cover image Underwater


Marisa Reichardt. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-36886-9

Life goes on, even after a tragedy, something 17-year-old Morgan finds difficult to accept. While her friends have returned to school after a shooting that left students and teachers dead, Morgan, once a competitive swimmer and popular straight-A student, won’t leave the small apartment she shares with her mother and brother. Morgan’s therapist is trying to get her to take baby steps into the outside world, but the big impetus comes when a handsome boy moves in next door. 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. His surfer good looks don’t hurt, but what really matters is their shared love of the water and his kindness to both Morgan and her younger brother. Morgan’s ability to face her past and future ebbs and flows, making her struggles entirely believable. 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. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, KT Literary. (Jan.)