Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Girl Underwater” as Want to Read:
Girl Underwater
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Girl Underwater

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  6,440 ratings  ·  1,006 reviews
An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness.

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim l
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Dutton Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Girl Underwater, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,440 ratings  ·  1,006 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Girl Underwater
Elyse  Walters
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Update: $1.99 Kindle special today. I read this book when it first came out --about a year ago I think. I picked it --because I was excited to see a new Bay Area author 'pop' up in the scene --and was wishing this book would be, I enjoy 'swimming' --so I figure it might be a good fit...
which it was. I enjoyed it. Its Claire's first novel.
I can't help but wonder --if this book is on sale today --does that mean she has a new book out soon? Not sure!

The review below is from last year
Diane S ☔
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
All Avery wanted to do, all she has trained for is competitive swimming. Coming back, the plane she is on goes down in the Rockies Mountains, with a fellow swimmer and Olympic hopeful Colin. They survive and are able to save three very young boys. For fice days, in freezing temps, with Colin injured, they manage to stay alive and keep the small boys alive as well.

After the event and the rescue it is apparent that what the media believes happened is not all that happened. A good look at PTSD as
Susan's Reviews
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-my-favorites

I love survival stories - especially when it involves surviving by your wits and inner strength! The writing is so incredibly vivid: the harrowing passages about the plane crash and Avery and Collin's struggles to escape the sinking wreckage felt so real. I was holding my breath with them as they struggled to the surface of those icy cold waters. Avery, Colin and three helpless little boys manage to escape, but they are instantly plunged into a terrifying ordeal.

They are the sole survivors of t
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Oh man, this one was a doozy. Not an emotionally intense doozy, a how-was-this-published doozy. If nothing else, it firmly solidifies the fact that I should never, ever be in charge of any book group selections. In fact, if it's something that I even mention once in passing, the rest of the group should consider burning all copies of the book, so we don't accidentally settle on it. However well-intentioned my choices are, they should be ignored.

There are spoilers in here but honestly, I don't ev
I have watched my fair share of movies featuring an airplane crash, Castaway and The Grey being ones that have affected me the most as a viewer. Those scenes and their aftermath scared me to death and rightfully so. Airline disasters are no laughing matter. But I had never read about one in a book, well not until now.

Girl Underwater is told through the perspective of nineteen-year-old Avery, who is one of five crash survivors who have become stranded in the wilderness. It is a story of the
Jennifer Lane
Unreached Potential

Sports romance is one of my favorite genres, and swimming my favorite sport. I swam in college, and the sport has been a huge part of my life, influencing my personality, friends, and career. When I heard about this college swimming romance, I KNEW I had to read it.

But I feel let down for several reasons:

1) The minimal swimming details are not authentic. I realize most readers won't care about the inaccuracies, but I wish the author had beta readers or editors with more swimm
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
"Of course not, I want to scream. That day was all of my worst fears wrapped into one harrowing moment of fear, pain and loss. It was about my old life and the new, the before and the after. Before I watched two hundred people scream and cry and pray to a god that had deserted them. Before my trust in air travel crashed and burned in an icy lake, shattering my ability to feel safe anywhere."

A fast paced book about survival and more.

Girl Underwater is effortlessly stunning.  It follows the st
This "new adult" debut novel by Claire Kells tells a story of survival resulting from a plane crash, the effects of PTSD and the romance and friendships that slowly develop afterward. While there were surprises and intense moments once on the ground, (view spoiler) I was actually expecting more excitement and turmoil......particularly at the onset.

A bit predictable and far-fetched at times, but a fast, easy read that I zoomed right throu

Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

The first thing you need to know about this book: It isn't as much a story of survival as it is a story about surviving survival. Yes, the aftermath of the plane crash is a big part of the story, but more prominent is Avery trying to figure out what comes after making it out of a huge plane crash alive. The book is told through a series of present narratives and flashbacks. Clearly, she has survived the crash, and we know from the start who survived with her (and you know, it says so in the
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a terrific debut novel about what it means to be a survivor and to struggle to return to a normal life after a traumatic event.

Nineteen year old Avery Delacorte, a member of an elite swim team at a college in California is on her way home to Boston for Thanksgiving when her plane crashes in a lake in the Rocky Mountains. From the outset of the story we know that Avery and another member of the swim team, star swimmer Colin Shea, and three little boys are the only survivors. However, once
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, 2015
I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and nothing on my TBR or waiting on my Kindle has really grabbed me. So, to shake myself out of it I decided to browse on Amazon for (1) a book and author I'd never heard of; and (b) a blurb that immediately grabbed me. The result, obviously, was this book.

The book seems to be classified as a 'new adult'. For me 'new adult' usually means a trashy YA read, but with sex, so I thought - despite the blurb - this would be a fairly light read. I was very
May 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't know how a book with a plane crash, bear attack, extreme survival, and PTSD could bore me but this one managed it. ...more
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars If you look on this story as a romance with a disaster rather than a survival story with romance, you might enjoy this a little more than I did, since I didn't read the blurb too carefully and expected the latter. This is a New Adult novel that feels mostly YA except for the age and medical experience of its protagonist, as well as some later developments.

This was fine overall, but not altogether as stirring or frightening or memorable as I would have hoped. (And so much less survival
Barbara Bryan
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracie Payne
I don't think I can rate this book. For me there were too many plot holes, too much time spent on the wrong things and not enough time on what I really wanted to know more about. The hero, Colin, seemed like such a good guy, but honestly it felt like he was barely in the book. And the heroine, Avery, I just wanted to smother her with a pillow. So many questionable actions, I just didn't connect with her at all. Sorry to say this just didn't work for me. ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, actiony, drama, new-adult
An exciting, suspenseful and emotional journey of a girl surviving a horrific trauma, and dealing with its devastating aftermath.

19 year old Avery is a sophomore in College, and is a dedicated and competitive swimmer. She has practically spent her life in the water, and is part of her school’s acclaimed swim team. She has a wonderfully supportive boyfriend, is close to her family, and is happy with her life. But everything changes when she is flying home for Thanksgiving break. Her plane crashe
Megan Edwards
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wish I hadn't bothered to finish this book. The beginning was okay, and then the middle and end were BORING. The main character was whiny, and I didn't understand her inner turmoil - even when the ending was revealed, it didn't make sense or ring true. And, I'm sorry, Colin was just too perfect. The characters were annoying, and the writing was overblown and wordy. Not recommended at all. ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-adult
This is the debut novel of this author. I liked the cover and the title. So immediately I was intrigued.
Her characters were likable, which is always a plus. I also liked her use of words. Some passages sounded well thought out. Unfortunately, I didn't get that feel all the way through.

The story included a plane crash, wilderness survival, a love story and the healing. I loved the premise, but it had a dream like feel that had me wanting it to be anchored down. The characters and the story lin
Gina *loves sunshine*
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, ebook
I heard great things about this book so I was excited going in. The story unfolds in a back and forth format flashing between the past, the crash, and the present. The best part of the ride is in way that the author leaves the air of mystery AND the slow burning flame of the 2 main characters. The author does such a great job of putting you right in their situations - the emotions, the setting, the struggles - Loved this book. It is a breezy 4 to 5 hour read!
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book, arc-s
Story: This book was fantastic and would make an awesome movie!

Compelling, engrossing and heart-wrenchingly romantic, GIRL UNDERWATER is a story of survival, strength and hope. (Colin Shea is one of the best book guys you'll ever meet.) It unfolds through alternating chapters of "Now" and "Then" which are seamlessly woven together, giving readers the complete picture by book's end. I spent the last 1/4 of the book with my heart lodged in my throat, but that epilogue made it all worth it.

One of
Billie Lawson
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was so intrigued by the cover of this book and the concept behind it, that I couldn't wait to start. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me on several levels. The book kind of had was ALL over the place. I love a past to present story, but this one was not executed well in my opinion. There were so many plot holes that I started to become extremely distracted. Also, the grief throughout the story I thought was handled very poorly and seemed very unrealistic. Many of my friends have loved ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Poshdeluxe
Cover Story: Watercolor
BFF Charm: Let Me Love You
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Now And Then
Bonus Factors: College, Swimming
Relationship Status: A Pool Of Emotion

Read the full book report here.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it
A debut novel that was a quick entertaining read....lightweight escapism that leaves unanswered questions due to lack of character development/reasonable motivation for certain character behavior. I did like the structure that shifted between two time frames and that a woman was the character possessing some necessary survival skills. Glad I read it, but would not recommend it for a book club.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED! The struggles to overcome a terrifying life face debilitating circumstances. To find love along the way and make the decision to grab on to it with both hands....LOVED, LoVEd this book! An awesome Sunday read! five happy stars!
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
3.75 stars.
Colleen Chi-Girl
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting and painful premise and story. It went on a few chapters too long in different places, and you know what’s going to happen (that’s why 4 ⭐️ instead of 5). Still worth it.
Honestly just an okay book. Was entertaining but didn't really feel any emotional attachment to the characters. ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
GIRL UNDERWATER has some unfortunate timing. Books come out on a long-set schedule, and no one can control current events. But GIRL UNDERWATER starts with a plane crash, which probably isn't what most people want to read right now.

(I will admit that this fictional crash mostly bothered me because the dangling oxygen masks are repeatedly mentioned, but no one puts one on. The oxygen masks drop when cabin pressure drops, and you should put yours on immediately and then assist nearby children and
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Avery Delacorte has grown up in a very demanding family. Her father is an ER Doctor, who has brought Avery to work with him, exposing her to trauma patients in the busy Boston hospital where he works. The family has taken wilderness trips to learn the skills of survival. From a young age Avery has loved to swim, and is now a competitive swimmer at a University in California. Avery never imagined she would need these skills and experiences to keep her, a fellow swimmer and three little boys alive ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say this book was just about a plane crash would be like calling the Sea Of Tranquility a book about a goth chick. Those that know me know that this example is a telling one: The Sea of Tranquility is in the top 10 favorite books I have ever read in my life. I now have one more.

This book is so much more than surviving a plane crash. It is the aftermath of surviving the trauma of surviving a plane crash and the myriad of emotions experienced as a result.

Avery is a collegiate swimmer who, along
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: (Poll Ballot) Girl Underwater by Claire Kells - 4 stars 1 10 Aug 15, 2020 05:35AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: Girl Underwater 1 22 Jul 25, 2015 07:21PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lawyer for the Dog
  • A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do
  • Answer Creek
  • The Legend of a Rogue (League of Rogues #0.5)
  • Experimental Marine Biology (Chemistry Lessons, #5)
  • The Event (The Creek Water Series, #1)
  • Island Affair (Keys to Love, #1)
  • Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey
  • Head Case: My Brain and Other Wonders
  • Closed Doors
  • Grief Cottage
  • Of the Blood (Heir of Blood and Fire, #1)
  • Bent Heavens
  • The Power of Un
  • The Next Time You See Me
  • The Missing Ones (Hester Thursby Mystery #2)
  • Breath Like Water
  • Rebel Pilot, Texas Doctor (Devil's Rock at Whiskey River #1)
See similar books…
Claire Kells is an author, a physician, and an avid open-water swimmer. She's rather obsessed with the great outdoors, even though she's scared to walk in the woods at night. Aside from wilderness adventures, her favorite things to write about are twisty plots, flawed characters, and romantic tension. She lives in Virginia with her husband, children, and an orange tabby cat that thinks it's a dog. ...more

Related Articles

If you've got an overflowing Want to Read shelf of books that you keep meaning to get to (one day!), you're in good company. Our company, that...
29 likes · 5 comments
“Once we're safely out of earshot, I crouch down and tilt his head up to mine. "Tim, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to confuse you like that."

He looks down at his boots. "It's okay."

"We should have told you right away that we're just friends."

"I still would've been confused." He pauses. Says confused a second time, correcting the lisp that tends to sneak back in when he's not concentrating.


He gazes up at me with those pale green eyes, a mysterious blend of innocent and wise. "Because Colin loves you.”
“Two hundred and four people died that night,” I say, seeing their faces, hearing their screams. “Shouldn’t you be telling their stories?” 3 likes
More quotes…