Avery is on her way home for the Thanksgiving holiday when her plane crashes somewhere in the Rockies. She, one of her fellow swim team members, and three young boys are the only ones who survive. But with winter storms rolling in and few resources on hand, the longer the rescue takes the worse things get.
This is an incredible and emotional read! We know from the outset that Avery survives: her story plays out in alternating chapters, opening with the crash and leading into her waking in the hospital on December 10. The fate of the other survivors is eventually revealed as Avery struggles with the aftermath of the ordeal. And it is a harrowing ordeal!
Avery and Colin, two of the three college teammates who were on the flight from California to Boston (the third we find out pretty immediately is killed in the crash) are surprisingly - but believably - resourceful. Avery's father, an ER doctor, taught her all kinds of basic survival skills useful in the wilderness. But two teenagers against mother nature means they do have very little time if they can survive. And it's not until the end of the book that we find out the whole story about their time out there in the woods.
Meanwhile, Avery is understandably having a hard time transitioning back into regular life. She's closemouthed about what happened after the crash - for multiple reasons - and that's not just with the reporters who are hounding her from the moment she wakes up. Nope, Avery doesn't want to talk about what happened with anyone including her family, her boyfriend, or her teammates.
Kells's portrayal of the teen is truly heart wrenching at times, but the depth of emotion she injects into Avery's character was definitely a big draw for me in the reading. Girl Underwater unfolds quickly with the reader alongside Avery every step of her horrific adventure.
This is Claire Kells's debut release, and it's a solid favorite of mine for 2015! (Which means I'll have my eye out for more from Kells down the line as well.)