Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

Breathing Under Water
This topic is about Breathing Under Water
151 views
Previous BRs - Authors; E - H > Hardcastle, Sophie--Breathing Underwater informal buddy read starts July 7, 2018

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 31620 comments Mod
This thread is open to discuss Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle.



Synopsis
Nineteen minutes and eleven seconds separated us at birth. On the official documentation, he is older . . . Although it really has nothing to do with age. What it really means is that I am, and have always been, second.

Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they'd surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning.

Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.

Breathing Under Water is a lyrical and emotionally powerful novel about life, death and learning to breathe in between.


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 31620 comments Mod
Res


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 31620 comments Mod
res


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to this one! :-)


Michelle's Empty Nest (mlundy5) | 923 comments So am I!


message 6: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
I'm not sure why this author's name seems familiar...

and the cover and the synopsis have me intrigued, so I'll check if I can get this in time to join you


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
It's an Australian author - maybe that's why?


message 8: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
E & Michelle - I have this from the library, but I haven't started yet. Are you guys still starting today or do you need a few days?


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
I'm going to read another 30 pages in Red Sister to finish up the third part and then I'll see which book to pick up. I also need to get into Rosemary & Rue haha, and the next BOM is soon ;-D
Too many good books floating around haha.

But yes, I think I'll start it today. After the above 30 pages, I think I'll dive into this for a few hours.


message 10: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
teehee. Sounds like me and my reading schedule right now!

So I just started and I've read the first 3 chapters.

At first I was a bit thrown with the setting - mainly the time period. Because it seems like it isn't modern day, but then we get mentions of youtube and a smart phone so obviously it is. I think it is just that they are living in a country town with a hippy family.
Also the whole going out to drink thing with their parents being ok with it... but they are in high school... I guess it is possible they are in their last year.... but again. Might be the country setting ;)

So far I like the characters - particularly Mia. I dont know why, she is just kind of spunky. Although I guess that is Grace's viewpoint so she obviously admires her.
(view spoiler)


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Started it this afternoon while lounging on my comfy carpet hehe.

Finished the first five chapters so far. Seems to be a pretty fast read.

Like you, so far I like the characters. They are all a little nuts, which I always like in a group of friends. Mia is the quirky, crazy one and I like her quite a bit as well. It's just a shame that it's already clear from the first three chapters that Grace seems to be left in the shadows by pretty much everyone, willingly or not.

It may really be a country thing, who knows? What's the legal drinking age in Australia? Small town, not much to do. And teens always find a way to do what they aren't supposed to, especially when it revolves around drinking and parties, so maybe it's a grudging acceptance on the parents' part as long as it stays reasonable?

Chapters 4 and 5: (view spoiler)


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Chapter 6 update: (view spoiler)

Oh, and I forgot to mention - the insta love thing? I think that may be not quite so insta. Grace did mention him smiling at her "as though he had never left". Maaaaaybe maybe they were friends at some point in their childhood? He may have been weird, but he may not have been without friends. Besides, it's a crush for now, nothing's happened hehe.


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
I continued a little last night and read to the end of chapter 11.

(view spoiler)

Their father: (view spoiler)


message 14: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Eldarwen wrote: "t may really be a country thing, who knows? What's the legal drinking age in Australia? Small town, not much to do. And teens always find a way to do what they aren't supposed to, especially when it revolves around drinking and parties, so maybe it's a grudging acceptance on the parents' part as long as it stays reasonable? ..."

Drinking age is 18 which would generally be the last year of high school. I think it is the country town, hippy parent thing


message 15: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Chapter 4, 5 & 6

I agree with you - Ben and Jake were awful (view spoiler)


message 16: by Eldarwen (last edited Jul 09, 2018 02:05AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Yep! (view spoiler)

And I cannot get over (view spoiler)


message 17: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Yes the parents are very lax. Ben seems to get away with everything.
I’m just in the middle of chapter 9 (view spoiler)


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Hmm true, there are quite a few of those. (view spoiler)


message 19: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Ah - thanks. I didn’t realise she had written anything else. It does make a bit more sense.
I hope to get some more reading done tomorrow :)


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Sleep well! :-)

I took Red Sister to work with me today and I might continue with that one tonight as well, so I might not get anything red in this book until tomorrow - meaning 24 hours or so from now (gotta love time zones haha).


message 21: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Perfect because I’m out all day tomorrow (school holidays) so will give me a chance to catch up 😉


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Hey E - I just realised we have Unbound set for tomorrow. Can we move it a week? ;)
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 23: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
P.S I haven't read any more of this one today as I was listening to Thunderhead on a big car trip. May get a chapter or two in before dinner, but not much happening today


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "Hey E - I just realised we have Unbound set for tomorrow. Can we move it a week? ;)
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."


That isn't even me haha :-)
But I'm all for moving it ;-))


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "P.S I haven't read any more of this one today as I was listening to Thunderhead on a big car trip. May get a chapter or two in before dinner, but not much happening today"

No worries! I still have Red Sister to finish, so I'm sticking to that one for today then and we'll see about this one tomorrow.


message 26: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Oh really? I thought for sure you were reading Unbound also. Hmmm now I’ll have to go back searching!!


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Haven't even read the first one yet. Despite two attempts at it. :-/


message 28: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jul 10, 2018 09:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Chapter 22

This book is so depressing!
(view spoiler)


message 29: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Eldarwen wrote: "I continued a little last night and read to the end of chapter 11.

The story is slowly reaching that point where it all seems awesome and I'm just waiting for the accident to happen. You know the ..."


Re: the father.... This is one of the reasons why the time setting for the book is confusing for me. Fathers like this were around more when I was a kid. But maybe that is her own experience he is projecting? He seems, at times, totally unreasonable ; at others like he is trying to be one of "the boys" ; and at others like a jerk. I haven't seen a whole lot of positive parental behaviour from him


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Haha, oh noes, depressing?! Guess I should have figured that going in!

I haven't continued yet, but will pick it up again tonight and see how far I'll get. :-)


message 31: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Ok, I just had to push through and finish it.
It was just too much. I won't put anything under spoilers, I'll wait for you

Now I need something more positive! lol


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
I'm somewhere in chapter 22 at the moment (before the hearing) and I'm just thinking WTF?!

Who are these parents?!
What crappy friends are these?! Except for Jake, who is family rather than friend.

(Ok, I'll finish the chapter now and then go read your spoiler for that chapter.)


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "Ok, I just had to push through and finish it.
It was just too much. I won't put anything under spoilers, I'll wait for you

Now I need something more positive! lol"


Hahah, yes, absolutely! That's why today the BOM for I Hunt Killers starts so we have something maybe gory and violent to focus on :-p

It is depressing. And I'm annoyed that the plot has completely vanished, it seems. It's all just floating along on a crazy/depressed/wtf cloud with no direction.


message 34: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Eldarwen wrote: "I'm somewhere in chapter 22 at the moment (before the hearing) and I'm just thinking WTF?!

Who are these parents?!
What crappy friends are these?! Except for Jake, who is family rather than friend..."


Yes, I totally agree. The book kind of just loses its way and starts to drown in sadness


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "Chapter 22

This book is so depressing!"


Added to what you mentioned, we also have drug and alcohol abuse, crappy parents, crappy friends, a MC without a backbone, an almost police raid...

It's... a lot.

I have to admit though, apart from all the trouble Jake and Grace get into with the alcohol and the drugs, which is all a little over the top, what pisses me off the most is the parents and Mia. Harley's reaction, I do not understand but whatever.

Mia, her best friend. The girl who has stuck with Ben, Grace and Jake since forever. Where is she in all this? They have all lost someone important to them and while Grace isn't exactly supportive of her friend, Mia doesn't show her any support either? Whenever she does pop up on the page, it is to rant at Grace for "still" grieving. It's been 8 weeks now. Which, yes, in the life of a teenager can be a looong time, but it's 8 weeks of losing your brother/best friend/twin. That is a little something different than being upset over a broken heart.

Not to mention the absolutely fantastic support she gets at home from her parents. :-D So cool!!
>.>
Where has Ray been?! Not there for his wife, not there for his daughter, not giving a shit about Jake (whose mum is ever absent) and ignoring the dog as well. And then all the above goes also for Mel. Do they even remember they still have a daughter?! That there were two kids in that household?

Honestly, I think that is what depresses me the most about this book. The ugly reality that some parents completely let a child fall into a deep, dark hole of nothingness because they give up.

And Grace needs to learn to stand up for herself. Like seriously. This is getting ridiculous. Letting everyone walk all over her, including herself.


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
If it weren't for Kate, Grace wouldn't have had anyone at all to even give a shit about her during the first two or so weeks. I find that very, very troubling.


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Finished chapter 30 now.

It's starting to pick up again and I can see a glimmer of hope for this depression to be over soon.

It isn't that I don't understand feeling down or depressed or deeply saddened, but I just don't get how nobody gives a shit about making it stop.

There is a lot of in between stuff missing and that bugs me. I like to know what happens between characters to make them either talk to each other or not talk, whatever the case may be. I want to know why Mia is acting the way she is, or why Toby doesn't speak to either Grace or Jake anymore. I want to know why Harley started looking at Grace like a stranger since the funeral (well, afterwards it's pretty clear since she's going off the bend). All that is lacking, and it's those interpersonal relationships that make characters interesting for me.

Take Red Sister as an example, since we've both recently read it. Not everything is clearly mapped out in that one either and years are skipped even, but the important stuff is there nevertheless. You know why certain characters get along, why others don't, what is going on inside their heads to spark certain reactions.

This... this is one scene lined up after the other and it is only since chapter 27 or so that plot is fiiiinally, finally making an appearance again.


message 38: by Eldarwen (last edited Jul 12, 2018 10:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Every time I write something here, I feel like I'm writing huge rants haha.

Also, 100 pages later, dear dad still hasn't made an appearance and mum is still self-centered - despite a prayer in the middle of the night. Praying to God to help her daughter won't solve the problem. Not if Mummy dearest doesn't give a fuck herself.

Good thing Grace has a grief-counsellor... Which reminds me, I need to look up what Tim Tams are. I'm intrigued!

Eta: they look tasty! Are they??


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Stayed up way too late, oops!

Heading to bed with the remaining 10 pages of the book. It's past midnight but I want to finish it now.

After chapter 36, I enjoy the more positive vibe again. It's starting to feel like a Hollywood ending but that may be better than the middle part.

The writing pulls me in sometimes though and I enjoy some of it quite a lot - expressions, descriptions, I mean.


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Blergh, Hollywood ending. I'm happy though that the family managed to patch itself together again after it all escalated. It's cliché though. Of course Grace is going to go too far and suddenly everyone realises just how careless they've been. And of course the dad is going to come back into their lives after health issues.

Nevertheless, I'm glad this book didn't end up with everyone diving into nothingness.

And I was glad to see that Grace realised how shitty she has been to Mia, ignoring texts, calls, etc. I would have liked to have seen more of that earlier in the book. Show the struggle between the friends who both deal with their own kind of grief.

It's odd, but somehow, more than any other first-person narration, I found this book to be very self-centered - if that makes sense?


message 41: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Haha I like your huge rants

Yes, Tim Tams are awesome. People make Tim tam bombs which is biting the ends off and then sucking coffee or tea through the biscuit. It’s a cultural tradition 😂

I agree that her first person POV was quite self centred. She didn’t seem to care about anyone else.

So, question... how did this book get on your radar to want to read?


Eldarwen | 10473 comments Mod
Sucking drinks through a biscuit, that's something new for me! Dunking I know, but sucking? I was laughing at that scene in the book actually. And then when I saw what Tim Tams looked like, I was a little confused because there was no hole in them.

Ah, haha, yes, not the most obvious read for someone so far away ;-) It was a book chosen by the Book Fairies for the Fairy Book Club earlier this year and it sounded interesting so I figured I'd give an author a try I had never heard of before.


message 43: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14780 comments Mod
Teehee yes no hole, but when you bite off the ends because the inside has some cream when you suck up the drink it melts the cream.
Kinda messy when you think about it 😉


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Breathing Under Water (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sophie Hardcastle (other topics)