When I’m underwater, I remember things. Flashes of the day my brother Eddie vanished. My father holding me; my mother missing. And the deeper I dive, the less pain I feel. I can believe my brother isn’t dead, that my family isn’t falling apart. I can forget that it was all my fault. The only trouble is, eventually you have to come up for air.
I was given the opportunity to participate in the Australian blog tour for this debut novel and so of course I had to take it up! I didn’t really know much about the book, but just the title and cover alone was enough to intrigue me. I did end up having some mixed feelings about the story, but for the most part I did really enjoy the story. Stick to the end to read my Q+A with Sarah :)
Firstly, I really liked the authors writing style. It was easy to read, well sequenced, and the story had a nice flow to it. It was the sort of writing that you can imagine playing out like a movie in your head.
I felt like the story as a whole was very realistic. Everything was believable and I loved how real the characters were. They didn’t seem to be ‘fake’ at all, and the family that was portrayed seemed to be quite an accurate representation of what a family might look like who had gone through something traumatic as they had.
The story was gripping. It was a little slow to start but once I got into it I couldn’t put it down I just had to find out what happened. I was a little disappointed in the reveal as I was building it up to be bigger than it actually was however it made complete sense for the story and again, it made it seem all the more realistic. There were definitely some parts of the story that I enjoyed more than others, for example I found Dillon’s story to be extremely interesting and I loved reading about that however I found the free diving and swimming scenes didn’t capture my attention unless there was a flashback happening. So just little things like this did lessen my enjoyment of the story a little bit but this is simply a personal characteristic of mine.
I felt the romance aspect of the story was just ‘ok’ however the main focus was on the mystery surrounding Eddie so I was happy with how romance was written in and didn’t take over the story. I often feel like authors just include a romance just to attract a wider audience, but with this story I didn’t feel that at all and it felt right for the story and for the characters.
I loved the setting of the story and bringing in the Scottish slang. I’ve been really into Outlander lately (which is Scottish) and so I just really liked that it was set in Scotland.
Overall if you like YA and you’re looking for something a little bit dark and mysterious this is the book for you. Sarah Alexander is definitely an author to look out for and I’m keen to see what else she has to offer!
Publisher: Usborne - GB
Published: June 2016
Format: Paperback, 382 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Acquired from: Harper Collins Australia
RRP: $16.99 AUD
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