Girl Underwater

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Girl Underwater
304 pages; Dutton

The Page-Turner You'll Finish by Sunday (Not Monday)

College sophomore and lifelong swimmer Avery Delacorte is heading home for Thanksgiving break when her airplane crashes over the Colorado Rockies. Just as the scene reaches its climax (sorry, we just can't spoil this one), the author tears us away from that and zooms weeks into the future, to the hospital where Avery is now in recovery. The novel continues to alternate between the immediate aftermath of the crash, where the few survivors struggle to find food and shelter, and the crash's later, lingering impact on Avery's life. As such, the suspense lies not in her eventual rescue, but in the much-engrossing psychological and emotional aftermath of making it out alive. "Sometimes I wonder if I really survived anything," Avery thinks from safe inside the hospital walls. A poignant will-they-or-won't-they romance between Avery and Colin, another survivor and fellow member of their swim team, adds just enough heat to qualify this as your first must-read beach book of the summer.
— Julia Pierpont