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Publisher's Summary

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 subzero 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.

©2015 Claire Kells (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Mixed Bag

The back story is excellent and there are portions of this audiobook that are really good. It's just unfortunate that getting to those portions involves wading through long, tedious, overly detailed sections of text that made me long for the printed page where I could skim through such detritus. I found it unfortunate because I really liked the concept and the author's knowledge of the high level competitive swim world appears sound. As much as I liked the idea of this selection I can't recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • reader
  • Nebraska, USA
  • 04-03-15

I couldn't put it down!

I was surprised by how this book grabbed me into the story. I started and finished the book in less than 24 hours (in the middle of the work week)! The narrator was great and the story was interwoven well. The story was really believable and Claire Kells did a great job of creating a story around the subject of PTSD.

I'm very pleased I purchased this one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sounded like a true story

This is my first review of a book although I've been listening to Audible for over 10 years.

I listened to it over a weekend and found many reasons I should get in my car to listen (my favorite place for books). The narrator was so earnest and I felt like she was telling her own story. I'm familiar with the coast locations but not the one where most of the book took place.

I loved the children's voices and those of the major male characters. The story was kept interesting also by repeatedly going from the past to near present.

I highly recommend this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

He didn't say anything. He didn't have to.

This novel is cliche in every way and on every level, so much so that I actually cringed on multiple occasions. It is far from anything resembling literature. Having said that, it was entertaining in the way cheesy romance movies are entertaining. I actually enjoyed it, when I wasn't remarking on how similar it was to my own high school daydreams.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good writing...good story...weak romance

As a romance, I wouldn't rate this highly at all. I was very disappointed. I do like that it was clean.

However, the story was interesting. It was sad. The writing was very good, but there were a few plot holes and I didn't love Avery, the main character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific debut novel

This is probably categorized as young adult, but this older reader really enjoyed it. It is a compelling story that explores the ramifications of choices made under extreme pressure, and the characters' actions and reactions feel plausible. The narrator is excellent. Throughout the story, the author plays with time, continually going backward and forward to different events. I can see why she chose to do this, but some might find it aggravating. I do think in retrospect that the novel would be weaker if told linearly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Like a story that should be in the 50's

Reminded me of the cat and mouse games girls used to play with boys.... We had a name for them.... The story kept you going.... Wanting to more about what happened out there.... In the meantime a semi romance novel.... Didn't think it was going to be a chik flik novel but it was worth the read driving to and from work which is sort of chasing the black line.... narrator excellent!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great debut!

Would you consider the audio edition of Girl Underwater to be better than the print version?

The narrator was excellent but then I've listened to her before and she is a favorite.

What other book might you compare Girl Underwater to and why?

Well, any good listen that leaves you with a "book hangover", you know, you can't listen to another for a few days because nothing would be that good... this was that book.

What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked her voices for the "little boys" and Colin too.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely - I had to know what was going to happen next - for once I was thankful for a ton of laundry that needed done!

Any additional comments?

I rarely review but this was such an unexpected story - it had its rough spots but overall was a great story with great narration - what a concept this was!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved It!

I found a hard copy of this book in a dollar store. I downloaded the audio version to listen while I read. It’s such a beautiful story. I recommend this book for anyone who loves mystery, adventure and love.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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awesome book

I couldn't wait to go walking. Completely mesmerizing story. I am looking forward to the next book by this author.