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Review: Underwater

Underwater - Marisa Reichardt
I received a copy from Netgalley.

The premise of this novel was what caught my attention about it. It tells the story of Morgan Grant, a teen who survived a terrible incident which lead to a dramatic change in her life. As a result Morgan has become agoraphobic, completely unable to leave the apartment she lives in with her mom and younger brother. To make things worse, there's drama involving her absentee dad, a solider with really bad PTSD who has returned from Afghanistan and completely checked out from the family.

Morgan is struggling to move on and has pushed away everyone around her. Morgan knows she needs help and is actually getting help in the form of therapist Brenda who comes to the house and talks through Morgan's problems. Morgan accepts the help and even though she can get grouchy, she does listen to the advice she's given. New boy Evan moves in next door and starts talking to Morgan. At first she's kind of obnoxious, Evan has a normal life, he's nice, he's a surfer, he goes out doors. Morgan used to be on the swim team. and liked outdoors stuff too.

But due to her issues and as the novel progresses the problems with her dad, she just can't get her head around the idea of going outside again. Evan doesn't give up though, he become's Morgan's friend and helps her open her mind to the possibilities that not everyone will hate her because she shut herself off from a world that terrifies her. It's not all smooth sailing, they have their problems.

Morgan has a very supportive mom and an adorable little brother Ben, both of whom she is very close with. Morgan's mom is involved in Morgan's recovery and they both help Ben with school and activities. Even though Mom has her own problems with the Dad and his own falling apart. It's very moving how they all manage to come together.

It takes a lot of work for Morgan to realise that even though something bad happened to her, she's not the only one it happened to. Other people are suffering too. Her character growth is pretty damn incredible throughout the novel and she shows remarkable understanding by the end. Its beautifully written, and very deep and poignant.

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for approving my request to view the title.