On Sale: March 31, 2015 | Dutton Books
By Claire Kells
Advance Praise for Girl Underwater:
"Skillfully interspersing flashbacks with current events, debut novelist Kells has written an absorbing tale that will grip anyone who enjoys survival stories or psychological dramas." –Library Journal (starred review)
"Kells's visceral story is quite memorable and eminently readable." —Publishers Weekly
"With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells' assured debut is a winner."—Kirkus Reviews
“The story ably demonstrates that survival is not just physical, but also mental and emotional.”—Booklist
GIRL UNDERWATER, the debut novel from Claire Kells (Dutton Books, On-Sale: March 31, 2015), has caught the attention of some of the biggest names in fiction. New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult calls it a “compelling coming-of-age love story that will have you rooting for its teen narrator.” GIRL UNDERWATER takes us on an exhilarating ride after a major airline disaster, looking not only at the worst-case scenario, but also at what happens to survivors after they make it through the most terrifying event of their lives.
The novel follows Avery, a competitive college swimmer, who boards a night flight from West coast to East, along with two team members and two hundred strangers. When the plane goes down over the Rockies, only Avery, three little boys, and Colin Shea, the only teammate who has ever challenged her to strike out on her own, survive.
For five days, Avery fights the sub-zero temperatures and unforgiving landscape, creating a makeshift shelter, foraging for food, and searching for rescue. But when that rescue does come, Avery finds her future almost more challenging than her days in the mountains. Her memories of the wilderness haunt her recovery, isolating her from her family and loving boyfriend, Lee. And the media is spinning a very different story about her ordeal than the one she remembers. As she attempts to piece her life together, Avery must question everything she thought she knew about herself, including her feelings for Colin, the boy who challenged her to survive and become her own person. The aftermath of the crash brings about a powerful love triangle as Avery must decide between the two men who love her—only one of whom can truly understand her five days in the mountains.
Like her main character, author Claire Kells is a former competitive swimmer. She has both a degree in English from Princeton and a medical degree from University of California. Her medical knowledge lends itself well to her writing—the gritty and realistic medical challenges that Avery faces in the Rockies are some of the most thrilling parts of the novel.
Crosscutting between the events in the Rockies and Avery’s challenging recovery, GIRL UNDERWATER is a riveting look at the story after survival. Both an action-packed tale of life-and-death and an intense love story, this debut is sure to delight readers of all ages and genres. As Jodi Picoult says: “Trust me—dive in!”
ABOUT CLAIRE KELLS
Claire Kells was born and raised outside Philadelphia. She received a degree in English from Princeton University and a medical degree from the University of California. She lives and works in the Bay Area. This is her first novel.