Bailey has recently lost her parents to a violent crime. She and her younger sister Tilly are desperately trying to get on with their lives. Their grandmother takes them to a family resort to try to relax and forget about their problems. There Bailey meets a new group friends that will bring out the best and the worst in her.
‘Underwater’ is the second book I have read in recent months that takes place in New Zealand. I really love this as I don’t know much about New Zealand and it’s a really great setting. I also like that the location for ‘Underwater’ is a family resort. The resort kind of gave me a combination of a ‘Dirty Dancing’ and sleep away camp vibe.
All the characters including Adam, Amber, Jenny, Claire, and Freya are interesting and seemed like people I would know. Even though Claire is the bad girl in the story there is something approachable and vulnerable that made me like even her. My favorite characters are Jenny and Amber. They really spice up the novel and add some diversity to it.
My favorite part of the story is the slow burn romance between Bailey and Adam. Even though Adam and Bailey are not really together, the attraction and feelings they have for each other are palpable. Just something about their relationship felt special to me and told me that they had deep feelings for each other.
The underlying theme of water runs throughout the novel. This really comes up in various ways in the story (the pool, the beach, the shower etc.) The water represents both Bailey’s love of swimming and a symbol of how Bailey’s been living her life since her parent’s death.
I just loved ‘Underwater.’ It had all the things I love in a story, subtle romance, mystery, and a bit of a slice of life. This is one of my favorite novels of the year and the reason I love reading indie books.
Very well written.