underwater


available January 12, 2016



Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

“Debut author Reichardt doesn’t oversimplify: Morgan isn’t saved by love; rather, new neighbor Evan reminds her of life and what it’s like to have a friend…As Evan, who has his own connection to the shooting, tells her, what he likes about Morgan is that she’s real, and that’s exactly what readers will appreciate about this book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A moving, reflective exploration of grief, trauma, and how individuals find their paths toward resilience.”Kirkus

“Debut author Reichardt smartly reveals the source of Morgan’s agoraphobia– a school shooting– very gradually, which, along with the sweet romance with Evan, urges the plot forward. Morgan’s… story of growth and redemption will be rewarding for readers who love character-driven novels.”Booklist

Part problem novel, part romance, Reichardt’s debut never becomes melodramatic, even when there is plenty of drama. The main character’s emotional growth and healing, her work with her psychologist, and even her changing role in her unusual family dynamics never feel contrived. VERDICT: Readers will enjoy the emotional balance Reichardt gives to the high stakes conflicts in a teen’s life.”School Library Journal

“Reichardt’s remarkable debut novel . . . is a sensitive and inspirational exploration of the aftermath of tragedy and of a young woman’s grief and guilt.” Voya

“This novel is a powerful look at grief, mental illness, trust, forgiveness, letting go, and moving on. This should make your TBR list because of its strong writing, its examination of PTSD and panic disorders, and its hopeful approach toward therapy and recovery.” Teen Librarian Toolbox

“This is a book I hope everyone reads at some point. For students and teachers, it’s so relevant. To readers, it’s rich with complexity. To writers, it’s a study in how an author can create a character so compelling, so layered with emotion, one who changes so much within a story, that the voice has a complete arc of its own, too.” Middle Grade Minded

“A tender and appealing romance, it would also make a thoughtful complement to the many books about school shootings to illuminate the effects that last beyond the horrible day.”—BCCB

“[Morgan’s] anxiety issues are completely fleshed out as the engaging plot pushes onward, gathering momentum until the very end.”RT Book Reviews

“Marisa Reichardt’s novel packs an emotional punch, tackling PTSD and trauma through a complex and heartbreaking story.”Paste Magazine

“A modern gem for the modern world. . . ” —Lancashire Evening Post