Bailey has a lot of secrets, and a lot of scars, both of which she’d like to keep hidden. Unfortunately, Pine Hills Resort isn’t the kind of place where anyone can keep anything hidden for long. When Bailey arrives, she just wants to get through summer quietly, spending as much time in the water as she can. Then she meets Adam. Bailey’s not looking to make friends, but Adam isn’t easy to ignore. Neither is his ex-girlfriend, Clare. As Bailey grows closer to Adam, she draws Clare’s animosity. Will Bailey be able to keep her past a secret, or will Clare discover and reveal the sinister truth about how Bailey really got her scars? Underwater is the second young adult novel from the author of Broken Silence. If you like raw emotions, dark secrets and heart-breaking love triangles, then you’ll love Helen’s engaging new young adult novel.
‘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.