. The kids don't act like kids - they are silent little cooperative plot devices. There should have been much more drama involved with them. Tim's illness seemed pretty contrived - again, a forced thing to move the plot along. Blech. 

I never liked Avery. She was very flat and boring. I couldn't empathize with her at all. Her whole inner conflict was stupid and pointless and ridiculous. Also wrong. The actual survival was really pulled off by Colin, so saying that it was all thanks to Avery that they lived is kind of disingenuous.  

This book was just really flat and boring. I'm sad about it. What a waste.

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