Book Review: “Underwater” by Marisa Reichardt


Underwater by Marisa Reichardt is a young adult, fictional story published in 2017 about the psychological aftermath of traumatic events. The language is simple enough to understand, but the events that happen in the book are not. It contains a variety of real-life elements that are devastating but relevant in our day and age.

The story is told from the point of view of Morgan, a sixteen-year-old teenager. Her life throughout the story has a “Before” and an “After”. Morgan’s life has, by no means, been perfect, but it had been normal once before. She excelled in school, swam competitively for her team, hung out with her friends, and loved the ocean. A deadly tragedy would change her life, but Morgan’s point of view that day has remained hidden until now. Now, Morgan can’t move on. She is unable to leave her apartment, which is the only place she feels safe. Morgan is stuck underwater, even as life moves on at the surface. Just as she’s about to drown, a new neighbor moves in next door, and Morgan has the choice to finally resurface.

Underwater is not a story for the lighthearted. It deals with difficult mental health issues and the lasting effects on those it affects. There is an element of mystery to it, as Morgan’s entire backstory becomes revealed to the reader. It is a fantastic book, and it is definitely worth the read. Staying underwater may be the safest place to be sometimes, but we all need to eventually take a breath.