Book Review: Girl Underwater, Claire Kells

Girl Underwater

Summary from

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.


Swimming and Swim teams are one thing that do not always go hand in hand.

Then again planes and plane crashes are also two things don’t always go hand in hand.

Survival in the Wilderness as a teenager with three young children in your care are also items that do not mix generally.

However, for Avery and Colin these three things comes crashing together one cold November day as they are heading home from California to Boston for Thanksgiving break.  I’ve read numerous plane crashing in the middle of nowhere type fanfiction stories with Bella and Edward (Twilight) at the helm, and this time I could almost see those two as Avery and Colin.  Opposite ends of the spectrum but closer than they can imagine.  They find a way – and it’s this shared trauma that brings them together in the end.

So how does one begin to overcome this kind of tragedy? How do they begin to move-on and re-start their lives? Avery and Colin have to find that way – this is their story of post-traumatic survival and the new life they forge for themselves.

A story beautifully written always keeping the plan crash at the edge of your consciousness – we walk with both Avery and Colin as they deal with their respective demons and come out better people.  Four out of Five Stars for Girl Underwater as I felt some of the characters were a little flat and predictable.

About the Author, Claire Kells

Claire Kells

Claire Kells was born outside Philadelphia and has lived in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco since graduating from Princeton University in 2005. An English major, she didn’t start writing fiction until her first year of medical school. Now a second-year resident in the Bay Area, she spends her free time writing stories about love, loss, and adventure.

GIRL UNDERWATER is her first novel.

Connect with Claire

Website           Email          Twitter           Goodreads

Get Your Copy of Girl Underwater NOW!

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