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

Talk Under Water

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Will and Summer meet online and strike up a friendship based on coincidence. Summer lives in Will's old hometown, Kettering, a small Tasmanian coastal community. Summer isn't telling the whole truth about herself, but figures it doesn't matter if they never see each other in person, right?

When Will returns to Kettering, the two finally meet and Summer can no longer hide h
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 29th 2015 by UQP
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 Talk Under Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Talk Under Water

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  180 ratings  ·  51 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Talk Under Water
Clare Snow
I love this book: Kathryn Lomer's love of nature, her amazing sense of place, the beauty of Tasmamia. I feel the wind in my hair, the spray on my face, circumnavigating Bruny Island. I don't know why it took me 6 months to finish reading, perhaps I wanted to savour my enjoyment.

Will and Summer meet online through their shared love of sailing and Jessica Watson. When Will unexpectedly turns up in Summer's home town Kettering, he's in for a shock. Summer isn't quite who she said she wa
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I saw this book being advertised in my school library, and immediately my eyes caught the words "deaf girl".

I'm deaf. I'm a girl. I'm Australian.

Needless to say, this sent me rushing straight to the "L" section of Senior Fiction to nab the book and then check it out. I'm a quarter of the way through already and it's barely been four hours.

I speak both English and Auslan (note: this does not hold true for all deaf people - I am able to speak English due to having a cochlear implant and early i
Dale Harcombe
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Will and Summer meet online and strike up a friendship. It starts initially because Summer is living in Will’s home town of Kettering in Tasmania. Summer has not told Will she is deaf, figuring it will not matter as they are not likely to ever meet. But then Will and his Dad move back to Kettering. How will and Summer be able to talk to each other and will he still like her when he knows the truth?

I liked both the characters of Summer and Will and also Summer’s mother and Will’s dad. Tim’s frie
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yet another underrated Aussie gem! I feel like there are quite a lot of Australian YA novels which aren't widely recognised by the general YA readership, and it's a bit of a pity, because a lot of them are pretty great. Talk Under Water was an interesting look into how deaf people communicate, and the difficulties in developing a friendship with someone who can't "speak" to you.

Starting off with a small negative: something that slightly annoyed me was that there aren't any speech mar
Amy Leigh
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a cute book about contemporary romance with a deaf MC and a guy who doesn't let obstacles get in the way of love. I couldn't get enough of this book and read it in one sitting. It was very adorable and the pick me up I needed.

Summer and Will meet online and start chatting regularly. Summer doesn't tell Will she is deaf because she is so caught up in him and she doesn't really think she will ever see him face to face. He likes her for who she is and she doesn't want to spoil
I've always wanted to read Kathryn Lomer's books, I've had What Now, Tilda B? on my shelf for a while now, but still haven't read it. So I was thrilled to see her new release, Talk Under Water . Will and his dad left Keft the small town of Kettering, Tasmania after his mum left them. They sailed to Sydney on their yacht and Will has been home schooled by his dad. He and Summer strike up a conversation online, and soon Will and his dad are heading home so he can return to high school, and so his dad ...more
Rosanne Hawke
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Talk Under Water by Kathryn Lomer
This book is so cleverly subtle. Summer is a deaf girl. Will is a hearing boy. They meet via email and at first Will doesn’t realise that Summer is deaf. This is a story of a diverse couple trying to have a relationship. It is a gentle story that is quiet for a purpose: Summer is deaf so the book has a silence that is supported not only by a lack of quote marks in dialogue, but even Summer’s spelling and grammar in her emails supports the way a person deaf
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely amazing. Loved this :)

Talk Under Water was a really cute book. Summer and Will's relationship puts friendship first and going out second - this book had almost no conflict besides Cully sending that nasty email to Summer from Will's account, but besides that it was pretty hey-ho-everyone-gets-along.

My only pet peeve was that there were no speech marks - which is reasonable because Summer is deaf - but it made it really difficult to separate thinking from speech
Catching up on books I haven't had access to, while I look after someone else's library.

I found this gentle and engaging. Summer's voice is distinct from Will's - and I really liked how the relationship stayed primarily in the friend range. Will doesn't push Summer at all. In fact, she initiates some of the flirting.

Lovely read.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
Cute story
rachel ☾
Talk Under Water had all the right elements to potentially be something special. Its execution left a lot to be desired, though. In fact, I almost had to DNF this on multiple occasions. Why? Mostly the characters. I could not stand them. If this had been a middle-grade story, I don’t think I would have struggled so much; Will and Summer were meant to be sixteen but their voices were so incredibly juvenile that I could not picture them any older than, say, thirteen/fourteen. At the most. I had so many litt ...more
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book begins with the most interesting premise. Two teens, Will and Summer, inspired by Jessica Watson’s epic solo circumnavigation of the world, meet on her fan Facebook site. From there a friendship develops through emails and Facebook posts exchanged between them as they discover that, aside from an admiration of Jessica Watson, they have a lot in common. Told in dual narratives, and using letters, poetry and prose, it explores what happens when the two meet, and Will discovers that Summe ...more
Kaysia (bookskay)
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable contemporary, an easy read, but also very insightful. The way this book was executed was unlike anything I have read. The dual POV was done very well and each character had a unique and distinctive voice/way of writing. My only problems were that I found it hard myself to connect with the characters much (which may just be because we don't have much in common) and some parts were a little boring/felt like fillers. I'll be doing a full review of this on my YouTube channe ...more
Jess - The Tales Compendium
In A Nutshell: Talk Under Water has lovely, refreshing characters was an absolute joy to read, putting a smile on my face and leaving me feeling content and hopeful for the future.

My full is review is available here:
Merridy Pugh
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story. It was exciting to read a book set in Tasmania by somebody I've met! This is the first book of Kathryn's I've read, and I loved it.

The way Kathryn portrays Bruny Island and Hobart with their scents, scenes and wildlife is evocative and accurate. There's something special about reading a book set in your home town, and as I've lived in Hobart for many years and Bruny featured large in my life recently (my partner was working as a tour guide on the island), it was interesting t
The Dog
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The first time I read this, I was maybe 12? I really enjoyed it. I loved it so much, the setting, the writing, the characters, the romance.

Iv'e read it again at 15 and it's kinda lost its spark. I found it cheesy and typical and some characters were very stereotyped.

In conclusion, if your a tween, you will love this :)
If your not, your probably looking for something a bit more... sophisticated :)
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aditya Nirish Unni
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book slightly slow-paced but enjoyed the ending.

The book had a very interesting theme and personally found it a very different type of book that I personally enjoy reading. The book has a very strong deeper meaning that can apply in many situations and can easily be seen.
Emily Roberts
Jul 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
By far the worst book I have ever read in my entire life. The plot line sucks; the writing is awful; the characters are incredibly two dimensional except for their Tragic BackstoryTM; the grammar was almost nonexistent and the language was incredibly unrealistic. I do not recommend.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, genre-issues
Great book!
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This book was so cute. I loved the message and the great characters it had. A nice read.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved that this book took place is Tasmania and I really enjoyed the characters, but the writing felt a bit young to me.
Philippa (Tea in the Treetops)
A simple refreshing contemporary novel that takes part at sea and on the coastal shores of Hobart Australia. This story sets itself apart and also adds itself to a great list of diverse YA novels coming out recently by introducing the reader to the concept of life without hearing and the use of sign language in the central plot and romance between our main characters Will and Summer.

The story is a clean and refreshingly simple one told from alternating chapters between our protagonis
Feb 27, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf
I really disliked the use of letters and emails. I also disliked the authors choice to forgo the use of quotation marks to signify dialogue when hearing people were talking. It made every scene run together which became a bit of a chore to read. Although I liked the premise, this didn't work for me and I DNF'd it after half a dozen chapters.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Goodreads Book Description:
Will and Summer meet online and strike up a friendship based on coincidence. Summer lives in Will's old hometown, Kettering, a small Tasmanian coastal community. Summer isn't telling the whole truth about herself, but figures it doesn't matter if they never see each other in person, right?

When Will returns to Kettering, the two finally meet and Summer can no longer hide her secret – she is deaf. Can Summer and Will find a way to be friends in person even though
Also reviewed on my Youtube channel.

This book was seriously cute while also being surprisingly educational. It's a split narrative YA contemporary that tells the story of Will and Summer, who meet on the Facebook page for Jessica Watson who, as a teenager, completed a solo circumnavigation of the world. Summer lives in Kettering, a small town in Tasmania. Will's from Kettering, but living in Eden on the south coast of New South Wales with his father. It's Summer's mention of Kettering that make
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Such a different book! I was so afraid Summer's deafness would become a "quirk", but it was handled so well. It is her whole world, and Will has to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to communicate with her.

Their friendship seems a bit too quick, but it doesn't matter in the light of everything else going on. It sort of read like an intercultural romance and I didn't understand why my mind kept making that parallel. Midway through the book I realised, that is exactly what it was! He has to
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this! And I persevered somewhat (not very much though) because it's Australian, and it's nice to see deafness in literature. Only...nothing was happening, and I gather from other reviewers that nothing was GOING to happen. This would have been better as a middle grade book - the characters spoke more like 12-year-olds than the 16 they were supposed to be. And, maybe a bit nit-picky, but I did AUSLAN for a whole semester and didn't know nearly as much as Will conveniently ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to rate this book. It was cute and an easy read, and I learnt A LOT about sailing and sign language, but the storyline was bland. I liked the dual narrative between Will and Summer, but the book needed more action. It just sort of flatlined from start to finish with a couple of hiccups along the way. One thing that absolutely irritated me was the lack of quotation marks. It was a struggle separating prose from dialogue, and I'm not sure why authors/publishers decide to omit them ...more
Sandra Shannon
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A young adult novel with a difference. Will and Summer meet on line, they have both lived in the same coastal area of Tasmania. Will is now living in New South Wales and Summer has moved to the Tasmanian town with her family. Never thinking they will meet! Summer is not completely truthful with Will. And so when chance takes Will and his dad back to the costal town, the truth becomes known, the truth is Summer is deaf. Will and Summer's friendship is off to a shaky start. Very interesting and in ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Future of Us
  • One Would Think the Deep
  • The Beauty That Remains
  • Terra Nullius
  • Hotaka (Through my Eyes Natural Disaster Zones, #1)
  • The Happiness of Kati
  • The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, #1)
  • Such Stuff: A Story-maker's Inspiration
  • Stories of the First World War (My Story)
  • Singing for Mrs Pettigrew: A Story Maker's Journey
  • Flying the Dragon
  • Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You
  • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (Fudge, #2)
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (Peter Nimble #1)
  • Skating with the Statue of Liberty (Black Radishes, #2)
  • Malini
  • Airborn (Matt Cruse, #1)
  • Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation
See similar books…
“I was born with my voice in my hands.” 1 likes
More quotes…