Monday, January 3, 2022

Book Review: The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels

Title: The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water
Author: Erin Bartels
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: January 4th 2022
Print Length: 352 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
The best fiction simply tells the truth.
But the truth is never simple.

When novelist Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather's old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend's brother--and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book. If she can prove that she told the truth about what happened during those long-ago summers, perhaps she can put the letter's claims to rest and meet the swiftly approaching deadline for her next book.

But what she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. While facing Tyler isn't easy, facing the consequences of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

Plumb the depths of the human heart with this emotional exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgivable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

Watch the book trailer below or by clicking here.

I will admit that I've been in a reading slump for awhile. However, when I read the synopsis for The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels, it sounded just like the book I need to get me out of my slump. Luckily I was right!

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels. It was definitely interesting to see how and why writers put a little bit of truth in their books. I was very interested in trying to find out what was truth and what was fiction in Kendra's life. I wanted to know if the bad thing was really as Kendra remembered it or if it was just something she had stretched the truth about. This book does have a few plot twists, and while I did predict one, I found myself guessing incorrectly at the other twists. The author does a fantastic job at typing up any and all loose ends by the end of the book. I must say that I also very much enjoyed the writing and language Erin Bartels used. Her descriptive prose put me right into the heart of the story. I was drawn in with every word, and once I started reading, it was hard for me to stop. Even though this book does deal with some heavy subjects, Bartels did an excellent job at writing about them with much care and sensitivity. (Be sure to read the author's note at the end of the book for a bit more insight into the novel. You won't regret it.)

The characters in The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water were written very well. I found myself really loving the character of Kendra. She seemed like the type of girl I could relate to and that I'd love to be friends with. I enjoyed getting to see a glimpse into her memories (even the horrible ones). Her back story was interesting with what she had been through. I wish we could have read more about Andreas' back story. He was a strong character, don't get me wrong, but I felt like I didn't really know him all too well. He was always shrouded in a bit of mystery. Tyler's back story was the most interesting (and a little heartbreaking). Even though I never really cared for Tyler as a person, he was still a very well written character. I wish he would have gotten in trouble for what he did, but just as in real life, not everything happens as it should. I also loved the character of Cami. Although she seems a bit selfish, what she had been through makes it a bit easier to see why she was the way she was. I'm not excusing her actions by no means, but I can see the reasoning behind it. I also loved Robert as Kendra's mentor. He was such a laid back and loving character.

Trigger warnings for The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water include some slight bullying, sexual harassment, molestation, rape (though not graphic), child prostitution, alcohol, mentions of drug use, death, and suicide.

All in all, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water is a beautifully written book showing that even in the face of tragedy and trauma, we can still rise above our circumstances. I would definitely recommend The Girl Who Could Breath Under Water by Erin Bartels to those ages 16+ who are after a book with great emotional depth.
(A special thank you to Revell for providing me with a paperback of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

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